Utøya ‘God’s payment for opposing Israel’

The young people killed in 2011’s brutal terror attack on the island of Utøya deserved to die because their organisation was too critical of Israel, a new book by a US evangelical Christian has claimed.

Utøya 'God's payment for opposing Israel'
The book's writer Jeremy Hoff and Kjartan Mogen from Norway's Party of Christians. Photo: YouTube/Facebook
According to “22 July: The Prophecy”, the Norway’s Labour Party Youth (AUF), whose summer camp was attacked by the far-right terrorist Anders Breivik in 2011, was too supportive of Palestinians, making its members “enemies of God”. 
“When tragedy came, it was as a result of Norway’s fateful betrayal of Israel via the Oslo Accords. We reap what we sow,” the book’s author Jeremy Hoff, wrote in a response to a critical editorial in Norway’s Vårt Land newspaper. “It is true that I openly argue that the Utøya massacre was God’s direct judgment over Norway. Throughout the Bible, it is clear that God allows evil people and evil nations to exercise his direct judgments.”
Kjartan Mogen, the lead candidate for the Party of the Christians in Skien in this month’s country election, said he had met Hoff through the International Christian Zionist Centre, and supported his message. 
“The terrorism was the Devil’s work; the attacks occurred because of Labour and the AUF’s resistance against Israel, and God let it happen,” he told Dagbladet newspaper. “The Labour Party supports the Palestinian organisations PLO and Hamas.” 
Mani Hussaini, the AUF’s new leader of Norway’s Labour Party youth called Mogen’s support for the book “horrible, offensive, and disappointing”. 
Hoff, who works as an administrative pastor at the Shepherd of the Hills Church, published the work in Norwegian under his own imprint and has already sold several thousand copies. 
He draws on a prophecy he claims was made a year before the attacks and also on the strange numerical correlations which characterised the events, such as the fact that Breivik’s attack lasted precisely 77 minutes and also claimed 77 lives. 
On the book’s website, Gro Wenske, leader of Norway’s Committee for the Bible and Israel, calls it “fantastically good”. 
Jan Willem van der Hoeven, founder of the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem wrote, that “This is a book which all Christians in Norway should read.” 
Terje Liverød, chief executive of the Catch The Fire School Of Ministry Norway, said it contained “enormously valuable information”. 
The book has received considerable publicity on Norway’s evangelical channel TV Visjon.  


Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday 

Find out what's going on in Norway on Tuesday with The Local's short roundup of important news.

Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday 
Oslo Operahus .Photo by Arvid Malde on Unsplash

Only one in ten Norwegians plan to travel abroad this summer 

Around ten percent of people in Norway are planning to take a holiday abroad this summer, according to a survey carried out by tourism organisation NHO Reiseliv.

Seven out of ten respondents said they still plan to holiday in Norway this year, even if they receive a vaccination before the holidays start.

READ MORE: ‘My arguments didn’t matter’: How I ended up in a hotel quarantine in Norway 

Viken and Vestland are this year’s most popular travel destinations for Norwegians planning a “staycation”. Young people were the most likely to want to remain in Norway this summer. Just under half of those aged between 18 and 29 said they wished to stay in Norway this summer. 

Third of Utøya survivors have received abuse or threats

A third of Utøya survivors have been victims of hate speech or received threats, according to a new survey. 

Three-quarters of respondents said that the reason they received the abuse was linked directly to the Utøya terror attack, the Norwegian Centre for Violence and Traumatic Studies (NKVTS) found. 

The massacre on Utøya was the second of two terror attacks carried out by Anders Breivik on July 22nd, 2011. Of the 69 people who died in the attack, 32 were under the age of 18. 

Fewer in Oslo willing to ditch cars 

A climate survey carried out by the city of Oslo has shown that fewer people than before are willing to cut back on using their cars. The proportion of those who think that Oslo city centre should be car-free has fallen to 45 percent from 52 percent last year. 

READ ALSO: Could Norway introduce mandatory inbuilt car breathalysers 

When asked whether Oslo City Council had gone too far in removing cars from the city centre, almost half said that they believed that this was the case. 

“A change in the attitude around these measures may be due to more people feeling dependent on cars during the pandemic. There has been a lot of debate about measures that have been introduced or are planned to be introduced,” Heidi Sørensen, Director of the Climate Agency, told the Dagsavisen newspaper

Tighter Coronavirus measures in Trondheim 

Gyms, museums and swimming pools have been closed, and alcohol service in hospitality has been stopped in Trondheim. The new measures come barely a week after restrictions were last tightened. 

“We need to shut down most of Trondheim to get control. It is only days since we last tightened measures, but we are in a situation where we must take even stronger action,” Morten Wolden, the municipal director for Trondheim, told state broadcaster NRK.

Norway reports 292 new Covid-19 cases

On Monday, 292 new coronavirus infections were registered in Norway. This is a drop of 52 compared to the seven-day average of 344. 

In Oslo, 48 cases were recorded, an increase of two on the capital’s seven day average of 46. 

The R-number or reproduction rate in Norway is currently 1.0. This means that every ten people that are infected, will, on average, only infect another ten people, indicating that the infection level is stable. 

Total number of Covid-19 cases so far. Source: NIPH