'Rich Jews threaten Obama,' Norwegian headline reads

Norway's largest paper, "Aftenposten," runs controversial headline in its Saturday edition; edits title online after reader complaints.

By BENJAMIN WEINTHAL JERUSALEM POST CORRESPONDENT
May 24, 2011 08:23
1 minute read.
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BERLIN – The Oslo-based edition of Norway’s largest newspaper, Aftenposten, ran a headline in its Saturday edition stating “Rich Jews threaten Obama.”

Only after reader complaints about the anti-Jewish tone of the headline did the newspaper edit the title on its website, writing “Jews threaten to withdraw Obama support.”

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According to the news portal and pro-Israel blog called Norway, Israel and the Jews, which posted screen shots of the original headline and the subsequently changed headline, the article reported on “how segments of American Jewry, 78 percent of whom voted for Obama in 2008, find Obama to be too critical of Israel and therefore are considering pulling economic support. So there is the threat: Some ‘rich Jews’ may be considering to stop giving Obama money.”

The website noted that “on the one hand it is good to see that Aftenposten was able to recognize that the original title was unfortunate. On the other hand, Aftenposten ought to be sufficiently familiar with the history of anti-Semitism to avoid such mistakes in the first place."

Political and media analyst Tom Gross told the Jerusalem Post that “this was by no means the first time there had been questionable reporting of Israel by Aftenposten. For example, in 2006 the paper ran an article titled ‘God’s chosen people,’ (by Jostein Gaarder, author of the bestselling book ‘Sophie’s World’) saying that Tzipi Livni and Ehud Olmert were so evil that Israel ‘should be dismantled’.

Tom Gross added: “The article compared Israel’s then center-left government to the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and added that ‘the first Zionist terrorists started operating in the days of Jesus.’”

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