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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
“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
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.”