Norway Jews praise media criticism of anti-Semite

Prominent Norwegian academic claims there is a possible connection between Breivik, who massacred 77 people, and Mossad.

May 2, 2012 03:46
2 minute read.
norweigan parliament, where the oslo forum is bein

oslo parliament 311. (photo credit: alexander ottesen)

Members of Norway’s tiny Jewish community on Tuesday welcomed the wall-to-wall denunciation of Johan Galtung, the prominent Norwegian academic who made anti-Semitic comments earlier in the week.

Rabbi Shaul Wilhelm, Chabad’s emissary to the country, said he was pleased with the widespread criticism of Galtung, who pioneered the discipline of peace studies and conflict resolution.

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“He is a known anti-Semite and anti-Israel voice in Norway so he’s not mainstream, but all the newspapers mentioned it and criticized him, so that was quite nice,” said Wilhelm. “On the other hand, he founded the peace research institute that receives funding from the government. Obviously, he is cited in those circles where people search for reference points.”

Galtung made anti-Semitic and anti-Israel remarks in a speech and subsequent email interview with Haaretz, the newspaper reported on Monday.

He claimed that there is a possible connection between Anders Behring Breivik – the anti-Muslim Norwegian terrorist who massacred 77 people, mostly children, last summer – and the Mossad; he said he believes the Mossad might have given Breivik his orders.

The speech was made last September 30, and a critical article about the speech, as well as several written exchanges between Galtung and the author, were reprinted last week in The Humanist magazine.

Galtung wrote in one of the exchanges that Jews control the American media.

“Six Jewish companies control 96% of the media,” he wrote, including the names of journalists, publishers, TV networks and movie studios that he claims are controlled by Jews.

He also wrote that “70% of the professors at the 20 most important American universities are Jewish.”

Galtung recommended that people read the anti-Semitic screed The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and said that “It is impossible to do so today without thinking of Goldman Sachs,” the international investment bank founded and run by Jews. Sarah Avramson, an Israeli who has been living in Oslo for 20 years, told The Jerusalem Post she, too, was encouraged by the overwhelming criticism of Galtung in the local press.

“The entire intellectual community has written about his use of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion condemning him for it,” she said. “When that happens then the Jewish community does not need to defend itself and prefers to keep a low profile.”

Despite the vehement reaction to Galtung’s theories, both Avramson and Wilhelm expressed concern that more subtle forms of anti-Semitism were prevalent in the country.

Avramson said leftists and Muslim immigrants often see conspiracies connecting world Jewry to Israel. Wilhelm said Israel was often the subject of disproportionate criticism in Norway.

“There is a parade in Bergen today on May 1 where out of 11 banners carried by participants nine are related to domestic issues and two others are critical of Israel,” he said. “There’s no mention of Syria, Iran or anywhere else.”

Nonetheless, he said that the Galtung affair and the fact that it was picked up by the media was a positive response and that “it gives the [Norwegians] the impression that people are not in a bubble.”

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