Norway paper afraid country losing Jews

Leading Norwegian newspaper 'Aftenposten' warns country on verge of becoming a country without Jews.

Norway map 390 (photo credit: Thinkstock)
Norway map 390
(photo credit: Thinkstock)
Norway’s largest newspaper is afraid the country is losing its Jews.
“Norway is in danger of becoming a country without a Jewish population,” the daily Aftenposten wrote in an editorial over the weekend calling on the state to provide more protection for the Jews in the country who are affiliated with the two synagogues there – one in Oslo, and the other in Trondheim.
According to the paper, half of the membership fees from the Oslo synagogue go to security. That synagogue was the target of a shooting attack in 2006.
“Twice the congregation has applied to the Ministry of Justice for support to safeguard the congregation’s buildings. Twice they have been met with a refusal,” Aftenposten wrote. “Minister of Justice Grethe Faremo now confirms the ministry has an intention to reassess the synagogue’s security. This should be natural after the prime minister’s Holocaust speech about nobody being forced to feel unsafe about their religion in Norway.”
Two weeks ago Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stolenberg said during a speech on International Holocaust Remembrance Day that “without relieving the Nazis of their responsibility, it is time for us to acknowledge that Norwegian policemen and other Norwegians took part in the arrest and deportation of Jews. Today I feel it is fitting for me to express our deepest apologies that this could happen on Norwegian soil.”
Stolenberg said 772 Jews were arrested and deported during the Holocaust, and only 34 survived. He also said that Norwegian Jews today say they are living in fear, “afraid to be visible as Jews.”
“We cannot accept this in Norway,” he said. “No one should have to hide their faith, cultural identity or sexual orientation.” Stolenberg said Norway needed to be a safe place for Jews, and that “no one – no individual, no minority – should have to live in fear in this country.”
According to Aftenposten, less than half of the country’s Jews are affiliated with either of the country’s two synagogues, and these congregations have lost 20 percent of their members over the last decade.
The paper put the number of Jews affiliated with the two synagogues at 819, and said “the numbers are dropping due to migration and marriage out of the community.”
But, the paper wrote, some people are not affiliating because of the fear of being “visible as a Jews.” If that is true it is a sign of Norway’s “bankruptcy,” Aftenposten wrote, adding that the country had a responsibility to protect people subject to violence because of their religious affiliation.