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The PJ Tatler

by
Bruce Bawer

Bio

September 16, 2011 - 6:51 am

I’ve written here previously about the virulence of anti-Semitism in Norway. Now the estimable Hans Rustad of document.no – who these days is standing up almost alone against the repulsive effort to silence critics of Islam and multiculturalism after the July 22 massacres in and near Oslo – has posted excerpts from reports sent by the U.S. Embassy in Oslo to the State Department about attitudes toward Jews in Norway.

Some highlights:

“Anti-Semitism in Norway, and the expression of anti-Semitic comments, has increased since the Gaza war. The small Norwegian Jewish community is wary of being targeted, and ‘Jew’ has become more popular as an epithet.”

“On December 30 in a television debate program, when asked about the prospect for progress in the Middle East with Obama leading negotiations, Willoch said, ‘it doesn’t look good, because he has chosen a Jew as a chief of staff.’”

“Ole Moen is the most frequently quoted academic on US policy. During the election, he predicted that Americans would never elect either a black man or a woman due to the racism and sexism that he believes permeates American society. On January 9 Moen said Obama ‘has appointed many Jews and pro-Israel people in his administration.…This makes me have little hope for significant change (in Middle East policy.)’”

“Anecdotal evidence shows the small Jewish community in Norway, comprising about 1000 members, are experiencing a growing fear of rising anti-Semitism. When attempting to write a January 10 story about how Jewish families were dealing with the fallout from the war in Gaza, a major newspaper found that most of those contacted refused to be interviewed, because they were afraid of being targeted if they appeared in the paper. One orthodox Jewish family in Oslo chose not to take their children to synagogue, as their appearance on the street makes them especially vulnerable. Some Jewish parents are walking with their children to school as an added security measure. There have been reports of bullying at school, where Jewish children are subject to insults. A recent expose on anti-Semitism in a major paper found that ‘Jew’ has become an epithet among both Muslim and Christian teenagers. One Muslim teenager interviewed commented that his friends say that the Israelis ‘aren’t people.’ When pressed by the reporter on what that meant, he responded, ‘well of course we know they’re people, but when we say they’re inhuman, we mean they aren’t good people.’”

(And yet we are told ad nauseum that Muslims are today’s Jews.)

“The chief Rabbi of the Oslo Synagogue reportedly receives a pile of hate mail each day. Typical salutations on such mail are, ‘Murderers,’ ‘Maybe Hitler was right,’ ‘May hatred toward you Jews grow and strengthen,’ and so forth.”

“According to an Israeli embassy official, during a dinner in honor of a visiting member of the Knesset, some Jewish Israeli-Norwegian married couples commented that among people like themselves, many were talking of moving to Israel, because they did not want to expose their children to fear and hatred.”

“In mid-January, a first secretary at the Norwegian embassy in Saudi Arabia used the MFA’s [Ministry of Foreign Affairs] email system to send out a fundraising email appeal for Gaza with images comparing Israeli soldiers with Nazi soldiers, urging recipients to forward it as a chain letter. The MFA said it would be dealt with as an internal personnel matter and there has been no further public information given on the disposition of the case.”

One of the reports cites an “anti-war parade that ended with a full-scale riot in front of the Israeli embassy” and that featured “[c]ries of, ‘Kill the Jews!’” The report also notes that a “pro-Israel demonstration in Bergen was cancelled because police told organizers that they could not protect participants.”

It is also pointed out that the Norwegian media encourage “outrage over Israeli policy” and thus shape “an atmosphere in which anti-Semitism is easier for ordinary Norwegians to express,” though “there is no corresponding freedom to attack Hamas.”

None of which is news to those of us who have lived in Oslo for years and have been relatively awake. But it is good to know that the U.S. Embassy is aware of what’s going on, and cares.

(front page graphic found here)

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