The unspeakable tragedy in Norway — in which a self-proclaimed anti-Muslim activist killed at least 76 people in a bombing and shooting rampage — has unleashed a flood of irresponsible commentary. Glenn Beck inexplicably likened the Labor Party camp where scores of young people were gunned down to Hitler Youth, ignoring the long and inspiring history of political youth movements that includes Zionist groups like Betar, Habonim Dror, and Hashomer Hatzair.
A Jerusalem Post editorial took the occasion of the massacre to opine on the “abject failure of multiculturalism” (and, weirdly, to remind readers that Oslo is the namesake of the “misguided” Mideast peace accords). With many of the bodies still unidentified, the Post considered it an opportune time to “seriously reevaluate policies for immigrant integration in Norway and elsewhere.” The editorial hit so sour a note that that paper’s editor-in-chief added a postscript saying that the “editorial is not aimed at deflecting attention from the horrific massacre.”
Meanwhile, and l’havdil, leaders of Hizbullah in Lebanon seized on the killer’s purported support for Israel, calling the murders “additional proof that the culture stemming from the Zionist enemy, or ideas that support it, is deeply tied to the racism of its leadership.” This from an outfit committed to perpetual jihad, the elimination of Israel, and imposing Islamist regimes throughout the world.
There is, no doubt, a debate still to be had on multiculturalism in Europe, on the influence of Europe’s far Right, and on the various hatemongers on all sides who feed a climate of deadly intolerance. Yet the world barely has time to absorb the facts surrounding such an event before it becomes grist for the mill of unfounded opinion.
On Monday, nearly 100,000 people gathered in Oslo, clutching roses, for a moment of silence in memory of their fallen. Pundits everywhere should take their cue.