Trine Lilleng: Holy Herring!If I would have known I’d get a cushy job from it,
I would have written that anti-Semitic email sooner!
The heat gets turned up a notch, but will Oslo take heed or just bury their heads deep into the works of Knut Hamsun? KGS
Just days after a speech at the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance, and Research (ITF) where he called for more robust action against Holocaust denial and relativism, Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store was urged by the Simon Wiesenthal Center to put his words into action and publicly condemn an anti-Semitic, anti-Israel e-mail sent by a senior Norwegian diplomat. According to the Israeli paper, Ha’aretz, while serving as First Secretary in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Trine Lilleng sent an email through her official government account that juxtaposed “images of slain children said to have been killed in the Israeli attack on Hamas in Gaza, …with photos of Jewish Holocaust victims’’ with a text that said “”I always wondered why they didn’t learn anything from the horror during WWII. Now I see what they learnt.” The Center expressed concern that Ms. Lilleng has yet to be reprimanded and has reportedly been promoted.
In a letter to Minister Store, who is also the current ITF Chair, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Wiesenthal Center, Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the Center’s Israeli Director and Mark Weitzman, Director of the Center’s Task Force Against Hate and Terrorism, said, “It is just such outrageous rhetoric and imagery that clearly demeans and diminishes the victims of the Holocaust, and that helps spawn hatred of Jews and the Jewish state. It is a prime example of the kind of Holocaust relativization that you spoke out so strongly against at the ITF Plenary.”
Center officials told Store that, “it certainly behooves the head of the Ministry that she serves to publicly denounce her hate-spam and to take direct action to ensure that such behavior is not seen to be rewarded or to reflect Norway’s official position on these issues.”
This controversy comes on the heels of the controversial decision by Norway to celebrate the 150th birthday of Knut Hamsun, who in 1943, during the height of WWII and the Nazi Holocaust, met with Hitler and gave his Nobel Prize in Literature to Nazi Propaganda Minister Goebbels. Many considered this pro-Nazi collaborator as a traitor to his people and the Wiesenthal Center has protested what appears to be a whitewash of history.
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