'Israel Has Lost Its Right To Exist'

An article in a leading Norwegian newspaper last weekend lambasted Israel and Judaism and said Israel has lost its right to exist in its present form.

Entitled "God's chosen people," the article by author Jostein Gaarder in Aftenposten is raising a storm in Norway. Gaarder, author of the book "Sophie's World," links the Israel Defense Forces' acts in Lebanon to Jewish history and foresees the coming dismantling of the state as it exists today, with the Jews becoming refugees.

In an interview with Haaretz Gaarder said Thursday that he was misunderstood. "As John Kennedy declared in Germany 'I am a Berliner' ¬ I say now 'I am a Jew,'" he said. Advertisement

The article compares Israel's government, the Afghan Taliban regime and South African apartheid, and states, "We no longer recognize the State of Israel" and "the State of Israel in its current form is history."

"We call child murderers 'child murderers,' and will never accept that they have a divine or historic mandate excusing their outrages," Gaarder writes. "Shame on ethnic cleansing, shame on every terrorist strike against civilians, be it carried out by Hamas, Hezbollah or the State of Israel!"

Gaarder repeatedly refers to the role Judaism plays in Israel's territorial aspirations, writing, "We don't believe in the notion of God's chosen people. We laugh at this nation's fancies and weep over its misdeeds."

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