Magazine July 19, 2010, Issue

Among the Progs

Siv Jensen (Haakon Mosvold Larsen/AFP/Scanpix)
A peek at the conservatives and libertarians of Norway

Oslo, Norway  

‘We will be eating Israeli potatoes,” announces our host, with mischievous, defiant glee. He is Kristian Norheim, “international secretary” of the Progress party, the Reaganite, Thatcherite party here in Norway. Seven of us are gathered for a festive meal. What’s the big deal about Israeli potatoes? Ah, you need to get to know Norway. Israel is not the favorite country of this country. This is a country where Israeli products are typically boycotted and damned, not eaten. Norway’s government was the first outside the Islamic world to recognize Hamas.

Put it this way: Norway’s attitude toward Israel is approximately that

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