This borrows from Charles Moore’s thought experiment on the Palestinian kidnapping of a BBC drone.
Norway has recognized Hamas and given it $10 million, which buys enough rockets to kill 75 Israelis. The Norwegians are counting on the Israelis not to hit them back, but it would be nice if they were wrong.
Watching the horrible video of Alan Johnston of the BBC broadcasting Palestinian propaganda under orders from his kidnappers, I found myself asking what it would have been like had he been kidnapped by Israelis, and made to do the same thing the other way round.
The first point is that it would never happen. There are no Israeli organisations – governmental or freelance – that would contemplate such a thing. That fact is itself significant.
But just suppose that some fanatical Jews had grabbed Mr Johnston and forced him to spout their message, abusing his own country as he did so. What would the world have said?
There would have been none of the caution which has characterised the response of the BBC and of the Government since Mr Johnston was abducted on March 12. The Israeli government would immediately have been condemned for its readiness to harbour terrorists or its failure to track them down.
Loud would have been the denunciations of the extremist doctrines of Zionism which had given rise to this vile act. The world isolation of Israel, if it failed to get Mr Johnston freed, would have been complete…
March 20, 2007: Israel has cancelled a meeting with a visiting Norwegian minister after he held talks with the prime minister of the new Palestinian unity government.
Norway was the first Western country to recognise the new government which contains members of the militant group Hamas and its main rival, Fatah.
May 31, 2007: Norway resumed direct aid to the Palestinian Authority with a US$10 million…transfer, after it became the first Western country to recognize the new Hamas-led coalition, the foreign minister said Thursday.
Do the math.
Each Kassam rocket costs about $250, and since Israel gave it Gaza back, Hamas has used that dump to fire 1,600 Kassams, killing 3 Israelis. The Norwegians are funding 40,000 missiles which will kill about 75 Israelis (and likely maim another 300).
Norwegians aren’t brave – they stayed neutral in both World Wars (but got whacked anyway), and have been (very tentative) members of NATO since 1949. They spend just 1.9% of their GDP on defense, and live well off their North Sea oil, which they rely on the US and Brits to protect.
Israeli retaliation would be easy – they could rocket Oslo after, say, their 50th Kassam fatality, and/or destroy Norway’s oil production platforms.
They won’t of course – the costs in world isolation would be too high a price to pay. And of course the Israelis are a civilized people, unlike the Norwegians and their Hamas clients.
So we must hope this terror-sponsoring nation collectively chokes on its Lutefisk.