Is the acclaimed sociologist of peace a neo-Nazi?

While we were still in shadow of Holocaust Remembrance Day, Memorial Day, Norwegian Academy raged against sociologist Johan Galtung.

Mein Kampf sells in Poland_311 (photo credit: Reuters)
Mein Kampf sells in Poland_311
(photo credit: Reuters)
While we were still in the shadow cast by Holocaust Remembrance Day and Memorial Day, the Norwegian Academy was raging against renowned sociologist Johan Galtung, who declared that “Jews own 96% of the world’s media,” and that the American media are biased in favor of Israel. During an interview published in The Humanist, Galtung also recommended that people read The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The Protocols, he stated, offer a persuasive explanation of Jewish control of the world, and should be read to get at the truth.
The storm in Oslo revealed that this was not the first time Galtung expressed himself this way, and that for some time he has discussed the Protocols and Jewish control of the world in his lectures and on TV appearances. Galtung, in fact, based some of his claims on articles that appeared in The National Vanguard, a neo-Nazi website that had been used by the mass-murderers Anders Breivik and Timothy McVeigh to justify their terrorist acts. I opened this website, and what immediately came up was, “That’s correct, the Jews had killed millions of Slavic people,” and an article criticizing the Nobel Prize Committee for awarding too many Nobel prizes to Jews (“Jewish bias and the Nobel Prize”).
SO WHO is this Galtung, you may ask, and why is it so surprising that there is another anti-Semite in the world? Here’s the reason for the surprise: Professor Johan Galtung is the consummate Man of Peace.
As a youth, he sat in jail on behalf of peace; following his math and sociology studies, he was the founding father of the academic discipline “peace and conflict studies.”
Galtung was the first incumbent of a chair in peace studies, the first editor of a research journal about peace, headed a university peace institute, and ultimately established Transcend University, specializing in peacemaking and conflict resolution. He is a member of the Norwegian Academy for Arts and Sciences, the darling of the Green Party, a laureate of the Alternative Nobel Prize for human rights and recipient of numerous prizes and honorary degrees from universities around the world.
A glance at Galtung’s CV also reveals seemingly one of the most productive scholars in the social sciences, with more than a thousand publications to his name and 25,000 citations of his work (on closer look most of those “publications” are not real scientific publications).
Based on any public or academic criterion, Prof. Galtung had until now been a worthy and respected individual, and justifiably so. If there was one reliable man of peace in this world, it would be the Norwegian sociologist Johan Galtung.
This background explains the astonishment that gripped the Norwegian Academy to hear Galtung’s words. It was the same astonishment evoked by the murderer Breivik in Oslo – a symbolic city of peace for many in the world – when he massacred dozens of innocent children less than a year ago. How could it be, members of the Norwegian Academy are now asking, that this lover of peace bases his words on neo-Nazi publications, and spreads his ideas in lectures, interviews and writing? How come he claims that the Mossad is behind the Oslo massacre? Does he, too, like Breivik, greet others with a “Sieg Heil”? But is this surprise warranted? A deeper examination reveals that Galtung’s seemingly neo-Nazi approach is not new. In a 2010 lecture at the Institute for Peace and Justice in San Diego, Galtung declared – in a more reasoned presentation than Gunther Grass – that “this bond between Judaism and Christianity in the United States is the key problem today,” as Israel threatens to expose the United States’ treatment of Native Americans. Because of Israeli extortion, these two empires together control the world, with the big empire under the thumb of the little one.
In fact, his words suggest – without clever sophistry – that the Zionist movement seeks to dominate the world on behalf of the 13 million Jews in it, and is accomplishing this by extortion of the United States. President Barack Obama, at least, is in Israel’s palm.
Israel and the USA are thus responsible for terror and massacres in the Arab Spring, they sent the people to kill their brothers.
Unbelievable? Look at his public interviews! When the editor of The Humanist was asked why he agreed to publish Galtung’s words, he responded that it was important to know that such dangerous ideas exist in Norway.
Indeed, the importance of this event is not what Eli Yishai plans to do about Galtung (following his decision to ban Gunther Grass from entering Israel). The larger questions are: What does Europe allow itself to utter these days? Has Europe again expanded the range of legitimate ideas, and does it view anti-Semitic texts such as the Protocols part of an enlightened, truth-seeking discourse? Will these ideas – as happened in France – start to gather crusaders, supporters and a party? And will Galtung, the seeker of peace with Mein Kampf ideas, again don armor and take up the police cudgel? And how come the academic world failed to see through Galtung’s conspiracy theories and ban them? So what is Galtung, they are asking in Norway: An enlightened sociologist who wants peace or a Viking Quisling who incites hatred? What is crystal clear, says the Israeli, is that another seeker of peace like this and we’re goners.
The writer is director of the NCJW Research Institute for Innovation in Education and a professor in the department of sociology at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.