Norway: Jew? 'A Common Curse'

President of the Jewish community in Norway suggests that anti-Semitism is growing and in many schools 'Jew' has become a curse.

Haim Lev, Cynthia Blank ,


Norwegians hold the most anti-Semitic beliefs of all citizens in Nordic countries - warns the president of the Jewish community in Norway, Ervin Kohn 

According to him, the level of anti-Semitism is growing and in many schools throughout the country, being called "Jew" has become nothing short of a curse. "Along with the well-known curses, 'Jew' has become a dirty word common in many schools," he said. 

Norway has seen its fair share of major anti-Semitic incidents in recent years.

In 2012, Professor Johan Galtung, a Norwegian academic, went on an anti-Semitic diatribe linking mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik to the Mossad, recommended the infamous Protocols of the Elders of Zion and claimed that Jewish achievements in Germany led to the Nazi Holocaust.

Also in 2012, marchers at a May Day Parade held banners proclaiming slogans such as “Israel = Apartheid” and “Boycott Israel!” - an act that Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg failed to condemn. 

In April of this year a school and sports facility were sprayed with numerous swastikas and racist slogans.  And in September a swastika was carved into the glass doors of the Trøndelag Theater the day after the premiere of a Jewish puppet theater performance. 

The large Muslim community in Norway also seems to have a relation to rise of anti-Semitism. 

In January 2013, Nehmat Ali Shah, the imam at Norway's largest mosque - the Jamaat-e Ahl-e Sunnat mosque - claimed in an interview with Dagsavisen  that the existing hostility between Muslims and Christians is caused by Jewish influence.

Kohn addressed this issue in his comments: "There is a total of about 1300 Jews in Norway; 160 of them are Norwegian schoolchildren. And sometimes they need to hide their Jewishness."

He added, "If you're going to school with a large groups of Muslims, I do not think the first thing you should do is pick up your hand and tell them about your Jewish background. "

"The sad thing is that the [Norwegian] public still believe in stereotypes and the conspiracy theories that Jews have a great impact on the world financial markets and seek to take over the world. The strange thing about this strain of anti-Semitism is that it is over 2,000 years old, but never dies."