Foreign Ministry on video: 'Like Nazi propaganda'

Apparently fake video in the name of National Theater of Norway condemning the 'occupation' elicits comparisons to Goebbels' propaganda.

Shai Landesman ,

Gjertrud Synge, presented as spokesperson for National Theater of Norway
Gjertrud Synge, presented as spokesperson for National Theater of Norway
Photo: Youtube screenshot

A video, apparently a fake, posted online in the name of the National Theater of Norway caused the Israeli Foreign Ministry to publish a statement harshly condemning the video, comparing it to the output of Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels and infamous Nazi filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl.

Riefenstahl was behind influential films such as "Triumph of the Will", from 1935, which showed carefully assembled footage from the annual Nazi rally at Nuremberg, projecting Nazi party power and strength, and converting many Germans to the Hitler cult.

The video opens with a note explaining that the National Theater of Norway had collaborated with Habima, Israel's national theater, in 2014, and that Habima "breaks international law when they perform in illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories."

It then goes on to show Gjertrud Synge, who is presented as the spokesperson for the National Theater of Norway, saying that today is a "great day for the National Theater of Norway. It is the day when we apologize for our collaboration with Habima, the national theater of Israel. When our theater director authorized the collaboration two years ago, we did not know what a powerful role Habima and other Israeli art institutions play in normalizing the Israeli occupation."

Synge then steps things up: "We didn't know that art and theater are extremely important tools for the state of Israel to build up the image of itself as a humanistic nation, and not as the Apartheid state that it actually is."

The Israeli Foreign Ministry published a statement in reply to the video: "Under the hypocritical guise of freedom of speech, actors pretending to be from the National Theater of Norway produced a video, officially funded, which calls for a boycott of Habima theater and the entire state of Israel.

"The video is reminiscent of the propaganda that came out of the sick minds of Goebbels and Nazi filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl. The state of Israel demands that the National Theater of Norway, in whose name the sentiments in the video are presented, immediately and completely disavow any connection to the video, and act to have it removed from every site and network. The Foreign Ministry is working feverishly to this end with all relevant elements."

The National Theater of Norway denies any connection to the video, saying in a statement: "This is not us and the video doesn't reflect our values. We are for collaborations with Habima and against boycotts."