FPF-fwd. Jostein Gaarder
Famous Author Excoriates Israel - God's chosen people
Sun Aug 13, 2006 15:25


Personal note: it angers me every time when some creatures still try to use the dead and buried accusation: 'anti semitism'. You'll find it in the reactions to this article. It always has been a very cheap shot and dirt cheap trick since these people - which themselves are responsible for horrendous holocausts - started this to kill debates by people who are not brainwashed.

For the chorus: DEFINITION OF SEMITES - from The Collin’s English Dictionary - 1984: "Semitic: a member of the group of Caucasoid people who speak a Semitic language, including the Jews and Arabs as well as the Ancient Babylonians (Iraqis), the Assyrians (Syria), and the Phoenicians (the Lebanese of today). Semitic: a branch or sub-family of languages that includes Arabic, Aramaic, Hebrew.”



Famous Author Excoriates Israel

by Sirocco

Jostein Gaarder, the author of the global literary phenomenon Sophie's World (printed in 26m copies in 53 languages), launches a scorching attack on Israel in Aftenposten, Norway's paper of record. Gaarder, a historian of ideas, describes himself as a friend of the Jewish people but doubts whether Israel truly is the same. Suffice it to say that this will not appear in the New York Times anytime soon.

The form of Gaarder's condemnation is inspired by Amos, the first Judaic prophet whose message is preserved in scroll (ca. 750 B.C.). Quoting Wikipedia: "The central idea of the book of Amos according to most scholars is that Yahweh puts his people on the same level as the nations that surround it -- Yahweh expects the same morality of them all."

God's chosen people

Jostein Gaarder, Aftenposten 05.08.06

From the Norwegian by Sirocco

There is no turning back. It is time to learn a new lesson: We do no longer recognize the state of Israel. We could not recognize the South African apartheid regime, nor did we recognize the Afghan Taliban regime. Then there were many who did not recognize Saddam Hussein's Iraq or the Serbs' ethnic cleansing. We must now get used to the idea: The state of Israel in its current form is history.

We do not believe in the notion of God's chosen people. We laugh at this people's fancies and weep over its misdeeds. To act as God's chosen people is not only stupid and arrogant, but a crime against humanity. We call it racism.


There are limits to our patience, and there are limits to our tolerance. We do not believe in divine promises as justification for occupation and apartheid. We have left the Middle Ages behind. We laugh uneasily at those who still believe that the God of flora, fauna, and galaxies has selected one people in particular as his favorite and given it funny stone tablets, burning bushes, and a license to kill.

We call child murderers 'child murderers' and will never accept that such have a divine or historic mandate excusing their outrages. We say but this: Shame on all apartheid, shame on ethnic cleansing, shame on every terrorist strike against civilians, be it carried out by Hamas, Hizballah, or the state of Israel!


We acknowledge and pay heed to Europe's deep responsibility for the plight of the Jews, for the disgraceful harassment, the pogroms, and the Holocaust. It was historically and morally necessary for Jews to get their own home. However, the state of Israel, with its unscrupulous art of war and its disgusting weapons, has massacred its own legitimacy. It has systematically flaunted International Law, international conventions, and countless UN resolutions, and it can no longer expect protection from same. It has carpet bombed the recognition of the world. But fear not! The time of trouble shall soon be over. The state of Israel has seen its Soweto.

We are now at the watershed. There is no turning back. The state of Israel has raped the recognition of the world and shall have no peace until it lays down its arms.


May spirit and word sweep away the apartheid walls of Israel. The state of Israel does not exist. It is now without defense, without skin. May the world therefore have mercy on the civilian population. For it is not civilian individuals at whom our doomsaying is directed.

We wish the people of Israel well, nothing but well, but we reserve the right not to eat Jaffa oranges as long as they taste foul and are poisonous. It was endurable to live some years without the blue grapes of apartheid.


We do not believe that Israel mourns forty killed Lebanese children more than it for over three thousand years has lamented forty years in the desert. We note that many Israelis celebrate such triumphs like they once cheered the scourges of the Lord as "fitting punishment" for the people of Egypt. (In that tale, the Lord, God of Israel, appears as an insatiable sadist.) We query whether most Israelis think that one Israeli life is worth more than forty Palestinian or Lebanese lives.

For we have seen pictures of little Israeli girls writing hateful greetings on the bombs to be dropped on the civilian population of Lebanon and Palestine. Little Israeli girls are not cute when they strut with glee at death and torment across the fronts.


We do not recognize the rhetoric of the state of Israel. We do not recognize the spiral of retribution of the blood vengeance with "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth." We do not recognize the principle of one or a thousand Arab eyes for one Israeli eye. We do not recognize collective punishment or population-wide diets as political weapons. Two thousand years have passed since a Jewish rabbi criticized the ancient doctrine of "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth."

He said: "Do to others as you would have them do to you." We do not recognize a state founded on antihumanistic principles and on the ruins of an archaic national and war religion. Or as Albert Schweitzer expressed it: "Humanitarianism consists in never sacrificing a human being to a purpose."


We do not recognize the old Kingdom of David as a model for the 21st century map of the Middle East. The Jewish rabbi claimed two thousand years ago that the Kingdom of God is not a martial restoration of the Kingdom of David, but that the Kingdom of God is within us and among us. The Kingdom of God is compassion and forgiveness.

Two thousand years have passed since the Jewish rabbi disarmed and humanized the old rhetoric of war. Even in his time, the first Zionist terrorists were operating.


For two thousand years, we have rehearsed the syllabus of humanism, but Israel does not listen. It was not the Pharisee that helped the man who lay by the wayside, having fallen prey to robbers. It was a Samaritan; today we would say, a Palestinian. For we are human first of all -- then Christian, Muslim, or Jewish. Or as the Jewish rabbi said: "And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others?" We do not accept the abduction of soldiers. But nor do we accept the deportation of whole populations or the abduction of legally elected parliamentarians and government ministers.

We recognize the state of Israel of 1948, but not the one of 1967. It is the state of Israel that fails to recognize, respect, or defer to the internationally lawful Israeli state of 1948. Israel wants more; more water and more villages. To obtain this, there are those who want, with God's assistance, a final solution to the Palestinian problem. The Palestinians have so many other countries, certain Israeli politicians have argued; we have only one.


Or as the highest protector of the state of Israel puts it: "May God continue to bless America." A little child took note of that. She turned to her mother, saying: "Why does the President always end his speeches with 'God bless America'? Why not, 'God bless the world'?"

Then there was a Norwegian poet who let out this childlike sigh of the heart: "Why doth Humanity so slowly progress?" It was he that wrote so beautifully of the Jew and the Jewess. But he rejected the notion of God's chosen people. He personally liked to call himself a Muhammedan.


We do not recognize the state of Israel. Not today, not as of this writing, not in the hour of grief and wrath. If the entire Israeli nation should fall to its own devices and parts of the population have to flee the occupied areas into another diaspora, then we say: May the surroundings stay calm and show them mercy. It is forever a crime without mitigation to lay hand on refugees and stateless people.

Peace and free passage for the evacuating civilian population no longer protected by a state. Fire not at the fugitives! Take not aim at them! They are vulnerable now like snails without shells, vulnerable like slow caravans of Palestinian and Lebanese refugees, defenseless like women and children and the old in Qana, Gaza, Sabra, and Chatilla. Give the Israeli refugees shelter, give them milk and honey!




From my blog - Url.: http://www.boomantribune.com/?op=displaystory;sid=2006/8/5/122335/1324

Also available there:

A partial analysis of the controversial essay, refuting some bad interpretations.

A comment on the letter to the Norwegian people from Shimon Samuels at the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

My translation of Gaarder's new op-ed, wherein he explains his position with respect to Israel and Jews.


* DEFENDING ISRAELI GENOCIDES: ''During time of war, enemy has no innocents'' - the Israeli 'Yesha Rabbinical Council' announced in response to an IDF war crime in Kfar Qanna that killed 54 Lebanese civilians, including 37 children. - [http://tinyurl.com/rsw33] - "According to Jewish law, during a time of battle and war, there is no such term as 'innocents' of the enemy. - All of the discussions on Christian morality are weakening the spirit of the army and the nation and are costing us in the blood of our soldiers and civilians." the statement said. (Efrat Weiss) - Url.: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3283720,00.html

* ISRAELI WRITER URI AVNERY - JUNKIES OF WAR - Israel is conquering South Lebanon as flies conquer fly-paper - Indymedia Beirut/Lebanon - Url.: http://beirut.indymedia.org/ar/2006/08/5184.shtml

* NEWS FROM INDYMEDIA in LEBANON - BEIRUT - Url.: http://beirut.indymedia.org/en/

* PREPARING THE GENOCIDE FOR 'ERETZ ISRAEL' - 'A Clean Break: Strategy for Securing the Realm' - The new Israeli ''Pentagon Papers'' - Url.: http://tinyurl.com/zksqh

* US/ISRAELI GENOCIDE NEWS: ''MORE TIME TO BOMB'' - ESSENTIAL 6 MINUTE VIDEO - We defy anyone to watch this 6 minute video, entitled MORE TIME TO BOMB, and not be enraged at the scale of Israel's atrocities in Lebanon and Gaza which 'they' are holocausting. - 6 minute video - Url.: http://tinyurl.com/k8mm5

* "THE ISRAELITE PEOPLE OF THE ENTIRE WORLD DECLARE ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL WAR ON GERMANY" - 24 March 1933 - On the front page of the London Daily Express appeared the main headlines: "Judaea declares war on Germany: Jews of all the world unite" - Url.: http://www.heretical.com/mkilliam/wwii.html

* The Dutch author this far has worked abroad for more than 4 decades for international media as an independent foreign correspondent, of which 10 years - also during Gulf War I - in the Arab World and the Middle East. Having practical experience of coups and the obscenity of war: seeing worldwide that every bullet and every bomb breeds more terrorism!

* RELATED: BACKGROUND LINKS TO THOSE RESPONSIBLE - If after checking a factual error is found, pls. send an email so it can be corrected. - Url.: http://tinyurl.com/fhln9

* FPF-COPYRIGHT NOTICE - In accordance with Title 17 U. S. C. Section 107 - any copyrighted work in this message is distributed by the Foreign Press Foundation under fair use, without profit or payment, to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the information. Url.: http://liimirror.warwick.ac.uk/uscode/17/107.html

Editor: Henk Ruyssenaars
The Netherlands


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