Dr.Manfred Gerstenfeld: “Lets go to the videotape“
Last week, the Dagbladet published an article concerning a Jerusalem Post story about Norway’s Finance Minister, Kristin Halvorsen, and her participation in an anti-Israel demonstration, during which, people were heard shouting “death to the Jews”. The J’lem Post interviewed Dr.Gerstenfeld for the article, who provided background on Norwegian anti-Semitism.
Ironically, the Dagbladet’s article reported that the J’lem Post’s own article was badly flawed, writing that there were actually 1500 Jews in Norway not just 700, and that Halvorsen herself had not shouted “death to the Jews”. The J’lem Post has since then, taken down the original article by Maya Spitzer, and updated the story with a new article that reflected all of the facts.Now it’s the Norwegians’ turn to set things straight. The Dagbladet falsely reported Dr.Gerstenfeld as stating in an TV2 televised interview that: “The Norwegians are a Jew hating nation,” and “The Norwegians are a barbarian and unintellectual people” and that Kristin Halvorsen shouted anti-Semitic statements. Dr.Gerstenfeld of course, said nothing of the kind.
Dr.Manfred Gerstenfeld: I say that Norway has been a pioneer in anti-Israeli actions, which have clear anti-Semitic characteristics. […] The major problem is that there is not a counter force in the Norwegian society which immediately shouts very loudly that this is a shame for our society. […] There is no other European country where a minister, an acting minister, was marching against Israel in such a demonstration. That’s a pioneering act of anti-Semitism. […] It could have been straight out of Nazi paper Der Sturmer in Hitler’s day (concerning a Norwegian cartoon depicting Israeli PM Ehud Olmert as concentration camp director from the movie Schindler’s List). There is a long history of anti-Semitism, I don’t have to tell you that the only contribution of Norway to political science internationally, has been the name of Quisling. That’s not by chance.”
The Tundra Tabloids was recently notified by Dr.Gerstenfeld, concerning his op-ed that was published in yesterday’s Sunday edition of the Dagbladet, and that it originally contained an honorable mention of the Tundra Tabloids for publishing the picture of Kristin Halvorsen smiling during her participation in the 2009 anti-Israel demostration. Though the Dagbladet dropped any reference of the TT, it’s satisfying nonetheless that the TT was in fact included in the original, longer version, of the English draft. Kudos to both Dr.Manfred Gerstenfeld for the honorable mention, as well as to the Dagbladet for publishing a fair version of the op-ed. KGS
Anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism in Norway
In an article in Dagbladet of 30 March titled “Israelsk avis: Kristin Halvorsen sa ‘Død over jødene!’” the authors are quoting a text on the TV2 website. It alleges that – in an interview on that station – I said that “The Norwegians are a Jew hating nation,” and “The Norwegians are a barbarian and unintellectual people.” As I write this, that interview is still on the internet.(//www.tv2nyhetene.no/utenriks/article2599956.ece). Had the authors watched it as they should, instead of reading about it, they could not have heard me say these words.
Normally an interviewer asks questions and the interviewee answers them. I take responsibility for what I say on TV2 in English. However the interviewer also inserts various statements in Norwegian in my name which I did not say, but are his manipulations. Had the TV2 correspondent recorded such statements by me on camera he would have certainly shown them. I am still waiting for an answer from TV2 on my request for an additional interview, in view of these manipulations. I intend now to bring a complaint to Pressens Faglige Utvalg (PFU). In the meantime the same TV2 interviewer has also radically distorted some of my words in a telephone conversation he had with the daily Dagen which was published. (on April 2).
Dagbladet has asked me whether I told the journalist of the Jerusalem Post that Kristin Halvorsen shouted “death to the jews” in a pro-Palestinian rally. I did not. What I told her is that Halvorsen is an extreme anti-Israeli. I also referred her to the largest Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronot as a source which mentions that Halvorsen was present when there were such shouts by others. Since then the Finnish blog Tundra Tabloids and afterwards Dagens Naeringsliv have published a picture of Halvorsen smiling in an anti-Israeli demonstration in 2009. Very close to her another demonstrator holds a sign: “the greatest axis of evil: USA and Israel.”
One can find my detailed views on Anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism in Norway in my book in English Behind the Humanitarian Mask, The Nordic countries, Israel and the Jews, which was published last year. Due to the great international interest in the book, only a few printed copies remain. The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs therefore recently made the book available at no cost on the internet. Many thousands have entered that website since.
Norway is a country where the political leadership in power is very critical of the Israeli democracy. This government is also relatively soft on Israel’s dictatorial opponents, some of which declare that they want to murder all Jews. This supports a state of mind in Norway which can only lead to more hatred of Israel and Jews.
There is a need for an international research institution to undertake an in-depth study of what this Norwegian government has said and done concerning murderous behavior, calls for mass murder of Jews, war crimes, major human rights offenses, restriction of civil liberties and political rights and so on in the Muslim world, including the Palestinian territories. Such a study should also stress on what issues the Norwegian government remained silent. When one will compare this with its behavior toward Israel a clear picture will emerge of its false humanitarianism.
Furthermore several Norwegian Jews have made public statements concerning anti-Semitism they have encountered over recent years. Some are mentioned in my book. Others were made in private because people are afraid. In many countries there are studies on local anti-Semitism. Such a study on Norway is necessary. The media attacks on those who expose anti-Israelism and anti-Semitism will not make the problems go away.
Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld is chairman of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs