Norwegians hold an Israel-hatefest...
These sort of academic seminars are becoming more common...
In a move which Foreign Ministry sources defined as "unusual," Israel's embassy in Norway has officially protested the launch of a high profile academic seminar there delivered exclusively by lecturers known for their highly critical views of Israel.
Israel's Foreign Minister last week described Norway's attitude toward Israel as "hostile."
"We were saddened to learn that a biased and one-sided seminar on Israel is taking place at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim," Deputy Chief of Mission of the Israeli Embassy in Oslo, Aviad Ivri, wrote last month to the institution's dean.
The seminar, whose first session took place last month, includes lectures by Ilan Pappe, who accuses Israel of perpetrating an "ethnic cleansing of Palestine" and by Stephen Walt, the coauthor of a controversial study on the effect of the Israel-lobby on U.S. policy. It has been described by prominent scholars as anti-Semitic.
Other speakers invited by NTNU Dean Torbjorn Digernes include Moshe Zuckermann, who in a January interview for Deutschlandradio - a widely-heard German program - said that operation Cast Lead cost hundreds of thousands of Gazan lives.
The members of the seminar's organizing committee - Morten Levin, Ann Rudinow Saetnan and Rune Skarstein - have all signed a call for an academic boycott of Israel. They also brought a few Norwegian speakers, famous for their critical view of Israel.
"There's no one on the panel with a neutral view of Israel, let alone anyone to advocate its position," a source from the Foreign Ministry said. "Usually we do not get involved with academic forums of this sort because it's a freedom-of-expression issue, but this all-star team of Israel-haters crosses a line," the diplomat added.