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?

How:

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

Spanish minister: Indict Netanyahu for war crimes! 

Spain’s social affairs minister asks his government to take the initiative to bring Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before the ICC for war crimes. 

Spanish Social Minister, Ione Belerra

“We ask our partner that we, the Spanish government, bring Netanyahu before the ICC for war crimes,” writes Ione Belerra on X. Belerra, who is Minister of Social Affairs and represents the left-wing party Podemos, elaborates in a video message that she believes the court must investigate whether Netanyahu is in the process with carrying out a planned genocide in Gaza. 

Supports the demand 

Chairwoman of FOR, Marielle Leraand, fully supports the Spanish minister’s demand. 

“The latest – in a series of bombings of civilian targets in Gaza – was tonight’s bombing of people who had taken the call from Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant to flee south,” she writes on Facebook

Leraand points out that so far 71 people have been reported killed after Israeli airstrikes on Tuesday night, many of them women and children. The heaviest bombardments took place in three areas in the South of Gaza: Khan Younis, Rafah and Deir el-Balah. 

“First, Netanyahu asks those who live in the north of Gaza to flee to the south. But when they finally arrive, they are still bombed.”

Consequences for the Norwegian authorities 

Leraand emphasises that the responsibility for these war crimes taking place lies not only with Netanyahu and the Israeli government, but also with the United States, Norway and other Western countries that support Israel despite Israel’s repeated and continuing war crimes. She demands that Norway immediately cut trade with Israel and ensure that the partially state-owned Nammo factory in the USA does not continue to sell ammunition to Israel. 

Marielle Leraand, Chairperson Peace and Justice Association, Norway

“Those who now think that they will get away with these type of war crimes and crimes against humanity are wrong. 

“There will be consequences for 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”, promises Marielle Leraand. 

“Someone who actually supports us!” 

FOR activists quickly ran out of leaflets with the slogan «No to arms to Ukraine!» during a demonstration against Israel’s war on Gaza. 

On Wednesday 18 and Friday 20 October, the Palestine Committee organised a demonstration in front of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in protest against Norway’s passivity in the face of Israel’s genocidal attack on the Palestinians in Gaza. Later in the evening on Friday, a group of activists with origins in several Muslim religious communities in Oslo organised a new and even better attended commemoration. Activists from Peace and Justice (FOR) participated in all three marches with leaflets. 

FOR's icon

The vast majority of those who took part in the demonstrations accepted the FOR leaflets with interest, but when the last and largest demonstration started, there were few leaflets left. To ensure that only those most interested would receive the remaining leaflets, the activists stopped handing out to everyone, but instead went around shouting the message «Are you interested in information about a new party that says NO to arms to Ukraine?” This immediately led to more people coming up and wanting leaflets. Some young men wanted to help hand out the few leaflets that were left, and that was the end of it. 

Opposite message from Rødt and SV 

Former Rødt leader Bjørnar Moxnes, who held an appeal at the Palestine Committee’s first demonstration on Wednesday, came with a completely different message. Moxnes made a point that Rødt, who supports Norwegian arms deliveries to Ukraine, demands that Norway must not only react when it is an enemy of the West that violates international law. “We must also demand that Norway protests when it is one of our allies that attacks and occupies, as Israel does in Palestine”, said Moxnes, to muted applause. 

SV leader Kirsti Bergstø also held an appeal at the demonstration, and expressed support for the demands from the Palestine Committee that Norway recognize the state of Palestine, ratify the UN convention against apartheid and introduce a boycott against goods produced in countries that violate international law settlements on occupied Palestinian land. Bergstø did not mention the Ukraine war in her appeal. 

No parliamentary parties on the Palestinians’ side 

Although both Red and SV give full support to the Palestine Committee’s demands, it was clear from the reception the FOR activists received with their leaflets that many Palestinians and other demonstrators with a background from the Middle East and other Muslim countries still do not perceive that some of the current parliamentary parties are on their side. Even though Rødt and SV express support for the Palestinian cause, it is Ukraine they want to give weapons to, not the Palestinian resistance. 

«Listen guys, here are some Norwegians who actually support us!» 

Many therefore enthusiastically expressed their agreement with the message the FOR activists brought:

The other parties are hypocrites. Although Israel has occupied and illegally annexed Palestinian land for decades, it says the conflict must be resolved through negotiations, while Russia must be driven out of Ukraine by force. Russia has broken international law, but Israel’s violation of international law, which is not only about annexing land, but also about expelling the original population from there, is much more serious. 

And

We also do not believe arms deliveries to the Palestinian resistance struggle as a solution, but if we are to be able to get a fair peace solution, Israel must be pressured through an international boycott. So when Norway is going to boycott a country for violating international law, we must start with Israel, not Russia. 

BDS Freedom, Justice, Equality

«Listen guys, here are some Norwegians who actually support us!» said one of the many young demonstrators at the last and largest of the demonstrations on Friday night. 

Arms to Ukraine supportS US hegemony – And gives Israel cover 

The experience of the deep injustice that lies in the West’s differential treatment of Israel’s and Russia’s violations of international law is one reason why so many of the Palestinian demonstrators expressed strong support for the slogan «No to arms to Ukraine» . However, the arms deliveries to Ukraine also affect the Palestinians a more direct way. 

Israel would never be able to carry out a genocidal war against the Palestinians in Gaza without full backing from the United States. This is made clear by the fact that the US has sent two aircraft carriers to the Eastern Mediterranean to deter Muslim states in the region from entering the conflict on the Palestinian side. The fact that the US has the ability to do this is related to the fact that the country is still the dominant superpower in the world militarily, and that the goal of maintaining this hegemony is what the war in Ukraine is generally about. 

The background for Russia’s invasion is NATO’s plans to incorporate Ukraine into NATO. NATO has carried out several wars of aggression and occupations contrary to international law after 1999, and expansion into Ukraine is perceived by Russia as an existential threat. The fact that NATO, despite many warnings about the danger of a major war, has pushed for further expansion is that expansion of NATO eastward is a prerequisite for maintaining the US’s role as the dominant superpower in the world. 

After political and military defeats in Iraq and Afghanistan, many countries have begun to orient themselves away from the United States. The fact that China has also become a more important trade and investment partner for many countries has significantly contributed to this realignment. 

Ukrainian NATO membership is a prerequisite for securing NATO control over the Black Sea, which in turn is a prerequisite for securing connections to possible future NATO members in Georgia and Azerbaijan, which in turn is the bridge to the Caspian Sea. Achieving influence over the resource-rich states in the Caspian region has been a strategic objective for the US since the Silk Road Strategy Act was passed in Congress in 1999. 

This connection, which many self-proclaimed Norwegian anti-imperialists refuse to understand, is self-evident to most Palestinians. And that explains why the slogan «No arms to Ukraine!» created so much excitement at a demonstration in support of Palestine. 

Will Israel use chemical weapons? 

Israel’s president claims to have evidence that Hamas possesses chemical weapons, but who has the greatest motive to use them? 

In an interview with Sky News on 22.10, Israeli President Yitzhak Herzog claims that Israel has found, on a killed or captured Hamas fighter, IS and al-Qaeda manuals about how to produce chemical weapons. The question then is, what could have been the motive for stating this publicly? 

Israels president Yitzhak Herzog

Hamas lacks motive 

Could it be true that Hamas has or is trying to acquire such weapons? Probably not. This is not because Hamas generally complies with the Geneva Conventions (the group obviously does not), but simply because Hamas does not want to benefit from it. Poison gas is most effective precisely for driving an enemy out of closed buildings and underground systems — which is not where the Israeli enemy will initially be. In addition, Hamas does not have the necessary sympathy of the world press to mitigate such use.

«New holocaust» 

An alternative theory is that Israel itself plans to use chemical weapons, but blame it on Hamas. Linking Hamas to poison gas could have a rhetorical effect for Israel by reinforcing the parallels between Hamas and the Nazis. Gassed Jewish hostages will undoubtedly have a tremendous symbolic effect. 

However, using poison gas as a false flag PSYOP to demonise Hamas is hardly a sufficient motive for Israel to actually do this. Hamas is already so demonised in the West, through the actions the organisation has actually carried out, that reinforcing the image of the group as the new Nazis will have limited significance. 

Neutralises death trap 

If Israel chooses to use gas, the main motive will almost certainly be that it is an effective military weapon in the battle arena Israel finds itself. Hamas has an extensive tunnel system in Gaza which all military experts believe to be a death trap for Israeli soldiers with a ground invasion. But that is if Israel limits itself to the use of conventional weapons. By dropping sarin gas or another deadly chemical agent into the tunnels, Israel will quickly neutralise a large number of Hamas fighters, and could even enter safely wearing gas masks. The problem for Israel with this is, firstly, that the use of poison gas will also kill hostages and other civilians in the tunnels, and secondly, that the use of poison gas, regardless of the circumstances, is considered one of the most serious of war crimes. 

«Conspiracy theory» 

Should it be revealed that Israel itself used poison gas, the PR disaster would be total, and far exceed the military gain. Therefore, it would be necessary to construct a story where it appears plausible that Hamas was behind it. Preparing public opinion for the possibility of a scenario where Hamas uses chemical weapons will probably make this job easier. One could also imagine the opposite, that leaking such information would make more people suspect what Israel itself might be planning. However, given the media climate that prevails in the West, the risk of this is low. This and any other articles that cast a critical spotlight on whether Israel itself might want to use chemical weapons will effectively be neutralised in the mainstream media as «conspiracy theory», which decent journalists cannot be seen to engage with.