Op-Ed: Report: Vidal Sassoon Center Lecture
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During his lecture at the Vidal Sassoon Center at Hebrew University, anti-Semitism expert Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld said that Norway serves as a most useful example to expose anti-Semitism and anti-Israel hate-mongering in the Western world. He listed a number of events in this Labor party-dominated Scandinavian country which would have been admired by Nazis.
Among them was a year-long honoring of the Nobel Prize for Literature recipient Knut Hamsun in 2009. This Nazi party member dedicated his award to German propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels. The government of current Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg also spent twenty million dollars to build a museum in Hamsun’s honor.
In 2010, the Norwegian Embassy in Damascus funded an exhibition there of a series of Israel-hate drawings by Norwegian painter Hakon Gullvag. After the horrific Breivik murders in the summer of 2011 on the island of Utoya, it became widely known that this camp of the Labor Youth Organization AUF was largely devoted to the anti-Israel indoctrination of youngsters from 14 years and up.
At present, a parliamentary committee is investigating whether the accusations of Norwegian Conservative Parliamentarian Peter Gitman that the Norwegian government is indirectly financing Palestinian terror are correct. Palestinian Media Watch, an Israeli NGO has published that recipients of a monthly salary from the Palestinian Authority include those serving multiple life sentences in Israeli jails for murder. Earlier this year, King Harald V awarded a Royal Medal of Honor to Muslim anti-Semite Trond Ali Lindstad. After much criticism - from abroad also - the King had to rescind the honor and apologize.
Gerstenfeld also mentioned that in 2009, the second largest TV station TV2, paid for a trip to Oslo for condemned British Holocaust denier, David Irving. He was given a quarter of an hour of broadcast time in which he could expose his fabrications.
In 2008, comedian Otto Jespersen said on the same station, TV2, “I would like to take this opportunity to commemorate all of the billions of fleas and lice that lost their lives in German gas chambers without having done anything wrong other than settling on people of Jewish origin.” There was much outrage after this, but the TV’s management kept backing Jespersen.
Gerstenfeld provided further examples of anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism by Norway’s government, politicians, universities and academics, media, NGO’s, church leaders, trade unions and many others. He explained that a little-known type of racism is rife in Norway. This humanitarian racism ignores or whitewashes crimes committed by people of color, and non-Westerners. This goes against the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that all people are responsible for their own deeds. By looking away from Palestinian and other Muslims’ crimes the current Norwegian government became a racist one, which also includes some part-time anti-Semites. Gerstenfeld pointed out that the Norwegian media followed similar practices by intentionally ignoring many mass murders occurring in Arab and Muslim countries, while stressing Israeli shortcomings.
38% of the general Norwegian population thinks that Israel behaves toward the Palestinians in the same way that the Nazis behaved toward Jews.
In addition, Gerstenfeld quoted a study by the Oslo Holocaust Center which stated that 38% of the general Norwegian population thinks that Israel behaves toward the Palestinians in the same way that the Nazis behaved toward Jews. Another study undertaken by the Oslo municipality showed that one third of all Jewish high school students are verbally or physically harassed at least two or three times per month.
Gerstenfeld contrasted Norwegian arrogance and incitement regarding Israel’s security issues with its own inabilities. Its former Chief of Staff Robert Mood said that the Norwegian army could at best defend perhaps one neighborhood in Oslo, certainly not the whole country. When the first information about the ongoing Breivik murders on Utoya arrived Norwegian police exhibited total disarray. Many parts of the subsequent police action went wrong, as has been detailed by an investigative committee.
Gerstenfeld concluded by saying that if Norway had to confront the challenges which Israel faced in the last decades, the country would have ceased to exist long ago.