Why did the left lose the school election?

Reality check: Is it a good sign that Rødt and SV’s parliamentary representatives have become so popular in the mainstream media? What about standing for positions that are banned by the war profiteers? asks the chairman of FOR, Marielle Leraand. 

This comment on the school election result was first published on her Facebook page.

Cut the crap! 

Klassekampen seems to have concluded: FpU leader Simen Velle is the «King of the schoolyard» (according to the newspaper’s front page). He’s popular on TikTok, and yes, I absolutely believe that TikTok is important for the younger generation. 

But could it be that the explanation goes deeper than that? There are many young men (and women) who fall for people like Andrew Tate; they look up to those who dare to challenge all the politically correct things they are so sick of.

And instead of hanging out these young men (and women) who will one day become adults, one could ask: what has the left done to mobilise anything else but an increasingly dull apathy among young people in recent decades? 

Yes, what is the left actually mobilising? 

The school elite? Those who «say the right thing» to gain recognition within today’s society and who will ensure that society does not significantly change?

For those who have forgotten: The Left – at its historical best – have been movements that have been FEARLESS, courageous, pushed the boundaries of what we are «allowed to say» and «allowed to do». 

“Straight through law to victory!» THAT was the motto when the labor movement and the left were revolutionary movements. 

But what is it called today?

There are positives and negatives within the «politically correct» social democracy that we have today. Individuals who declare themselves to be offended, we must all «feel» what we «are» or «need». Individualism is enormous and often flattened into something superficial that is turned into the most important thing in the world.

No wonder young people (or old people) don’t see the point in voting one way or the other. 

Because does it really apply to anything special? 


Is there something at stake?

It often seems that you start every move only after ensuring it won’t lead to controversy.

Yes, God forbid controversy – that’s the worst thing that can happen! 

When you then have to «balance the message» up and down and from here-to-the-moon; propose «the small but important” cuts and pluses and minuses on the budgets… 

Yes, a social democratic statement pattern, which many often miss; because what are they actually SAYING? 

Is it anything? 

Is there really anything in particular they would change? 

Sometime in 2040 perhaps? 

Select a committee first?

The litmus test of apathy is clear: 

Rødt and SV’s parliamentary representatives have become so popular in the mainstream that VG, NRK and Dagbladet’s editorial staff have slipped into and past AP already among those they are most comfortable with. 

So, reality check: Is this a GOOD sign? 

If the left only has a few small positives and negatives to heave into the election campaign?

No substantial, important differences that detonates a border between the right and the left and that EVERYONE can see? 

And, yes, perhaps especially the young; but also the elderly, we stop listening, it becomes entertainment where those who can say something a little funny or striking might manage to wake us up for a short moment… 

And the media praises, laughs along and votes up and down. 

Rinse and repeat.


Competition; 2 stars? 5? 


Media, owned and controlled by capitalists and circles of acquaintances who defend the existing system. 

Of course. 

But the left should still be in the forefront to change society so that you dare to think and do something more! 

Dare to grumble, be labeled a troublemaker, be ridiculed. Don’t jump around in the circus to be «liked» or praised by as many carefully selected media «experts» as possible! 

What about standing for positions that are banned by the capitalists and war profiteers? 

But of course it is comfortable inside the duck pond, and I see little sign that the parties on the left have thought their way out of it.
On the contrary, the left seem as comfortable there as any of the others, and people notice that, and the youth are not so stupid that they don’t get it when they look for politicians who want something more, something different, something to reach for.

And how did that happen? 

Yes, for the simple reason that the «left» in today’s NATO countries, and especially in countries that cling closely to the US and NATO’s wars, have actually abandoned the priority that the left had in the past: domestic politics decides how we live. Foreign policy is about IF we are going to live at all. 

This means that foreign policy, and the struggle against war in particular, is something that cannot be de-prioritised. 

The variations in domestic politics are also so small that people often yawn through them. 

And yes, I know many will scream now: but what about….!!?? 

You are wrong… because… but we mean…!! 

Yes, the left side proposes some small changes in the budgets. But they no longer engage in the big, society-changing conversations. 

The conversations and the organizations that formed the very basis for the revolutionary movements that became large and that actually stopped the First World War and changed the world at that time for the better. 

But the left in Norway does not remind the citizens of this any longer. Now there is hardly a soul who dares to mention that it was the revolutionaries on both sides of the war who managed to stop the First World War. 

If the opponents of the war had joined the ranks of social democrats and supported war appropriations, then the war would have continued to rage. 

So what are we doing today in 2023? 

Should we dare to become as unpopular among those in power as the Bolsheviks and Spartacists in Germany were during the First World War? 

Or is it too comfortable to be «inside»? 

It has always been that way. 

And this time it applies as then: 

It is about stopping an ongoing war between great powers where hundreds of thousands die on the battlefield, and where this time it could end in a big «bang» for all of humanity.

So then you can ask yourself, what is more comfortable: – Waiting for the «bang» or joining in to stop the war and build up a real left again? 

In Memorium: Fredrik Heffermehl

It’s a sad message I just received: Fredrik Heffermehl died today. It is only 6 weeks since Fredrik proudly launched his life’s work, an English translation of his book «The Real Nobel Peace Prize – a squandered opportunity to abolish war.»

With Fredrik Heffermehl’s passing, a champion of disarmament and the fight against weapons and war passes away – in the midst of a time that is more than ever characterised by the forces of death and war.

Fredrik was prepared for the fact that his health would not give him many years, but first and foremost he was worried that he would not live to see the publication of this book. But the old giant lived to see it!

In the company of good anti-war friends, he celebrated his 85th birthday both at home in Åsgårdstrand and at the Continental Hotel in Oslo on November 11, the actual day of peace.

As a lawyer, Fredrik was outraged that the Norwegian Nobel Committee sovereignly defined its mandate and ignored the will of the testator to award the prize to advocates for the reduction of armies, disarmament and the fraternisation of peoples, and that they instead chose a broad and populist understanding where they seek advocates for «good causes,» such as the environment, human rights and social work.

In this way, the committee robbed Nobel funds – year after year – from vital disarmament work, according to Fredrik.

11 November this year was a true celebration for Fredrik, with many honoring him for his lifelong work in the peace movement. With his family, whom he appreciated so much, and friends present, he was able to say what today seems like a warm and meaningful goodbye.

I will miss him, his assertiveness, his daily phone calls, his energy and unwavering compass – a good, honest and close friend.

Thank you, Fredrik!

Norway will be complicit in genocide!

“What Israel is announcing is GENOCIDE. Norwegian politicians who are now not doing EVERYTHING in their power to stop Israel are complicit,” says Marielle Leraand. 

The background to why the chairwoman of Peace and Justice (FOR) sees reason to describe what Israel is announcing as genocide is a video message from Israel’s Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant, in which he states, “I have ordered a complete siege on the Gaza Strip. There will be no electricity, no food, no fuel, everything is closed…We are fighting human animals and we are acting accordingly.”

Leraand emphasises that Norwegian politicians who do not employ every possible means to stop Israel also bear responsibility. 

“1.5 million children live there who – before long – will die of THIRST. They are locked in this tightly packed concentration camp with no possibility of escape because all escape routes are CLOSED,” says Leraand.

“But what does our Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre say? He announces his «understanding» of what Israel is doing and expresses NO protest,” she adds. 

Article 7 of the preliminary political platform of Peace and Justice reads as follows: “WE demand that Israel abolish apartheid and give all citizens equal rights. FOR supports the campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel until the illegal annexations are reversed and the apartheid system is fully dismantled.» 

Condemn the attacks on Yemen!

The Peace and Justice Association demands that Norway condemn the attacks on Yemen and immediately withdraw from the US-led «Operation Prosperity Guardian» in the Red Sea. Until this happens, all Norwegian ships must stay away from the Red Sea. 

The reason for the attack is that the Yemeni authorities have declared that ships sailing to and from Israeli ports are not allowed to pass through Yemen’s territorial waters at the entrance to the Red Sea as long as Israel is carrying out genocide in Gaza. With this, Yemen has taken responsibility for following up the UN Genocide Convention. This requires all signatory states to do everything in their power to prevent genocide. The attack on Yemen is thus not only an illegal act of aggression against Yemen. It also represents a further escalation of the US and UK’s active complicity in Israel’s genocide in Gaza.

«Operation Prosperity Guardian», established by the US in December, is an illegitimate «coalition of the willing» of the same type as the one the US built prior to the attack on Iraq in 2003. If Norway continues to participate in the coalition after the leading members have carried out attacks on Yemen, Norway as a state will also be drawn in as a belligerent party against Yemen. 

Yemen has a legitimate right to counterattack ships belonging to states that have attacked the country. If Norway does not immediately withdraw from «Operation Prosperity Guardian», seafarers on Norwegian-registered and Norwegian-owned ships sailing in the area will be in immediate mortal danger. Norwegian shipowners must deal with this by keeping their ships far away from Yemen’s waters. Attempting to sail into the Red Sea in the current situation would be a criminally irresponsible act.

Faktisk.no spreads Israeli disinformation

By, among other things, accepting a fabricated Israeli audio recording as real evidence, Faktisk.no contributes to creating a false lack of clarity around what happened when Israel bombed the al-Ahli hospital in Gaza on Tuesday evening. 

Map detail of Northern Gaza

«Israel says it has proof that the group Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) is behind it, and has published an audio recording of what Israel says is a conversation between Hamas leaders who confirm that the damage is due to a failed launch from the group.» This is how the Faktisk.no article begins, which purports to be an objective summary of the facts surrounding what happened at the al-Ahli hospital in Gaza. 

Hamas members who don’t speak proper Arabic? 

What the Faktisk article fails to mention is that neither of the two in the audio recording speak Arabic well enough to have had Arabic as their mother tongue. This is confirmed by the independent experts that Britain’s Channel 4 asked to assess the audio recording, after a number of Arabic-speaking commentators, including «Syrian girl», made sarcastic comments about this in social media.

Had the evidence that the audio recording is fake been presented to the readers, it is not just one piece of evidence in Israel’s favour that would have disappeared. Such evidence not only involves a misinterpretation of a given event, it also sheds light on Israel’s motives. A state that actively fabricates false evidence and then releases it to the world press, clearly does not have noble intentions, and clearly has something to hide. The fabrication is thus in itself strong evidence of Israel’s guilt. At the same time, the credibility of the other evidence Israel has presented is also undermined. 

Incompetence or political manipulation? 

There is reason to question whether the Faktisk.no journalists actually did not know the evidence that the audio recording is falsified when they wrote the article, given that it was published several hours after Channel 4 and others had pointed this out. At best, it reveals low journalistic competence in the editorial staff, but it is just as likely a deliberate omission. 

The Faktisk.no article has a form that is ostensibly neutral and objective, but this and the rest of the evidence presentation is in reality tendentially pro-Israel. In the analysis of what images of the rocket impact on the hospital area show and do not show, a number of experts are cited, but the only one who speaks categorically is Lieutenant Colonel and researcher at the Norwegian Military Academy, Trygve Johannes Smidt, who «believes that it can be ruled out that the damage after the explosion is due to an Israeli air strike ». 

What the article also omits is an analysis of the extent to which the physical evidence agrees with the Israeli narrative about where the alleged rocket from Islamic Jihad is supposed to have come from. Channel 4 has done such an analysis, however, and they conclude that the narrative that Islamic Jihad fired a rocket from the cemetery behind the hospital is physically incompatible with the photographic evidence. 

Israel’s motive for bombing the hospital 

The Faktisk.no article also leaves out other evidence related to the circumstances surrounding the attack. As part of the background information presented at the beginning of the article, it is indeed mentioned that «The hospital is one of 22 hospitals in the north of Gaza which, according to the WHO, have been told by Israel to evacuate». This is not only important to be able to confirm that Israel was behind the bombing. It is also central to the assessment of whether the bombing occurred by accident, if the target was initially something else, or whether the hospital was deliberately bombed. The fact that it was intentional will be central to the prosecutor in a future war crimes indictment against Israel’s political and military leaders. 

The Faktisk.no article does not mention that Israel bombed hospitals previously in this war operation, in addition to UN schools and other civilian buildings, and does not mention that Israel has demanded that all the 1.1 million civilians in northern Gaza leave the area . The motive for this is obviously that Israel will then be able to smash everything and everyone that is left, and then be able to occupy the ruins relatively easily. This goal will be difficult to achieve, however, if civilians can seek safety in hospital areas and other civilian installations which, according to the Geneva Conventions, are off-limits as bomb targets. 

Netanyahu adviser praised the bombing 

The fact that many in Israel see bombing a Palestinian hospital as completely legitimate was expressed shortly after the bombing in a tweet from Hananya Naftali, who is an adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and a favourite speaker and interviewee among Norwegian friends of Israel. Before the violent reactions in the Middle East created the need for an alternative narrative, Naftali came out boldly and claimed that the hospital had been bombed by Israel because there was a Hamas base there. 

Naftali subsequently sought to explain away the tweet, which was quickly deleted, by saying that he was only referring to media reports. But this is not true. No media reported at the time that Hamas had any base in the hospital area. Although everyone, including Naftali himself, agrees that this tweet does not describe what happened, it is nevertheless relevant in an overall evidence assessment. Alongside the fabricated audio recording, it illustrates how people in and close to Netanyahu’s administration do not even attempt to deal with the truth. An analysis that does not make such a critical assessment of sources is neither balanced nor objective. 

Netanyahu's aid's tweet admitting Israeli Air Force bombed Gaza hospital.

Support for Israel makes you legally complicit 

Conservative UK MP Crispin Blunt fears his colleagues are unaware of the legal risk they take by voicing support for Israel. 

British Tory MP Crispin Blunt

By demanding that 1.1 million people in the north of Gaza leave their homes, and by relentlessly bombing civilian homes, schools and hospitals, Israel is inarguably committing gross war crimes. 

“That it happens after an attack by the Palestinian resistance group Hamas, which was indisputably also a war crime, is irrelevant. Israel is a state and is obliged to follow the international law of war under all circumstances”, says British MP Crispin Blunt in an October 21 CNN interview. 

Complicity makes you equally guilty 

Blunt, who represents the same conservative party as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, emphasises as well that it is not only the Israeli leaders who must expect to be prosecuted for war crimes in the wake of the criminal war that is taking place against the people of Gaza. Political leaders in the United States, Great Britain and other Western countries who give unreserved support to Israel, despite the crimes being committed, become not only politically and morally, but also legally complicit. Blunt clarified this in an interview with Sky News on October 14. 

«If you know that a party intends to commit a war crime – and the forced displacement of an entire population is a clear violation of one of the basic principles that govern international law and binds all states in this area, then you make yourself an accomplice. And as international law has developed in this area, being an accessory means that you are considered as guilty as the party who commits the crime,” Blunt explained. 

Warns Norwegian politicians 

Chairwoman of FOR, Marielle Leraand, has previously stated the same as Blunt. She emphasises that Blunt’s warning to his British colleagues can also be directed to Norwegian politicians who give verbal support to Israel while the state commits war crimes. 

“There will be CONSEQUENCES after this, and if Peace and Justice (FOR) enters the Storting in autumn 2025, we will do everything we can to indict these war criminals and convict them of the crimes they are now committing, Leraand promises. 

Isolate the USA!

13. November, 2023

Peace and Justice sees opposition to weapons for Ukraine and the desire to stop Israel’s genocide in Gaza as two sides of the same coin.

The fact that support from the US is sufficient to allow Israel to continue is linked to the US’s global hegemony. FOR leader Marielle Leraand describes the connection in a post on Facebook:

The US prevents Israel from being stopped

Israel is the only country in the world that in this century has been allowed to imprison 2.3 million people in a single large concentration camp, without access to electricity, water and food, and which will slowly but surely starve the population to death.

Israel is the only country in the world that is allowed to bomb hospitals with critically injured patients.

Israel is the only country in the world that is allowed to bomb UN schools, churches, and mosques where tens of thousands of refugees have sought refuge.

Israel is the only country in the world that is allowed to kill and injure hundreds of UN nurses and doctors.

Israel is the only country in the world that is allowed to kill dozens of journalists.

All this in just over a month.

And why can they do it without any response?

The answer to that question is simple:

The US

The US BLOCKS all attempts to stop Israel.

And when the world’s supreme military power ensures continued bombing and confinement of a people, yes, they decide that this bombing and killing of confined children should continue.

The big question then becomes:

How can the world community stop the US?


Well, it’s the same political tools that we have to use against Israel.

Economic boycott, trade blockade, cut military and diplomatic ties; yes, do everything we can to isolate and point the finger at the US.

Weapons to Ukraine strengthen US hegemony

Marielle Leraand’s point that the US must be isolated if the Palestinians are to be saved from Israel’s genocide is directly related to Peace and Justice’s opposition to supplying weapons to Ukraine.

FOR justifies its opposition to weapons on the grounds that continued warfare leads to nothing other than thousands more being sacrificed on the battlefield to no avail, and that negotiations are what can realistically end the war. But at the same time, FOR rejects that a possible Ukrainian military victory with NATO weapons would be a contribution to strengthening international law and thus creating lasting peace in the world.

The war in Ukraine started because NATO insisted that Ukraine should be able to join the alliance. This insistence is about NATO expansion being intended to maintain and strengthen the hegemony of the USA and the West. And it is the same hegemony that enables Israel to rampage through Gaza with impunity.

Support Palestine by stopping arms deliveries to Ukraine!

Rødt and SV have sought to use their own support for sending weapons to the war against Russia in Ukraine as an argument for Norway as a state also having to react when it is one of our allies that attacks and occupies. However, most Palestinians and others with a background from the Middle East or other countries in the Muslim world that FOR activists have spoken to at Palestine demonstrations have seen the same connection that FOR emphasizes:

It does no good to support the Palestinians in words if you also support the enemy in deeds. And the enemy is not just Israel directly. It is the United States. And giving weapons to Ukraine is not giving support to the people of Ukraine. It is support for the USA, for the USA to remain the dominant superpower in the world.

Therefore, working politically for a negotiated solution to the war in Ukraine, and against more Norwegian weapons to Ukraine, is the most important form of solidarity you can contribute to the Palestinians in Gaza.

Israel – a Nazi state? 

November 2, 2023 

The Nazis attempted to exterminate the Jews during the Second World War. But can we say that Nazi ideology characterises the state that defines itself as Jewish? 

In the following text, I will first explain the characteristics of Nazism as a mindset and political action program, and then discuss to what extent we can find this mindset and political action in Israel today. 

Nazism – a racist, genocidal ideology 

The term Nazism, short for National Socialism, was invented by Adolf Hitler after he took control of, and renamed, the German Workers’ Party (DAP), which was founded in 1920, the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP). Any description of Nazism as an ideology must therefore be based on the fact that it must cover the program Hitler developed. Academic descriptions of Nazism, however, tend to be more time and place specific than is politically meaningful. 

In SNL.no’s article on Nazism, the main features are described as «an aggressive, race-based nationalism, an extreme anti-Semitism and a distrust of democratic forms of government.» «Extreme» is not precise enough to describe Hitler’s anti-Semitism. The singular uniqueness of Hitler’s thinking is that he openly formulates a genocidal intention. The Jews were not only to be kept down and in place, they were to be exterminated. 

Anti-Semitism is a form of racism aimed at Jews, but must the genocidal intent be aimed at Jews for us to be able to talk about Nazism? In that case, it means that if a country were to start sending children belonging to another minority group to gas chambers, we could not define the policy as Nazi, since the extermination policy would have been aimed at another ethnic group. It would not be Nazi even if it were possibly the Roma people, the other ethnic the group that Hitler sent to the gas chambers, and who were selected as targets for extermination again. Do we then have to invent a new political term to denote such an ideology? I don’t see that it is expedient. 

Although we can say that the Norwegian Labor Party in the 1930s was a classic social democratic party, we cannot limit social democracy as an ideology narrowly to what was, and was not, the Labor Party’s policy in Norway at that time. Correspondingly, in order to understand Nazism as an ideology, we must go beyond the concrete program of Hitler’s party so that it is at least theoretically possible that other parties and movements, in other countries and at other times, can also be described as Nazi . 

If we go to Hitler himself, to Mein Kampf, he describes his basic perspective, which he calls “folkish» in general terms: 

The 'folkish' view recognizes the importance of mankind in its racially innate elements. In principle, it […] also favors the fundamental aristocratic thought of nature and believes in the validity of this law down to the last individual. It sees not only the different values ​​of the races, but also the different values ​​of individual man (Mein Kampf p. 580) 

Central to Nazism’s mindset is the link between extreme nationalism and racism to a social Darwinist unity, where the world is understood as a struggle for survival between different peoples. The state is the tool of one people against others. In this battle it is win or lose, where the weak deserve to be exterminated, simply because they are weak. And this way of thinking applies to all ethnic groups. Hitler was keen to advance the cause of the Germans, and other related «Aryan» groups, because he himself belonged, or rather, perceived that he belonged, to this «race». For Hitler, it was also quite natural to expect that other ethnic groups would fight for their group with the same ruthless and unrestrained means. 

Jews who pay tribute to Hitler or genocide 

Hitler [..] was the most correct person there ever was, and was correct in every word he said… he was just on the wrong side. 

The quote originates from Rabbi Giora Redler, and is referenced in an article in the Times of Israel from 2019. When we read more about what the rabbi has said, it is hard not to see that the ideology he stands for is completely consistent with what Hitler promoted, the only difference being that he sees the Jews as the master race while Hitler saw the «Aryans»: 

Yes, we're racists. We believe in racism... There are races in the world and people have genetic traits, and that requires us to try to help them [..] The Jews are a more successful race. [..] The gentiles will want to be our slaves. Being a slave to a Jew is the best. They're glad to be slaves, they want to be slaves," he told a class in one of the video clips. "Instead of just walking the streets and being stupid and violent and harming each other, once they're slaves, their lives can begin to take shape. 

While some Israeli Jews imagine a state where Jews exploit Palestinians and other ethnic groups as slaves, there are several who openly agitate to eradicate the Palestinians from Palestine, by killing and/or expelling them. This ideology had a partisan political expression in the Kach party, which won one seat in the Knesset in the 1984 elections. However, the party was banned in Israel as a racist and pro-terrorist party, after a party member, Baruch Goldstein, put this idea into action. In 1994, Goldstein shot and killed 29 Palestinians while they were reading prayer in a mosque in Hebron, before he himself was beaten to death by others from the mosque who survived. 

Apartheid – not Nazism – until now 

Redler, and Goldstein and the Kach party, tell us that Nazi ideology can certainly exist among Jews, just as it can among other people groups. But at the same time, the fact that Kach was banned after Goldstein’s massacre also tells us that such thinking has not been dominant, or at least not government policy, in Israel. 

Nazism is an extreme version of ethno-nationalist thought, while the form of Zionism that has dominated Israel until now is a more moderate variety, which is, however, also fundamentally racist. The closest parallel to the policy Israel has pursued has been the apartheid regime in South Africa. 

As long as the apartheid regime ruled South Africa, Israel and South Africa were close allies. The cooperation was practical and military, but also underpinned by a common ideology. According to the Jewish-South African anti-apartheid activist, and former minister in Nelson Mandela’s government, Ronnie Kasrils, the first person to describe Israel as an apartheid state was none other than the architect of apartheid in South Africa, former Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd. 

The apartheid system in South Africa ensured white control of the state by defining the black majority as foreigners. Instead of getting civil rights in the country they were born and raised in, the apartheid regime created independent “Bantustans” in resource-poor areas, where few if any white settlers lived. 

Depending on which ethnic group they belonged to, the blacks were defined as citizens of their respective Bantustan. The blacks were still needed as labor on white farms, in industry and mining and service industries in the cities, so most were allowed to stay, but were then defined as foreign workers, who could at any time risk being deported to their homeland. 

At the same time, other non-white groups, primarily the so-called «coloureds», descendants of mixed marriages between white settlers and African groups, and descendants of Asian, especially Indian, immigrants to South Africa during the British colonial rule, received citizenship rights in South Africa, with their own representation in the national assembly. This did not threaten the political and economic dominance of the whites. 

Israel was similarly established as a Jewish state after the 1948 war, when three quarters of the Palestinian population were displaced. Central to the expulsion was the massacre in the village of Deir Yassin, carried out by the Zionist terrorist group Irgun, which was founded by Menachim Begin. After the massacre, Begin stated: 

Tell the soldiers: you have made history in Israel with your attack and your conquest. Continue thus until victory. As in Deir Yassin, so everywhere, we will attack and smite the enemy. God, God, Thou hast chosen us for conquest. 

Begin later became prime minister, for the Likud party, the same party that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leads today. As a result of the flight after Deir Yassin and other massacres, the territory which in 1949 was recognized by the United Nations as the State of Israel gained a Jewish majority. The majority of Palestinians who fled, primarily to Gaza and the West Bank which until 1967 were controlled by Egypt and Jordan, were never allowed to return, other than as migrant workers, similar to the blacks in South Africa. The minority of Palestinians who, for various reasons, had not fled, however, were given civil rights in Israel, similar to coloreds and Asians in South Africa during apartheid, but did not receive full rights corresponding to the Jewish citizens. Among the rights Palestinian-Israeli citizens do not have is the right to family reunification. If an Israeli Palestinian marries a Palestinian from the families that were displaced to Gaza or the West Bank, the two cannot move together in Israel. 

This has continued even after Israel took control of the rest of historic Palestine; The West Bank with Jerusalem, and Gaza, after the 1967 war. The Palestinians there have not been given civil rights in Israel, but have lived under Israeli occupation or, in the case of Gaza since 2006, blockade. 

Israeli radicalisation after the assassination of Rabin 

The fact that the majority, but not all, of the Palestinians were expelled from what is recognised under international law as Israel, but not from the whole of historical Palestine as such, while the Palestinians have mainly been allowed to retain cultural and religious rights, including access to Islam’s third holiest site, the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, means that the apartheid parallel has been precise and comprehensive, while drawing a parallel between Israel and Nazi Germany, or claiming that Israel is imbued with Nazi ideology, has been a gross exaggeration. 

In the early 1990s, there was also optimism about the prospect of the Palestinians gaining a state of their own based on the parts of historic Palestine that remain after subtracting what was recognised by the United Nations as the State of Israel in 1949. This included Gaza and the entire West Bank, including Jerusalem, and would, even if it covered only a quarter of historical Palestine, be a state formation with an economic and resource-based basis for independence, quite unlike the South African Bantustans. In 1995, however, the Prime Minister of Israel who had signed the Oslo Accords, Yitzhak Rabin, was shot and killed by the Jewish right-wing extremist Yigal Amir

The basis for the murder was resistance in the Israeli right against the implications of the Oslo Accords, which were that the Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, which violate international law, must be dismantled, and that the illegal annexation of Jerusalem must be repealed to make way for a Palestinian state. Although Amir is still in prison, the murder gained political influence when Likud and Benjamin Netanyahu won the 1996 election, in opposition to the Oslo Accords. 

The fact that the Likud government from 1996 chose to halt the implementation of the Oslo Agreement, and instead renew and strengthen the illegal settlement activities in the West Bank, was not met with any form of sanctions from the Western states that had facilitated the Oslo Agreement, sent the message to Israeli voters that it is completely up to them to decide if they want to give something to the Palestinians or not. In either case, the support from the West is unconditional. The result has been a steady turn to the right in election after election. The centre-left parties have become completely marginalised, while various Israeli right-wing parties have competed to outdo each other in promises to settlers and others who want to take over more and more Palestinian land. 

In 2012, the party Otzma Yehudit – Jewish Power – was established. The party has progressed with the ideology of the previously banned Kach Party. The party was first represented with one representative in the Knesset after the 2021 election, but with the 2022 election, the party, which can be described as a distinctly Zionist variant of Nazism, gained more support, and received six seats in the Knesset. After that, the party also became a member of the government, with party leader Itamar Ben-Gvir, in the role of national security minister. 

Ben-Gvir has done nothing to hide his genocidal intentions. An expression of this is that he has a portrait of the mass murderer Baruch Goldstein in his living room. 

«Al-Aqsa storm» 

The Hamas attack from Gaza into Israel on 7 October was called Al-Aqsa storm by the organisation itself. The title refers to repeated violations of the Al-Aqsa shrine committed by Ben-Gvir and his followers. Given that Ben-Gvir has been security minister from 2022, the Israeli state, which previously also protected the sanctuary from right-wing Jewish invaders, has on the contrary supported the invasion. Ben-Gvir has again not been unclear in his intentions. «This place is important to us and we have to return to it and prove our sovereignty,” stated Ben-Gvir, who thus made it clear that Israel now has no intention to safeguard the agreements that the country has had with Jordan so far regarding safeguarding the sanctuary. 

For Hamas, it was clear that maintaining the status quo was not an option because Israel had no intention of doing so. Without the desperate but advanced and militarily successful attack on October 7, Israel would have steered towards the takeover and destruction of al-Aqsa, further expansion of the settlements, annexation of the Jordan Valley and, in sum, the total destruction of the Palestinian nation. 

Yes, Israel has become a Nazi state! 

The presence of a party in the Israeli government whose political program is explicitly to break all existing agreements, expel Palestinians, and take over their religious sanctuaries in Jerusalem, means that the apartheid parallel is no longer applicable. Since 2022, the Israeli government is far more right-wing than any apartheid government in South Africa. 

Although the party that can be characterised as openly Nazi on the ideological level has only been a minority party in the Israeli government since 2022, we must remember that the same was the case with Hitler’s first government from January 1933. It was a coalition government where the Nazi government members were in the minority. 

It was the open and direct provocations by the Nazis in the Israeli government that triggered the Hamas attack on 7 October, but at the same time this attack has acted as a catalyst to further radicalise Israeli public opinion. The political goal of expelling all Palestinians from historical Palestine, which was once a marginal position among Jews who simultaneously expressed admiration for Hitler, and a party banned as racist and terrorist, has now become mainstream. 

Although spokespeople for the Israeli government to Western media maintain the rhetoric that Israel tries to avoid civilian casualties in the war against Hamas in Gaza, there are no indications that Israel is actually doing this. On the contrary, Israel’s Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant, sent a message at the start of the war that the population of Gaza would from now on be cut off from not only electricity and fuel, but also food and water. 

The population of the northern part of Gaza has been ordered to evacuate, but the justification that they should evacuate for their own safety is not credible. Leaked documents show that Israel’s government is now working for a «solution» which involves the displacement of the entire population of Gaza into the Sinai desert in Egypt. 

Social media in Israel is overflowing with hate speech, including videos that caricature Palestinian facial features, reminiscent of Nazi caricatures of Jews, while making fun of the Palestinians who cry because they have lost their houses and have no food or water. 

What the Israeli government is carrying out is a genocidal program, perpetrated with genocidal methods, based on an ideology which, if not directly inspired by Hitler, is entirely parallel. Israel has not initiated gas chambers for the Palestinians, but neither did it happen in Hitler’s Germany until well into the Second World War. Hitler’s goal in the first place was to expel the Jews from Europe, and where they eventually went after that was less important to him. It was when this goal proved unfeasible that the gas chambers became an alternative. 

The hatred and dehumanisation that the Palestinians are subjected to in Israel today is completely parallel to the rhetoric of hatred that the Jews were subjected to in the run-up to the Holocaust. The expansive and unrestrained policies of the Israeli government, which run counter to international law both in terms of territorial expansion on Palestinian soil and, uniquely compared to Hitler’s Germany, into religious sanctuaries, similarly have the potential to trigger a world war. 

One should not compare types of war prematurely, and although it has been wrong in the past to categorise Israel as a Nazi state, it is no longer so. We must cry wolf, when the wolf is here. And we must speak out about the fact that Israel has now become a Nazi state, because that is what Israel has become. 

Call it Genocide!

Shoaib Sultan and Peter Eisenstein 

What Israel is doing in Gaza meets all the criteria of a genocide. If we want to stop it, we have to say that what we are seeing is genocide. 

The UN Genocide Convention defines genocide as «acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group». If Israel’s actions in Gaza must be defined as genocide, it is because they are intended to destroy Palestinians as a national group, in the first instance by removing them from Gaza. 

Bombing of civilians

The first of the genocidal acts described in the Convention is «killing members of the group». Israel has systematically bombed residential areas, UN schools, hospitals, mosques and churches. Israel has tried to defend this by claiming that Hamas uses civilians as human shields, but there have been no independent reports that Hamas fighters have stayed at the countless civilian targets that have been hit. Civilians only serve as shields against an enemy that fails to fire when civilians are in the way, and Israel has never done so. Hamas has therefore placed all its military command centres deep underground. 

The bombing of civilian targets, therefore, has no strategic effect, if we assume that Israel only aims to kill Hamas fighters. But there is no reason to assume that. Israeli President Isaac Herzog stated on October 13 that «There is a whole nation there that is responsible. The rhetoric that the civilians were not involved is absolutely not true». 

Deliberate use of hunger and epidemics

«There will be no electricity, no food, no water, no fuel. Everything will be shut down,” Defense Minister Yoav Gallant stated at an open microphone on October 9. More clearly than this, it is not possible to express an intent to «deliberately subject the group to conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part», which is another of the genocidal acts described in the Genocide Convention

The UN Food Program now describes a situation where no one is safe from famine, and around a quarter of the population, 500,000 people, are already in a catastrophic situation. Lack of food and clean water, lack of shelter, sanitation and medical care have also created what James Elder of the UN Children’s Fund describes as a «perfect storm» for the spread of disease. A sharp increase in infectious diseases that can be fatal, especially for young children, has already been recorded.

All indications are that the former head of Israel’s National Security Council, Giora Eiland, was in fact speaking on behalf of the government when he stated that «serious epidemics in the southern Gaza Strip will bring victory closer». The aim is probably to make the situation so extreme that Egypt will be forced to let the Palestinians in Gaza into the Sinai desert, in line with the Israeli intelligence ministry’s plan.

Children’s song about genocide

Mobilizing one’s own population to support genocide is one of the prerequisites for genocide to be carried out. Among the most grotesque expressions of this is a music video, produced by Rosenbaum Communications, in which Israeli children sing about carrying out genocide with the refrain «In a year, there’s nothing there, in a year, we’ll have wiped everyone out», to images of Israeli bombs destroying apartment blocks in Gaza. 

On December 29, 2023, South Africa filed a case against Israel at the International Court of Justice for alleged violations of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Should the case result in a partial victory, it will be possible to prosecute propagandists such as Rosenbaum Communications. 

The precedent for such charges comes from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda where three of those convicted «were not generals, militia leaders or politicians, but media executives”. They were found guilty of public incitement to genocide and sentenced to between 30 and 35 years in prison.

Cowardice has a price

Norwegian politicians describe a catastrophic humanitarian situation in Gaza and call for a ceasefire. When Israel flatly rejects this, condemnation of Israel is still absent. Malaysia and Turkey support South Africa’s genocide complaint against Israel in the UN court, while Norway has not said a word about the upcoming trial. Nor have any elected representatives in the Norwegian Parliament dared to say that what Israel is carrying out is genocide. We do not believe this is because Norwegian politicians do not understand what is happening, but because they do not dare to use the word because it is obligatory. 

The Genocide Convention requires all signatory states to ensure that genocide is prevented, and states that complicity in genocide is also punishable. Contributing to Israel’s continued access to weapons and ammunition used in Gaza is undoubtedly complicity.

Telling the truth, that Israel is engaged in genocide, will have political and perhaps economic costs for Norway. But can we live with the moral cost of watching a genocide happen without even acknowledging it? We say no.

Shoaib Sultan, Muslim peace activist and member of the Green Party

Peter Eisenstein, Jewish peace activist and member of the Peace and Justice Party