The Gaza Center for Political and Development Studies, Tuesday, March 27, hosted the Norwegian activist Magne Hagesæter from Palestinakomiteen (Palestine Committee). The lecturer shed light on the attacks on July 22 last year, when a man planted a bomb in an Oslo government building that killed eight people. A few hours after the explosion, he shot and killed 68 people, mostly teenagers, at a Labor Party youth camp on Norway’s Utoya Island, according to the report published by the Center for American Progress.
“Anders Breivik carried out the attacks to punish those who he called the collaborators. He saw himself a part of a bigger network, of bloggers, and even politicians. Until now, the evidence shows that he carried out the entire thing himself. On the same day of the attack, he launched the ‘European Declaration of Independence’, in which he quoted many politicians and bloggers”, said Hagesæter.
It is said that there is a relation between the Islamophobia network and Israel. The Islamophobics see Israel as the front line against the ‘threat of Islam’.
“Two days after the attacks, the commentaries in The Jerusalem Post said that the victims of the summer camp partly deserve it because they were like Hitler Youth”, added the Norwegian activist.
The 32-year-old, white, blond-haired and blue-eyed Norwegian, who carried out the attacks issued a manifesto in which he explained the motives behind theses attacks.
“There is a chapter on Israel in the manifesto. He sees Israel as the front line to defend Europe against the threat of Islam. An Islamophobic trend is seen in almost every sphere in Norway”, stressed Hagesæter.
Muslims Population in Norway
“I don’t think that this conspiracy theory is true. The Muslim population in Norway is less than 100,000. The most increasing religion is Catholicism because of immigration from Poland. The funny thing about the manifesto is that it sees Israel as the front line in Europe against the Asian and Muslim barbarism. This is similar to views of Hirtzel in his books. This is similar to the Zionist view in terms of what Israel is”, continued the activist.
Semitism in Europe
“There are still anti-Semitic sentiments in Europe. They are not big enough. The English Defense League decided to quite mentioning Jews in their programs and decided to focus on Muslims”, he added.
Reasons behind the rise of Islamophobic trends
“I think, the war on Afaghanistan and Iraq is one of the reasons behind this. Norway supported the war, so it tried to get legitimacy from people by portraying Muslims as terrorists who even suppress their own people. When there is unemployment, this helps the rise of Islamophobia “, he noted.
Pro-Palestinian Activism in Norway
“The role of Norway in this conflict has been important before and after the Oslo Accords. We had bases for Hagana. Norway is still a supporter of Israel. The Palestine Committee stands in Solidarity with Palestine. We raise awareness of the Palestinian Cause and struggle. We have some people volunteering in Palestine, Lebanon and in the future, Gaza.
The lecture was the 14th held at CPDS since the beginning of the year, aiming at educating Palestinian activists about issues connected to the Palestinian cause worldwide.