In the wake of Anders Breivik's massacre of his fellow Norwegians, I was amazed at the speed with which the leftist media throughout the US and Europe used his crime as a means of criminalizing their ideological opponents on the Right. Just hours after Breivik's identity was reported, leftist media outlets and blogs were filled with attempts to blame Breivik's crime on conservative public intellectuals whose ideas he cited in a 1,500 page online manifesto.
My revulsion at this bald attempt to use Breivik's crime to attack freedom of speech propelled me to write my July 29 column, "Breivik and totalitarian democrats."
While the focus of my column was the Left's attempt to silence their conservative opponents, I also noted that widespread popular support for Palestinian terrorists in Norway indicates that for many Norwegians, opposition to terrorism is less than comprehensive.
To support this position, I quoted an interview in Maariv with Norway's Ambassador to Israel Svein Sevje.
Sevje explained that most Norwegians think that the Palestinians' opposition to the supposed Israeli "occupation" is justified and so their lack of sympathy for Israeli victims of Palestinian terrorism was unlikely to change in the wake of Breivik's attack on Norwegians.
Since my column was a defense of free speech and a general explanation of why terrorism is antithetical to the foundations of liberal democracy - regardless of its ideological motivations - I did not focus my attention on Norwegian society. I did not discuss Norwegian anti- Semitism or anti-Zionism. Indeed, I purposely ignored these issues.
But when on Friday, Norway's Deputy Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide published an unjustified attack on me on these pages, he forced me to take the time to study the intellectual and political climate of hatred towards Israel and Jews that pervades Norwegian society.
That climate is not a contemporary development. Rather it has been a mainstay of Norwegian society.
In a 2006 report on Jew hatred in contemporary Norwegian caricatures published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, Erez Uriely noted among other things that Norway banned kosher ritual slaughter in 1929 - three years before a similar ban was instituted in Nazi Germany.
And whereas the ban on kosher ritual slaughter was lifted in post-war Germany, it was never abrogated in Norway.
As Uriely noted, Norway's prohibition on Jewish ritual slaughter makes Judaism the only religion that cannot be freely practiced in Norway.
Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, where this article first appeared.
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