Anti-Israel bigotry and bias anti-Semitism JCPA Kristin Halvorsen Norway

Norway: Local Jews Anxious Over Rise in Anti-Semitism…….

Dr.Manfred Gerstenfeld chairman of the Steering Committee of the Jerusalem Center for Publaic Affairs, alerts the Tundra Tabloids of the following article in today’s J’Lem Post, concerning the increase of anti-Semitism in Norway. It’s a willful blindness, and Norwegian society must be forced to confront their racism towards Jews which is masked under the guise of criticism towards Israeli policies, as well as their humanitarian racism towards the people they supposedly are defending, the Palestinians.

UPDATE: For all you Norwegians visiting the TT, click here, and here!

Dr.Manfred Gerstenfeld: Humanitarian Racism: “attributing an intrinsically reduced responsibility to a people of a certain ethnic or racial group for their actions.”

Mar. 30, 2009


Anti-Israel and anti-Semitic sentiment has exploded in Norway – driven by the Norwegian media and intellectual elite – due to Operation Cast Lead, according to Norwegian Jewish leaders.

During the war, Olso was fraught with violent anti-Israel demonstrations. Numerous government officials decried Israel’s actions in Gaza – including Minister of Finance Kristin Halvorsen, who led a march shouting, “Death to the Jews!” Norwegian doctor Mads Gilbert, who worked in Gaza and disseminated stories about Israel’s brutality, became a national hero in the Norwegian media. Even before the war began, local Jews were tense because of anti-Semitic cartoons, recent boycotts of Israeli merchandise, and the highly publicized affair of Norwegian comic Otto Jespersen, who made anti-Semitic remarks on national television.

This wave continued with renowned Norwegian painter Håkon Gullvåg’s opening a new exhibition entitled “Requiem for the Children of Gaza” in Trondheim over the weekend. The city’s mayor, Rita Ottervik, applauded Gullvåg for accurately depicting the Gaza conflict. Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg also commended Gullvåg for “painting pictures that place this [the plight of the Palestinians] on the agenda.”

Kygell Nyhuus, secretary of the Norwegian Press Professional Association, told The Jerusalem Post recently that the Jespersen incident – in which the comedian’s anti-Semitic remarks on the TV2 network were deemed “in bad conduct” earlier this year, and the network forced to publish an adjudication – was the first time satire had ever been censored in Norway.

“I don’t see lots of anti-Semitism in Norway, though,” Nyhuus said. “This is not at all indicative of anti-Semitism in Norway, and the decision itself had nothing to do with the anti-Semitic content of his comments – only the degree of their vulgarity.”
However, according to Manfred Gerstenfeld, chairman of the Jerusalem Center of Public Affairs, “the elite, the academics, politicians and media consider themselves to be great moralists, with very little self-introspection. Their self-righteousness, arrogance, and inherited Lutheran prejudices against Jews has led to a huge amount of anti-Israel sentiment. Gaza caused these latent feelings in society to come to the fore.”

Rabbi Yoav Melchior, considered the leading rabbi of Norway, said he had been “very scared during the war.”

“Hatred spread in a fast, dangerous way. This was blind emotionalism against Israel and against Jews. It gets deep at the heart of Norway’s emotional anti-Semitism. The current wave of anti-Semitism shows what people have been holding inside them,” he said.

Gerstenfeld, who authored and recently published Behind the Humanitarian Mask: The Nordic Countries, Israel, and the Jews, noted that “considering that there are only 700 Jews in a population of 4.6 million, there is a lot of hatred against Israel and the Jews.”

Norway’s government has been vocal in its criticism of Israel in recent months. At the outbreak of the Gaza hostilities, Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre declared that “Norway strongly condemns any form of warfare that causes severe civilian suffering, and calls on Israel to withdraw its forces immediately.”

In addition, “the Norwegians are pioneers in boycotting Israel,” Gerstenfeld said, citing many Norwegian trade unions’ affinity for supporting Palestinian interests at Israel’s expense.

In an NGO Monitor report released March 12, Norway was found to have supported Palestinian humanitarian aid organizations for the past decade, including many that have pursued radical anti-Israel agendas. The report called this support for “boycotts and apartheid rhetoric instead of peace and coexistence.”

According to Gerstenfeld, “because Norway is a very tiny country with a language most don’t understand, nobody gives them much attention. Their anti-Semitism flew completely under the radar for a long time.”

Now that the world is becoming aware of the situation in Norway, “the Norwegian elite won’t get away with this incredible arrogance any longer,” he asserted.

24 Responses

  1. Jerusalem Post have now removed this article from the net. The reason is that parts of the story were not true. The Norwegian minister did participate in a demonstration against the war in Gaza, but she never shouted anything like “death to the Jews”. If she had done it, she would have been removed from office immediately.

    I Norway there are, as in almost all other countries, anti-Semites’. It is not a lot of them, and most of the people that are called anti-Semites are not against Jews, but against some of the actions that the Israeli government are taking towards Palestine.

    Norway does also have a big Christian community that supports Israel no matter what Israel does, probably more than the average Israeli.

    I am one of those who criticize Israel’s politics. And I’m definitely not an anti-Semite. I have visited Israel and Palestine, I have friends on both sides of the border, and one of my favorite cities in the world is Jerusalem. To walk from east to west and see how the city changes in minutes is amazing.

    So. All in all. Even if we disagree about what should be done or what is happening in Israel, please don’t go around calling everyone an anti-Semite. In an democracy it must be allowed to disagree, also with Israel.

    Best regards.

    E from Norway

  2. Hi and shalom! I am a jewish boy living in Trondheim. I must just say that when mr Gerstenfeld says “orwegian society must be forced to confront their racism towards Jews which is masked under the guise of criticism towards Israeli policies”, it’s BS. Right-wing israeli propaganda at it’s best. So noone can criticize our Israel anymore, but you can criticize everyone else??

    I jewish and I have norwegian, somali and even several arab friends. Not much anti-semetism to see in the media, school or in my society, just with right-wing nut-jobs who can’t get girlfriends.

  3. Shalom Noam! You are either blind and hearing impaired, or a fraud.
    The blatant hatred agains jews in Norway is increasing proportionate with the muslim influx.
    This is apparent to all us Norwegian aboriginees.

  4. Absolutely Anon!

    You beat me to the punch. Finland has to a far lesser extent, the same kind of intellectual anti-Semitism than in Norway, which correlates to the relatively small number of Muslims living here.

    Here in Finland, when they want to bash a Jew, they quote Shakespear.

  5. Sadly enough, it is true that anti-Israel attitudes in Norway is both increasing and to some extent turning into anti-Semitism. There are several reasons for this. One is the radical increase in the number of Muslims being allowed to enter Norway and live for free on its irresponsible welfare system. Left wing political parties try to accommodate Islamic attitudes in order to gain or keep their votes (83 % of the Muslim community vote on socialist parties). And that means to some extent supporting anti-Semitism.

    Another, larger, reason is the left wing takeover of the media, both newspapers and TV. Almost all journalists in Norway today are socialists; a situation has existed for 30 years now. There is not a single “rightwing” newspaper left in Norway today! This situation has of cause resulted in objectivity losing out to unbalanced leftist subjectivity. And since left-wingers really never liked Israel anyway (they are too successful, and left wingers neither like successful people nor successful countries), fostering of anti-Israel attitudes has been a left wing agenda for at least three decades. We find the same situation in universities all over the country.

    The result is that anti-Israel attitudes is no longer a phenomenon isolated to left wing radicals and neo-Nazi “rednecks” (called “extreme right wing”, but they of cause belong to the left). Today a vast majority of social democrats strongly dislike Israel, and this dislike has infiltrated all political parties and the populace at large, so that today there are probably more Norwegians with anti-Israel attitudes than not. By this I mean people that dislike or do not trust Israel, but instead support Palestinians, and hold that Israel in large is the cause of trouble in the Middle East, not Hamas and/or the Palestinians. In fact, a poll published January 27th 2009 (Dagbladet) showed that 50 % of all Norwegians are antagonistic towards Israel. Not only that: Even before the war in Gaza an opinion poll showed that 18 % of the Norwegian population no longer recognise Israel’s right to exist as a sovereign state, and the proportion in the age group between 18 and 25 with this opinion is 35 %. An alarmingly high proportion!

    The situation is far worse among politicians. Today there are only two political parties left (represented in Parliament), where anti-Israel attitudes do not dominate: the Progressive Party and the Norwegian Christian Democratic Party. The other parties are becoming more and more antagonistic towards Israel, and more and more willing to “go to bed” with Islamist radicals. This is especially true of the Socialist Left Party, the radical socialist party to which Kristin Halvorsen, the Minister of Finance, belongs.

    The fact that Halvorsen willingly participated in a hateful anti-Israel demonstration (before it became violent, which such demonstrations often do after “the elite” leaves the scene) is not accidental. It is on the contrary a classic case of how Norwegian radical socialists behave. Those who disbelieves that a socialist Government Minister in Norway would be irresponsible enough to engage in such a hateful demonstration, please visit // and scroll down to (the first) picture. The picture shows Halvorsen amongst the demonstrators and on the poster is written (translated): “The greatest axis of evil: USA and Israel.” Among the slogans repeatedly shouted were: “Død over jødene!” meaning: “Death to the Jews!” If Halvorsen had disagreed with such a view, she would have left the scene in protest. But she did not; despite her high position. She stayed on, and thus acted as a kind of “ambassador” for this horrible view. Halvorsen is guilty as charged!

    Still, there are signs that plausibly show that the tide is about to turn in Norway. The violent demonstrations in Oslo, followed by unabashed demands by radical elements in the Muslim community (halal food in supermarkets and for all prisoners whether they are Muslims or not, use of hijab in the police force, the removal of freedom of speech in religious matters) seems to, at least to some degree, have awakened the people. Many Norwegians are starting to realize what Islam really is (at least its radical version), and that the problems are mounting up on their own doorstep, not just in faraway countries. This new trend is indicated by that fact that after the leader of the Progressive Party (Siv Jensen) openly showed her and her party’s support to Israel, AND strongly opposed the above mentioned demands from radical Muslims and socialists, polls have dramatically increased the support to Progressive Party. Also opinion building via Internet and blogging is on the rise. A new arena not controlled by socialist journalists.

    Best regards

    Bent (Oslo, Norway)

  6. I applaude Bent’s brilliant outline.

    Bent has captured most of the points, i think.

    I agree on every point.

    The situation in Norway is serious. We need international intervention.

    Our best hope now is the internet, since most of the power in Norway is controlled by mad socialists.

    The Governement and Parliament, the Media, the Police, the Universities etc are all institutions controlled by people of negative and damaging ideology.

    One of the last Vikings

  7. I am Jewish – and not Norwegian (Is Danish close enough to feel I have a share in this discussion ;-)?

    This rabid Israeli loonie fringe is EXACTLY what made me drop all relations with the religion in total disgust. The guys are raving, hopping mad – the problem for these morons is that more than half of all european jews marry ouside the religion and assimilate.

    If life was so bloody hard in these parts – how come I would have married a lutheran (and our kids pray to Odin, Thor or Balder – depending on the task ahead (and that is THEIR idea).

  8. What a big load of crap! There is absolutely no public antisemitism in Norway non-what-so-ever, it is an outright lie! Fucking right wing fanatics!!!

    Please read this!

  9. Dear Dr.Manfred Gerstenfeld and Maya Spitzer,

    It truly saddens me to read this article. Not only because it is based on outright incorrect facts, but also because it shows a cultural ignorance and lack of journalistic insight to the subject matter.

    Between Norway and Israel there are a lot of cultural and political differences. As there is between many countries. What a politician and comedian say is not necessarily understood in the same way by an Israeli as by a Norwegian. This is not just because we have a different culture, but also because we are opposites in this dispute. It is a lot easier to criticize and be satirical towards others, than it is to be made fun of and criticized oneself. But as adults, not as representatives of any specific nation, we should all be able to handle critique in a proper manner. Even though it hurts, we must not let our feelings over cloud our reason. One should especially demand such a character from an intellectual as yourself.

    Many Norwegians are critical towards the policies of Israel – from the average man in the street, to the Minister of Finance and the Prime Minister. It is their right to express their views, as it is an Israeli’s right to do the same. It is sad that yourself and such an important forum as The Jerusalem Post do not differ between criticism of a people and that of a country and its politics. I simply do not believe that most Israelis have the same narrow mindedness. Norwegians have been just as critical against the US operations in Iraq, but the American press does not communicate this to its people as “Norwegian hate towards Americans”.

    Yes, there is some anti-Semitism in Norway. There is some Nazism in Norway and there is much idiocy in Norway. Show me a country without extremes. But Norwegians or Israelis most have no problem with each other, and are able to disagree on important topics without that turning into hate. There is no public voice in Norway trying to have it otherwise, so please Dr.Manfred Gerstenfeld and Maya Spitzer, do not be such a voice in Israel.

  10. This must be the lamest propaganda article ever, not strange JP removed it. Factual errors, even interviews with people who don’t seem to exist…it’s quite crude.

    That socialists and leftists don’t like Israel is true, but that’s not really got anything to do with ethnicity or racism. Fifty years ago socialists got all wet in their pants thinking about Israel, since they saw the Kibbutz movement as a realization of the socialist dream; autonomous and democratic worker collectives based firmly in socialist principles. They thought Israel would mark the beginning of a new socialist and pacifist velvet revolution. Then alas, Israel became capitalist, militarist, aligned itself politically with the US and started doing all the things pacifist socialists hate. They saw and still see this as a great betrayal, to their dream and hence to them. And Norway is more leftist, more social-democratic and more influenced by socialism than virtually any other country on earth.

    So no, their antagonism towards Israel isn’t proportionate, and it isn’t always rational. But neither is the fact that Israel tries to elevate itself above criticism by shouting “anti-semite” each time a critical remark is made. Israel’s list of violations of basic human rights for the Palestinian population it occupies is long and dismal. They run a brutal occupation regime causing the suffering of millions of people. And as a matter of fact, not many other states are occupiers is this day and age.

  11. Dr.Manfred Gerstenfeld lost his credibility in my eyes when he went on Norwegian TV to proclaim that the only Norwegian contribution to international political science is the word “Quizling”. Even if that was true, it would be an exceptionally weak argument. As any student of political science would know, however, it is wrong. So how did Gerstenfeld get his PhD? Beats me..

    Most Norwegians are not even anti-zionist, but they may oppose much Israeli warfare. As would several Israeli jews, yet I haven´t heard them being portrayed as anti-semites.

    The fact of the matter is that Norwegians are in general very opposed to war. Feel free to lable the sentiment naive – but anti-semite it is not. The Iraq war led to just as much reactions as any Israeli war.

    So why don´t we march against african wars?
    Israelis and Americans look just like us. America is our closes ally, and Israel its. So when any of these countries go to war we feel complicit. This is basic psychology. We are also regarded as complicit in large parts of the world, so it is not so strange. (And do you remember the Muhammed cartoons? The Norwegian embassy in Syria was burned to the ground…)

    I would also add that you have to believe very blindly in the cleverness of your own policy when you portray any critique of it as racism. The current situation does not warrant any such blind faith.

  12. This is just stupid. A lot of people in Norway, including myself, like to criticize jerks, and countries who break fundamental human rights. If those we criticize happens to be Jews or Israel, we are called anti-Semites, if they’re Muslims or an Arab nation, we’re called racists.
    Well, we will not shut up. An asshole is an asshole, regardless whether he is black or white, christian or muslim or jew.
    My suggestion to the jews is, stop whining, concentrate on fighting the true anti-semites. Stop the jokes about jews, stop the people who tries to restrict jews participation in the society. But don’t try to stop us who use our freedom of speech to criticize Israels actions, while you yourself claim the right of freedom of speech. It is a two way street.

  13. This is by far the most silly debate ever. This is like an absurd conspiracy theory.

  14. The brunt of the article’s claims stand, Halverson was in the midst of demonstrators shouting anti-Jewish statements, much in hte same way she involved herself in a similar anti-Israel protest in 2006, where people she was walking with unloaded with anti-Semitic remarks “Død over jødene!” meaning: “Death to the Jews!”

    She now has a history of such associations.

    No one I know of speaks about anti-Semitism in conjuction with valid criticisms of Israeli policies, as long as they are done with balance. But much of the world’s condemnation of Israel lacks any kind of balance, sound logic or reasoning.

    Israel receives the same kind of understanding from the non-Jewish world, as blacks did in the US during a time when the South was segregated.

  15. There are anti-semitic people in many countries, but that doesn’t mean that the country itself agrees.

    There is a democracy in Norway, so it is perfectly acceptable that there are anti-war demonstrations. Unfortunatly these demonstrations will attract bad elements, but what is the alternative?

    Should we cancel all demonstrations because anti-semitic elements choose to participate? Do we really want a society where good people can’t protest because bad elements are attracted to demonstrations and violence? Do we really want a society where the only people protesing are anti-semitic?

  16. Wow… just wow!

    This article reads like a Joseph Goebbels propagandafest… So what do you propose we do with all our anti-semites dr. Gerstenfeld? Put them in camps??

    Please stop lying about my country. It’s offensive.

  17. These are the sources in the newsest version of JP’s article on anti-semitism in Norway:

    Erez Uriely: was kicked out of The Mosaic Religious Community in Norway because of his extremist views and membership in an organisation called “Stop the Islamisation of Norway”. Its members are a strange mixture of plain racists, old nazis and people like Uriely. They want to ban all mosques and claims that Barak Obama is really a Muslim. Stuff like that.

    David Weiss: is not to be found on any Norwegian net site, he is not in the phone book and not on the tax lists (they are public in Norway). Does he exist? Officers in the Norwegian military are surely not in the habit of commenting on political issues at all, and especially not this one.

    Arne Vrang

  18. Kristin Halvorsen has never shouted “Death to the jews” and Norway is not an Anti-Semit country.

    The peaceful demonstrations in Oslo was disturbed by violent demonstrations lead by young people, alot of them having social problems and a criminal record.
    The ones ho support Israel in Norway is mostly christians, what suprises me is that they completely ignore the fact that Israel killed ALOT of children in Gaza, children that can not defend themself from the warmachine that Israel is.

    The facts presented in the article is pure lies, made up by fanatics.

  19. how sad. ok we dont agree with u we are anti semits. anyway at the rate of insults and stupidity coming from israel towards my country it is not alarming at all that anti israel feelings rise i actually welcome them when i see these type of responses from a apartheid country with no shame.(like who would train their soldiers to aim for pregnant women or children? cowards and the true rascists!)anti semite? lol!

  20. also what proof do u have of anti semitism in norway? ppl using their right of speech does not make them anti semites, so what case of brutality/violence/rascism can u show me, when has a jew been mistreated by a norwegian or the norwegian authorities. if u can’t show me then take a good look at israel and say that they have not mistreated palestinians and treated them like 2nd rank citizens..big difference israel is a country who actually treat their citizens different and in norway where we are accused of anti semitism a jew got all the oppurtinities and rights of a muslim.. weird ain’t it?

  21. Laughable.. After reading some of the, ahem, “articles” in this blog, I realize it is written by someone who is clearly insane. Actually, I can hardly remember reading any blogs so full of s**t as this one. If anything, this blog only contributes to giving Israelis an even worse reputation than they already have. Go play with a cluster bomb and leave the writing (and thinking) to someone who doesn’t have a peanut for brain…

  22. If your header says this:
    “Keeping tabs on the most outrageous happenings in the Middle East, Islamist extremism and Islamist hegemony in Scandinavia, and on the political correctness that allows them to flourish”, how could anyone take you serious?

    You are no lest racists than anyone else!

    Atheist, Norway

  23. as a norwegian-american (norway first,of course) i find this to almost border on hilarious.Per capita income in israel-$20,410.In palestine-$1,000.Find two neighboring countries in close quarters with that income disparity.Then look at the absolutely horrible disparity in casualties and ask yourself this-are the norwegian people anti-semitic or just good at basic math?

  24. Hi bjerkness…..

    The Palestinians have been the biggest net receivers of international aid for all times…and yet they have nothing to show for it, due to their leaders not wanting the conflict to end.

    The only thing stopping the Arabs from having a normal life..are the Arabs themselves. It’s as simple as that.

    As for disparity in casualties… the majority killed were involved in the fight, and if not for Israel’s highly trained military that sticks strictly to the rule of law, the number would be much much higher.

    Go ponder why Hamas used its people as human shields then get back to me.

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