God’s chosen people

By | September 7, 2006

Acclaimed author Jostein Gaarder, best known for the novel Sophie’s World, has written a critical opinion piece on Israel in Aftenposten, a Norwegian newspaper. Not surprisingly, it sparked a fiery debate on political, religious and cultural fronts.

There is an unofficial translation of Gaardner’s article, but I doubt it will ever make its way to a mainstream US newspaper.

The piece, titled “God’s chosen people”, raises several salient points.

On limits to tolerance:
“We laugh uneasily at those who still believe that the God of flora, fauna, and galaxies has selected one people in particular as his favorite and given it funny stone tablets, burning bushes, and a license to kill.”

On unscrupulous art of war:
“The state of Israel, with its unscrupulous art of war and its disgusting weapons, has massacred its own legitimacy. It has systematically flouted International Law, international conventions, and countless UN resolutions, and it can no longer expect protection from same.”

On the recent Israel-Lebanon conflict:
“We do not accept the abduction of soldiers. But nor do we accept the deportation of whole populations or the abduction of legally elected parliamentarians and government ministers.”

Related story:
Salon: “hiding among civilians” is a myth

3 thoughts on “God’s chosen people

  1. Anonymous

    although i’m not jewish, there is something abt jews that i could not quite put my finger on.

    I’ll leave you the following by Mark Twain:

    If the statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one quarter of one percent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of stardust lost in the blaze of the Milky Way. Properly, the Jew ought hardly to be heard of; but he is heard of, has always been heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk.

    His contributions to the world’s list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine and abstruse learning are very out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers. He has made a marvelous fight in this world in all ages; and has done it with his hands tied behind him. He could be vain of himself and be excused for it. The Egyptians, the Babylonians and the Persians rose, filled the planet with sound and splendour; then faded to dream-stuff and passed away: the Greeks and the Romans followed and made a vast noise, and they are gone; other peoples have sprung up and held their torch high for a time but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, or have vanished.

    The Jew saw them all, survived them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind. All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?


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