Israeli “pillaging” and the Vikings’ cognitive war booty

When I first saw the word “pillage” in Harriet Sherwood’s report, Israel accused of pillaging Dead Sea resources in occupied territory, Sept. 3, the first thing which came to mind was marauding barbarians arriving “in their helmeted hordes” across Europe – greedy, blood-thirsty warriors conquering lands.

What sprang to my mind when contemplating the aftermath of such savagery was something along the lines of this…

…and, certainly not this:

AHAVA store, Ein Bokek, Israel

In the year 793, Lindis-farne, an island off the north-east coast of England, was invaded by a powerful fleet of Danish Vikings. They “sacked the city, devoured the cattle, killed many of the monks, and sailed away with rich booty in gold, jewels, and sacred emblems”.

While such attacks by the Germanic savages – who controlled half of England from the late 9th century into the 11th century – sowed fear across the continent for generations, assaults against their neighbors carried out with brutal efficiency, their image has improved of late, no doubt due to a slick campaign of Scandinavian ‘hasbara’.

Stories in the Daily Mail and Independent in 2009 argued that the Vikings’ reputation for raping, pillaging and engaging in violent conquests is unfair, and that they were, arguably, ‘model immigrants’ who lived side-by-side in harmony with the Anglo-Saxon and Celtic locals.

So, while Israeli propagandists, known as Zionist Keyboard Brigades for their tactic of violently raiding the marketplace of ideas to ‘sway’ opinion, are, according to myth, feared, loathed and isolated for their Semitic trickery, the Nors Media Warriors – who, legend has it, were no less fearsome than their ‘military division’ – can now reasonably lay claim to a posthumous cognitive victory.

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