The Scandinavian media cannot bring itself to consider even the remote possibility that their perverse fetish* with Israel, contains classical signs of antisemitism, regardless of the proof made available. These media elitists hold to the fiction that their Leftist credentials affords them an automatic inoculation against that age old bigotry of bigotries, though they habitually violate the EU’s own working definition of what constitutes Jew hatred.
The EIC of the Finnish capital’s main newspaper, the Helsingin Sanomat, Janne Virkkunen, holds the same views about Israel as do the Norwegian media: “that the accusations made by “the Israeli press” about antisemitism in the West guiding news on Israel is “99 % false“. But the Finnish media, most notably the HS, uses methods in its reporting on Israel that show it’s blatantly biased against the Jewish state. It minimizes the destructive acts of the Palestinians, while it lambastes Israel for the defensive measures that its forced to employ.
The Chairman of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, Dr.Manfred Gerstenfeld alerts the Tundra Tabloids to another incident involving the Norwegian media, this time being an editorial in the Adresseavisen newspaper. Gerstenfeld explains:
“A few weeks ago the Norwegian daily Adresseavisen published an editorial which claimed that anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism are two very different things. In the article my views were attacked as being those of someone claimed the opposite. Thereupon I asked for the right of reply and they published my letter to the editor.”
Here is the Adresseavisen’s editorial, then Dr.Gerstenfeld’s reply. KGS
More Israelis seem to make themselves guilty of an unfortunate fallacy. They think there is a connection between criticism of Israel and hatred of Jews. They seem to think that since many people in Norway have focused hard criticism against Israel’s warfare in Gaza, is more widespread antisemitism here than in many other Western countries. This must we strongly repudiate.
The freshest example of this is an important article in the Israeli newspaper The Jerusalem Post earlier this week. “Increased anti-semitism makes Jews in Norway anxious,” was the headline. Håkon Gullvåg and his Israel-critical exhibition in Trondheim was specifically mentioned. It was also mayor Rita Ottervik (AP), which, according to the newspaper applauded Gullvåg for a good description of the conflict in Gaza. The article claimed that Finance Minister Kristin Halvorsen (SV) during a demonstration in Oslo shouted “death of the Jews.” All three were accused of being anti. It is a gross abuse.
The article contained a number of factual errors, and many in Norway reacted sharply. Several of the Norwegian Jews who spoke in the article, was incorrectly quoted and took to motmæle. The article was withdrawn from the newspaper’s web site twice and finally replaced by a more balanced representation. But the newspaper’s management would not comment to the Norwegian magazine journalist.
Norwegian journalists can also make mistakes when we write about the situation in other countries. Quality assurance in the Norwegian newspapers are not always good NOK. The article in The Jerusalem Post is still a sign of something much more serious than poor journalistic craft, namely the serious misconception that criticism of Israel has to do with antisemitism.
The same mistake made evident during a conference in Jerusalem last year. Conference chairman, Manfred Gerstenfeld, argued that “Norway is the most anti-semitic country in Scandinavia.” And we doubt that Israel’s new government will oppose such attitudes. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in the lead for the most hardline government of the country’s history. There is particular reason to be skeptical toward foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman, who like to get statements that are reminiscent of racism, directed against the Palestinians.
At the same time we appreciate that the leading Norwegian Jews take clear distance from the Israeli incorrect statements about anti-American. We also hope that the Norwegian Jews recognize that Håkon Gullvåg is in its full right when he creates art from the combustible, international conflict substance. He uses only the freedom of expression is a fundamental right and of course in any democracy.
The Link between Anti-Semitism and Anti-Israelism
Under the title “Israeli Fallacy” an editorial of this paper underlines that it is a serious misconception to think that criticism of Israel is related to anti-Semitism. I am mentioned as a person who makes this mistake.
When the European Union Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia published its working definition of anti-Semitism in 2004 it identified the link between criticism of Israel and anti-Semitism. Examples from the EUMC definition of ways in which anti-Semitism manifests itself in regard to the State of Israel are:
Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the State of Israel is a racist endeavor.
Applying double standards by requiring from it behavior not demanded of other nations.
Using symbols associated with classic anti-Semitism to characterize Israel.
Comparing Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.
Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of Israel.
One can illustrate the link between anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism with incidents in Norway which are increasingly reported internationally.
In 2006 Finn Graff published a caricature in Dagbladet showing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert as a Nazi camp commander. To make matters worse King Harald V appointed Graff a knight in the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav.
Former Prime Minister Kåre Willoch said that he was not hopeful about the Middle East peace process because American President Obama had appointed a Jew, Rahm Emanuel, as his advisor. The Norwegian diplomat Trine Lilleng, then based in Riyadh, circulated an e-mail with pictures of Israeli acts falsely presenting them as similar to those of the Nazis.
At anti-Israeli demonstrations in January in Oslo, there were shouts of “Death to the Jews” by some participants. Dagens Naeringslev and Dagbladet published a picture of Norwegian Minister of Finance Kristin Halvorsen participating there with someone standing nearby holding a sign “The greatest axis of evil – USA and Israel.” Christian anti-Semites have promoted a similar idea for 2,000 years – that Jews are absolute evil. Space limits prevent me from giving more examples.
Continuing to deny the link between anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism will only facilitate further incidents. Thus one should not be surprised when these events further damage Norway’s international image.
* Media fetish: Overtly biased and over-reporting on the Arab-Israeli conflict and on Israel in general.