Theater of Cruelty

Looking to Israel

If you look at the number of Jews in Europe after World War II, they have dropped dramatically, including in Norway, says Conrad Myrland of Med Israel for Peace.


"Israeli technology contributes enormously to Norwegian society," answers Conrad Myrland – managing director of the organization Med Israel for Peace (MIFF), when Ny Tid asks what the country contributes to the world community. "Among other things in the areas of internet security, patient management systems in hospitals and electronics in helicopters from the Norwegian Air Ambulance. Israel is also a leading country in cancer research and medicine," he adds.

- What would you highlight as uplifting in Israeli politics, with regard to the possibility of creating peace in Israel?

"If you look at the number of Jews in Europe after the Second World War, they have decreased dramatically – also in Norway – where there is very little anti-Semitism compared to other countries. It confirms for me how important it is with Israel, where Jewish life flourishes in a completely different way than anywhere else in the world, and you see a young population that has optimism and hope for life. For example, Hebrew was a dying language; in the 1800th century it was used almost exclusively in Jewish theology and religious services, but it was not a language that people loved and sinned in or wrote fiction in. Since many Jews gathered in Israel and chose Hebrew as their everyday language, it has given it enormous cultural power in the Jewish world.

- Is the policy that Israel is leading helping to strengthen this cultural force?

“There is a lot of internal Jewish politics that creates tension. The current government is dependent on ultra-orthodox parties which are very distant from most Jews elsewhere in the world today, and which are more secular and modern oriented. But you can't get away from the fact that it is an enormous security – also for Norwegian Jews – to know that there is a Jewish state that will always welcome them."

- What is your hope for the future of Israel?

"I hope that the neighbors will accept that Israel has come to stay. This will mean that they will develop their own Palestinian state project. Within education, there are enormous opportunities for collaboration and further development and problems related to water, which is a scarce resource in the area, can be solved."

The organization Med Israel for Peace organizes a major celebration in the Oslo Concert Hall
29 April on the occasion of Israel's 70th anniversary. MIFF itself turns 40 in 2018.

See also the main case The positive Jewish experience

Kaisa Ytterhaug
Kaisa Ytterhaug
Ytterhaug is a freelancer in Ny Tid.

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