Kristin Halvorsen: But I also didn’t leave the demonstration
UPDATE: The J’lem Post article is back on line.
What is one to think of a politician who understands well enough that, shouting “death to the Jews” is wrong, and doesn’t want to be depicted as doing such a thing, but more than willing to participate in a demonstration with those who were doing just that? Kristin Halvorsen is of course justified in wanting to correct the facts to the J’lem Post story, but will she ever apologize for participation in an event where people were in fact shouting “death to the Jews”? I doubt it.
Dr.Manfred Gerstenfeld informed the Tundra Tabloids to the fact that the J’lem Post article has been since then, removed from the JP website, adding:
The only substantial mistake is -“including Minister of Finance Kristin Halvorsen, who led a march shouting, “Death to the Jews!” Halvorsen did not shout herself, she marched in the demonstration and there were shouts there of “death to the Jews” and she did not leave the demonstration.
The TT, by the way, was also contacted by its readership who were upset over the fact that the article was published at all, due to the mistakes in the reporting. Here is a comment from the Norwegian reader, Einer:
“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.
In 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”
The TT applauds the measured manner in which Einer expresses displeasure with the J’lem Post article, it’s called a reasoned debate. I will continue in the same vein, by reminding Einer that, in a society where anti-Semitism does not hold any measure of respectability, any politician caught publicly marching along side others shouting “death to the Jews”, would have faced an avalanche of criticism not only from their peers, but from the media and the general population, with calls for her dismissal from office.
Since that has not happened, at least to the best of my knowledge, I can only conclude that the brunt of the Jerusalem Post article was indeed correct. It’s amazingly clear that there is an overt, as well as a subconscious level of anti-Semitism that is deeply entrenched within Norwegian society, and the fact that the average Norwegian is completely unaware/and or unwilling to address that fact, is causing anxiety for many Jews.
Einer’s comment, shows his ambivalence to Kristin Halvorsen’s involvement in a demonstration that had anti-Semitic overtones but chose to remain, though others were shouting highly anti-Semitic statements including calls for genocide of Jews. What better proof is there that things are not well in Norway? Not only does the Norwegian politician not get it, but neither do Norwegians commenting on the incident as well. It runs that deep.
Manfred Gerstenfeld goes on further to add much useful information on anti-Semitism during the Gaza riots can be found at the JCPA’s own website, which can be viewed here. He also states that:
The relevant part there is:
“During the Second Lebanon War in summer 2006, anti-Jewish incidents in Norway included shooting at the synagogue in Oslo, which was the most severe incident in Europe.[i] This time Norway pioneered a new manifestation of anti-Israeli hate. It was the only country where a government minister, Finance Minister Kristin Halvorsen, leader of the Socialist Left Party, marched against Israel in a demonstration where shouts of “Death to the Jews” were heardthough this was largely ignored by the Norwegian media. An Israeli daily, however, published the story, which also mentioned that the Israeli embassy had protested.[ii]
During a demonstration in Oslo in which an estimated forty thousand people participated, rocks and eggs were thrown at policemen when a smaller group refused to leave after it was announced that the demonstration was over.[iii] On 8 January, one thousand pro-Palestinian protestors came to a pro-Israeli rally organized by the opposition Progress Party armed with knives, baseball bats, and Molotov cocktails.[iv] The police prevented them from attacking the Israel supporters, but the hooligans then started attacking the police and smashed shop windows on a major Oslo street. Six people were wounded, including five policemen. The twenty-six people arrested were of thirteen nationalities, including Pakistani, Palestinian, Turkish, Moroccan, Iranian, Jordanian, Somali, Iraqi, and Afghan immigrants.[v]
Johan Fredriksen, chief of staff of the Oslo police, remarked that “you have to go back to the early 1980s to find a similar situation in Norway.”[vi] After she addressed a pro-Israeli gathering, Siv Jensen, leader of the Progress Party, had to have permanent bodyguards because of the many threats she received.[vii]
[i] Ilan Moss, “Anti-Semitic Incidents and Discourse in Europe during the Israel-Hezbollah War,” European Jewish Congress, 2006.
[ii] Itamar Eichner, “Geluchei rosh wesarat haotsar,” Yediot Achronot, 14 January 2009. [Hebrew]
[iii] Rolleiv Solholm, “Anti Israel Demonstrations,” Norway Post, 6 January 2009.
[iv] “Norwegian Police Detain 27 in Clashes over Gaza,” Reuters, 8 January 2009.
[v] Jostein Ihlebæk and Arild M. Jonassen, “Kun én palestiner ble tatt under opprøret i Oslo,” Aftenposten, 9 January 2009. [Norwegian]
[vii] Tori Chiefetz, “Norway’s Pro-Israel Opposition Leader under 24-Hour Guard,” Jerusalem Post, 28 January 2009.
The rest as far as I can check is minor: she quotes me as saying that “there are 700 Jews in Norway”, while it should be: “700 organized Jews in Norway” (there are 1300 in total)
And she has me say “Norway is a very tiny country” while of course it should be “a country with a small population.”
By the way take a look at Haaretz this morning. The European Jewish Congress also mentions substantial anti-Semitism in Scandinavia:
Study cites dramatic rise in anti-Semitic attacks in Europe
This incident is not a fluke in Scandinavia, for the very same thing happened in the Malmö demonstrations a month ago, when anti-Israel demonstrators took to the streets to protest the Israeli tennis team’s participation in the Davis Cup tournament.
Malmö demonstration in which Muslims shouted:
“Khaybar Khaybar ya Yahoud, Jaish Muhammad SAUF ya’ud”
[Khaybar, Khaybar, O Jews, Muhammad’s army will return]
The Swede, Danofsky, blogs: It refers to an attack by Mohammad on a Jewish society in particular in the year 629, at the oasis of Khaybar, currently Saudi Arabia. The battle ended with the Mohammed’s Army killing 93 Jews and sent a large number into exile. You can read more about it here, here and here. I have sent a notification to JK with an invitation to look at whether this can be classed as an “incitement to hatred”. For me, it feels that if in a public place a mood can be whipped up against the Jewish community with such words, then it can be considered a criminal offense.
Here’s a portion from a post the Tundra Tabloids had blogged earlier, concerning the politician, Lars Ohly, who participated in a very similar anti-Israel demonstration where “death to the Jews was being shouted, and nevertheless, chose to remain with the demonstrators. His comments after the fact, proves he is very much in step with his Norwegian collogeagues.
TT: An op-ed in the Swedish SVD also takes to task the Leftists and their leaders like, Lars Ohly, who marched in the streets of Malmö with the Muslims chanting about violence towards Jews. Here is a portion of the op-ed in the SVD:
Per Gudmundonson: “The chant, that aims itself specifically against Jews and not against the State of Israel, is common in the Middle East. That it occurs together with Hamas flags is to be expected.
Hamas is an anti-Semitic organization that refers to Protocols of the Elders of Zion in its charter. This is surely well-known also for those who do not speak Arabic.
…Lars Ohly said its too bad that the “strong grass root protests against Israel is connected with violence and antisemitism”. Afterwards the Left Party has been proved wrong when it comes to the riots.
They shut their eye when it comes to the antisemitism. In the party statement they said that the riots destroyed a completely peaceful and calm manifestation”.
Ohly should explain how he means that slogans and rhymes that explicitly threatens the expulsion and slaughter of Jews, are “peaceful and calm” criticism of Israel.
The proof that Scandinavians are, not only prone to anti-Semitism, but increasingly blind or in denial about the phenomenon, is overwhelming. Regardless of whether it’s coming from politicians or their supporters, the attitude is the same, a highly illogical resentment towards the world’s only Jewish state, which is done under the guise of “legitimate criticism towards Israel”, though that “criticism” contains all the attributes of classic anti-Semitism. KGS
UPDATE: Norwegians in denial. H.Burgan comments: “claim that the political main stream or society at a whole has become more anti-Semitic is not justified.” […] ” if anyone should have any question with regards to whether any one could survive politically in Norway being an Anti-Semite the answer is a quite clear; No.It would be a political suicide for any politician, wanting to be taken seriously, to associate him or her self with any demonstration pertaining to any kind of Anti-Semitic or otherwise racist behaviour. “
Tundra Tabloids: But the argumentation is rendered moot due to the Norwegian political and media elite’s denial that their criticism could in fact, contain ancient anti-Semitic motiffs. Their criticism of Israel, which is far worse than in Finland, is both illogical, as well as superficial, which places far more demands upon Israel than they are willing to place upon themselves or any other Western power.
In fact, the TT will go further on to add, that, the Norwegians expect the Jewish state to behave more Christian-like than the Christian states are willing to behave themselves in a similar situation. The hypocricy is striking, and the more the Norwegians open their mouths, the more the hold themselves open for justified ridicule in the international arena. Please keep the comments coming, this is really getting interesting.