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"Five axiomatic propositions of Canadian Nationalism vis-a-vis the Americans:

1. Boy, we hate Americans.

2. We really do.

3. Really.

4. I'm not kidding. We really hate them.

5. So how come they never pay us any attention?"

--Will Ferguson, Why I Hate Canadians, Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 1997, p.105.


Thursday, April 18, 2002

I look forward to seeing this in the Independent or Guardian. [Thanks to Charles Johnson.] Perhaps UN envoy Terje Roed-Larsen, who is currently "horrified beyond belief" in Jenin, will reflect on this interview with a bomb-maker who fought at (and escaped from) Jenin. Based on this guy's testimony, the battle was about as far from a massacre as you can get. As it is from Egypt's Al-Ahram paper, I'm going to go out on a limb and say it is not designed to be pro-Israel propaganda. But I'm sure the newsrags in Britain will dismiss it as such.
Treacher treat. I haven't watched Saturday Night Live in about 10 years, but this might get me watching again (thanks to Jim Treacher for transcribing it).
Well, that's all settled then. My email to the Norwegian Embassy, and the reply:

Dear Sirs,

I am shocked by the recent flurry of statements and actions by prominent Norwegians regarding Israel and the Middle East. The comments of Hanna Kvanmo and others regarding their desire to revoke the Peace Prize from Shimon Peres, while smiling benignly on Yasir Arafat, boggle the mind. Yet under normal circumstances I might just chalk this up to the usual puffing of annoying but essentially irrelevant fools.

But far more telling is the decision to ban Ingvar Tveitt from wearing a Star of David in the Norwegian Parliament building. No other symbol worn as decoration seems to bother Norwegian Parliamentary figures -- flags of Palestine and other nations? Hey, no problem! Just keep that Jewish star offends our sensibilities.

This is the same type of bias demonstrated by Kvanmo et al, but in this case practiced by the government of your nation.

I find these actions, and the apparent bias behind them, to be both revealing and revolting. I will visit Denmark this autumn for a conference, and initially intended to visit Norway and the rest of Scandinavia while there. Rest assured that now I will not visit Norway, nor will I knowingly purchase any Norwegian products, for the foreseeable future.

Be ashamed. Be very ashamed.



Dear Sir/Madam

The Royal Norwegian Embassy has taken due note of your comments to the
incident in the Norwegian Parliament last week, when a young man was
requested to leave his outer garment - displaying a small Israeli flag on
the chest pocket - in the cloak room before being re-admitted to the
Parliament restaurant.

It should be underlined that the incident was not politically motivated. Nor
does the incident reflect any change in Norway's position with regard to the
situation in the Middle East.

The Norwegian government has repeatedly given its full support to the U.S.
efforts to stop the violence and seek a negotiated solution to the conflict.
We share the objective of an immediate cease-fire, an end to all violence,
an Israeli retreat and a dialogue between Israel and the Palestine
Authorities. In a statement issued on April 17, Foreign Minister Jan
Petersen expresses his concern for the current situation, and calls on both
parties to implement recent resolutions by the U.N. Security Council.

Israel has many friends in Norway. The young man visiting the the Parliament
last week is only one of them. Their consititutional right to voice their
opinion has not been and will not be restricted.

Yours sincerely,

I wonder what Hanna Kvanmo will make of this? A petition to the Nobel Committe to revoke Yasser Arafat's Peace Prize. More than 337,000 signatures so far.
There has been a bad friendly-fire accident in Afghanistan that has taken the lives of at least four Canadian soldiers.
Looking forward to the next Marc Herold report. As is Damian Penny, I am hopeful that the stories of a massacre in Jenin are untrue. (In fact, given the inability to find eyewitnesses or bodies, at this point I am rather skeptical. In the absence of corroborating evidence, when the allegations come from the same folks that routinely allege all sorts of other Israeli atrocities that prove not to be accurate, one ought to weigh the allegations accordingly.)

All the same, where is Marc Herold? Shouldn't he be releasing a carefully researched study of Palestinian civilian deaths about now? Let's see, in the last four days I've seen one story that alleged 500 deaths in Jenin, another alleging 2,000 deaths, and a third alleging 3,000. So I anticipate that Herold will calculate that there have been 5,500 civilian deaths in Jenin alone.

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