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A failed criticism

Just when we thought Israel had lost its opinion, Jostein Gaarder came to the aid of the warlords.


[11. August 2006] As the bombs fall on Lebanon and homemade rockets hit more and more Israelis, support for the war among the Israeli population is increasing. In Norway, criticism of Israel has been strong, so strong that even Kjell Magne Bondevik has felt the need to point a finger and not just a polite hand to his Israeli friends. Just when it seems that the last Israel friends in the country belong to the Progress Party, the warlords get help. From Jostein Gaarder.

"We no longer recognize the state of Israel," wrote philosopher and author Gaarder at Chronicle Square in Aftenposten last Saturday. He expressed the despair we all feel about the situation in the Middle East. The chronicle mirrored the mind that naturally accompanies the images and impression of Israel's advance in Palestine and Lebanon. Farms have a number of good points. Unfortunately, they are flushed out with the bath water needed to remove

the racist undertones of the philosopher.

When someone makes offensive statements about gays, women, or Muslims, we tend to ask them to take the Jewish test. Exchanging these words with a Jew serves as a clarification of what discrimination is. The test, of course, requires a minimum of knowledge about the historical use of the terminology. This knowledge has apparently passed the philosophy historian Gaarder's house. He does not seem to know the difference between Jew, Israel, Zionism and Semitism. It is sensational that a philosopher is no more conscious of his conceptual use than this.

Even worse is that he lets the conceptual use go into a conspiracy where religion and politics are mixed and compared. There is a difference between criticizing a regime and criticizing a people or a nation. Gaard's mix of religion, state, regime and people is unforgivable. It is precisely this kind of criticism that provokes conflict and which in no way can seem constructive.

We recognized the states of South Africa, Afghanistan and Iraq while being governed by regimes that violated human rights. Then we criticized the regimes. Israel is undoubtedly governed by a regime where the fingers are too loose on the trigger and the will to use force is too strong. The most important thing now is to find a way to peace in the Middle East. That is why we must criticize the regime. Not the Jews. If not, it is the warlords who win the opinion.

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