Analysis: Why don’t Norwegians take on anti-Semitism?

A fusion of Islamists (the Greens) and Leftists (the Reds) seeks to undercut Israel’s right to exist and to severely punish Diaspora Jews.

By JERUSALEM POST CORRESPONDENT
April 2, 2010 00:22
2 minute read.
Kristin Halvorsen.

kristin halvorsen 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

BERLIN – In the past few weeks in Norway, there has been no shortage of activity from what the Tel Aviv-based Reut Institute terms the “Red-Green Alliance” – a fusion of Islamists (the Greens) and Leftists (the Reds), seeking to undercut Israel’s right to exist and to severely punish Diaspora Jews.

Norwegian television aired a broadcast showing Jewish parents and teachers – who did not reveal their identities – blowing the whistle on Norwegian school authorities who are ignoring Muslim students boycotting Holocaust education, a death threat issued to a Jewish student, and statements that the “Jews are to blame for 9/11.”

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One parent said, “These are clear anti-Semitic harassments that are manifesting themselves physically and verbally.”

There were also reports in the German and Austrian media that Norwegian teachers refused to take action against pupils who placed yellow Stars of David on the backs of their peers and called for “all Jews to be shot.”

The Austrian paper Die Presse noted that “the statements sharply critical of Israel” coming from Socialist Left Party Education Minister Kristin Halvorsen – responsible for the administration of the Norwegian school system – have contributed to “legitimizing attacks” against Jews.

Halvorsen, a long-time supporter of boycotting Israeli goods and services who has participated in an anti-Israeli demonstration, said in response to the school scandal that “one’s views on Israeli politics have nothing to do with harassment of Jews.”

Many experts on contemporary anti-Semitism emphasize that haters of the Jewish state trot out the fashionable excuse that they have nothing against Jews, rather they reject Israelis and Zionism. Dr. Charles Small, the director of Yale University’s Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism, told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday that the “minister’s statement demonstrates ignorance at best. Contemporary anti-Semitism has as its main focus the demonization and delegitimization of Israel and those associated with it as well as those made to be associated with it.”

Small has published a groundbreaking study showing the strong correlation between modern forms of Israel-bashing and classic anti-Semitism.


While Norway is not a member of the European Union, Halvorsen has chosen to ignore the modern definition of anti-Semitism subscribed to by the union’s 27 member states.

Hardcore anti-Semitic ideology propped up as mere criticism of Israel animated violence against Diaspora and Israeli Jews during Operation Cast Lead. The marriage of secular Leftists and reactionary Muslims in Norway could be construed as having reached the highest levels of Norway’s government. All of this helps to explain why Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, an expert on Scandinavian anti-Semitism, has argued that Norway is the “most anti-Semitic” country in northern Europe.

Some say the state-sponsored (Educational Ministry) malignant neglect of modern anti-Semitism is fueled by Norway’s demographics; the tiny Jewish community of 1,100 is pitted against roughly 100,000 Muslims whose votes are wooed by Norwegian socialists. Certainly, the upsurge in Norway’s educational setting suggests that the “Red-Green Alliance” is reaching its zenith in Scandinavia.


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