Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Saturday, 30 July 2011

The Sad Song Of Norway: Its Antisemitic Refrain

Oslo, 2006.  Miriam Shomrat, Israel's Ambassador to Norway, was incensed.  And with good reason.

In September that year, a month after Oslo's Jewish cemetery was vandalised, and just before Rosh Hashanah, three individuals in a passing car (later identified as two Islamists and an accomplice called Kristiansen), fired a volley of 13 shots at the synagogue.  The building's facade was damaged, although luckily no one was hurt. 

The attack came shortly after the government of Jens Stoltenberg (who of course has been very much in the public eye this past week, and has visited a mosque to show his solidarity with his country's Muslims) ruled that security cameras monitoring the approaches to the synagogue in Oslo must be removed.

Likening the attack on the synagogue to terrorism (a court verdict disagreed, by the way, finding merely that "serious vandalism" had occurred), Miriam Shomrat observed, before the perpetrators (who had, it would transpire, planned to bomb the Israeli and American embassies and to kidnap and decapitate her) were discovered:
"We don't know who's doing this, whether it's Norwegians or foreigners.  But the fact that there's been an increase [in attacks] and that it's happening in Oslo must be taken very seriously by the political community."
Diplomatic or not, in a television interview she made some pointed remarks about the fact that not a single message of sympathy had  been forthcoming from the country's Royal Family, and blamed a former prime minister, Kåre Willoch (wrongly identified in the following video as "Kurk Witnak") for contributing to the climate of antisemitism in Norway, and also criticised bestselling author Jostein Gaarder.

Willoch, a Conservative, and a fierce critic of Israeli policy towads the Palestinian Arabs, had in May 2006 invited Hamas official Atef Adwan to a private lucheon; Willoch would subsequently be accused of antisemitism by the Wall Street Journal for observing of President Obama's appointment of Rahm Emanuel: "It does not look too promising, he has chosen a chief of staff who is Jewish," a remark also condemned by Alan Dershowitz.

Gaarder, during Israel's operations against Hizbollah in southern Lebanon, had in an op-ed in the newspaper Aftenposten entitled "God's Chosen People" described Judaism as "an archaic national and warlike religion" and noted that Christianity promotes "compassion and forgiveness".  He claimed that many Israelis  rejoiced at the deaths of Lebanese children, just as the biblical Israelites celebrated the plagues a wrathful Deity inflicted upon Egypt.
"We laugh at this people's whims, and cry over its misdeeds. To act as God's chosen people is not only foolish and arrogant, it is a crime against humanity. We call it racism.... We laugh with embarrassment at those who still believe that the god of the flora, fauna and galaxies has chosen one particular people as his favorite, and given them amusing stone tablets, burning bushes and a license to kill....
We no longer recognize the State of Israel. We could not recognize the apartheid regime of South Africa, nor did we recognize the Afghani Taliban regime. Then there were many who did not recognize Saddam Hussein’s Iraq or the Serbs’ ethnic cleansing. We need to get used to the idea: The State of Israel, in its current form, is history.
The State of Israel has raped the recognition of the world and shall have no peace until it lays down its arms."

Ambassador Shomrat's remarks were denounced the following day by Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre, of whom we've also been seeing a lot in recent days.

Sniffed Støre, who has shown time and again that he is no friend to Israel:
"In the first place an ambassador from another country ought to know that the Royal Family can never respond to such remarks. And anyway she should also know that it is the government that expresses the view of the Norwegian authorities. 
What she is doing is to make criticisms of something that must be interpreted as a lack of sympathy with what happened last week. I think this is an unsuitable remark for an ambassador from another country in Norway.",7340,L-3308339,00.html
Fast forward a few years.  In a BBC News bulletin on Wednesday, an attractive and personable young woman who is a member of the Norwegian parliament was interviewed, obviously in order to drive home the message that Norway is the multicultural paradise that all good leftists say it is. Describing Norway as a "land of opportunity" she pointed out that she, the daughter of Muslim immigrants, had been elected to the legislature at the age of 28.

Quite so.  But for its small and dwindling Jewish community Norway is less the land of opportunity than the land of betrayal.

During the Second World War, Norway was the only one of the four Scandinavian countries which failed to protect its Jews from deportation.  Of Norway's 1700 Jews, 736 were deported to their deaths (the others were hidden or managed to escape).

In contrast, the Jews of Denmark were famously rescued by being secretly conveyed by fishing boats to Sweden (which was neutral and unoccupied by the Nazis), while Finland, although an ally of Nazi Germany, pointedly refused to allow its Jews to be deported.

From 1942-45 wartime Norway was ruled by the Nazi stooge Vidkun Quisling, whose name is a synonym for treason, while below him were the usual gang of German and local antisemitic psychopaths.  (If you have ten minutes to spare, have a look at this video, in the second half of which an expert is interviewed.)

After the war, although Quisling was hanged, Police Inspector Knut Rod, who had been responsible for rounding up the Jews, was acquitted in what one source has described as a "scandalous" trial, while Jewish survivors who managed to return to Norway found that their apartments and businesses had been taken over by "Aryan" Norwegians.  Those Jews fortunate enough to get their property returned to them had to pay a steep "administration fee" for the privilege.

Although 66 years have passed since the end of the war, it appears that little has changed.  Norway today is, in fact, one of the most antisemitic countries in Europe, and much of the impetus for this hostility to Jews and to Israel has come not only from Muslim sources but from the ruling Labor Party and its supporters.

An astute pro-Israel Norwegian blogger noted, two-and-a-half years ago:
'Mainstream media in Norway frequently uses cartoons depicting the state of Israel as the quintessential, vicious Jew. More often than not this caricature of a villainous Jew is depicted as violently oppressing a seemingly powerless neighbour.  To the right you can see “the seven synonyms of death”, from the Norwegian daily Dagsavisen, on January 7th, 2004. Dagsavisen is still tied to the labor movement, but not as much as it used to. In this caricature we see a bearded, bignosed man writing down synonyms for death on a scroll. He is wearing a cap which looks sort of Jewish....
I think it’s ten years now that I’ve heard people talk about similarities between Israel and Nazi-Germany. The comparison has been pretty much drilled into us in a classic Pavlovian conditioning.'
Last year, a prominent University of Oslo social anthropologist and  popular chat show regular, Thomas Hylland Eriksen, wrote, in  his book  Søppel – avfall i en verden av bivirkninger (“Trash – Garbage in a world of side effects”), while paraphrasing another author:
"The Jews (were considered) unclean because they were both insiders and outsiders: They had contributed disproportionately to Europe’s fine arts and were culturally competent, but at the same time they were not quite insiders due to their religion, their networks and their propensity for endogamy (they mostly married other Jews). They excluded themselves, and were in turn excluded, or vice versa."
He then dropped the clanger: "These days the same formula is applied to Arabs…. by Jews."

Apparently, the perception of Muslims as "the new Jews"and the Israelis as "the new Nazis" is found rather a lot in Norway.

Who can easily forget the far-left hatchet-faced Gaza-based Norwegian doctor, Mads Gilbert, doing a far-left hatchet job on Israel during Operation Cast Lead in 2009?

The previous year, controversial performer Otto Jespersen offended Jews when he joked with impunity on national television:
"I would like to take the opportunity to remember all the billions of fleas and lice that lost their lives in German gas chambers, without having done anything wrong other than settling on persons of Jewish background."
 And he ended a satirical monologue on antisemitism thus:
 "Finally, I would like to wish all Norwegian Jews a Merry Christmas - no, what am I saying! You don't celebrate Christmas, do you!? It was you who crucified Jesus."
 In 2010 Labor parliamentarian Anders Mathisen apparently queried the Holocaust, telling the newspaper Finnmarken that Jews “exaggerated their stories” and “there is no evidence the gas chambers and or mass graves existed”.  He reportedly accused movies such as Schindler's List for bamboozling the public, and is said to have refused calls to resign.,7340,L-4046049,00.html

Jens Stoltenberg's immediate predecessor as party leader, Thorbjørn Jagland, currently serving as Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, was utterly condemnatory of Israel and its defensive actions on board the Mavi Marmara last year, taking Turkey's part.

Socialist leader Kristin Halvorsen has spearheaded Norway's pervasive "Boikott Israel" campaign. Not long ago, she supported a call for military action against Israel if it attacked Hamas in Gaza.  She's pictured here, when serving as minister of finance,at an anti-Israel rally where (in translation) a placard pronounced: "The greatest axis of evil: USA and Israel” and (it's not hard to guess by whom) "Death to the Jews!" was repeatedly shouted.

Halvorsen's twisted logic is that unless punitive action is taken against Israel for air strikes at Hamas positions, the credibility of international attempts to dislodge Gaddafi by force are morally undermined.  Similarly, Vibeke Løkkeberg, director of the anti-Israel movie Tears Over Gaza, aired on state-owned television station NRK, compared Operation Cast Lead to "the massacres Gaddafi is conducting against Libyan insurgents".

Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre, who visited the ill-fated Utøya island youth camp the day before the massacre by Breivik, was cheered for his pro-Palestinian rhetoric, despite rejecting youth camp leader Eskil Pedersen's call for a unilateral boycott of Israel by Norway. (Both men are pictured here, side by side.)

Update: be sure to see also

Last year, the Norwegian government, which has banned Israel from tendering for Norwegian defence contracts, divested from two Israeli concerns operating in the West Bank, and its sovereign wealth fund divested from an Israeli company that worked on the security fence.  The government recently upgraded Palestinian representation in Norway to full ambassadorial status despite the Fatah's accord with Hamas.

Sitting alongside Mahmoud Abbas, Støre told a press conference that " it is perfectly legitimate" for Abbas to seek recognition of an independent Palestinian state at the UN.   Støre chairs a group of countries who financially support the Palestinian cause, and stressed that "all donors should make an extra effort to support the Palestinians this summer and autumn”.  Ingrid Fiskaa, a Socialist who serves as official in the Norwegian Foreign Ministry, declared in 2008 that she occasioanlly wished that the UN would send “precision-guided missiles against selected Israeli targets”.  For more on Støre, who's likely to succeed Jens Stoltenberg as Prime Minister in due course, and his woeful attitude towards Israel, see

In November 2010, 100 or so members and supporters of a political party called Rødt ("Red") held what police termed "an illegal demonstration" inside a shopping centre in Oslo. The BDSers involved displayed banners proclaiming "Occupation is not nice - Boycott Israel!" and "Shame on you!",  and yelled "Boycott Israel" and "Free Palestine" as they surrounded a booth selling mineral products from the Dead Sea, interfered with the goods on display,  and harassed the Israeli salesperson.  They affixed stickers to the booth and handed out leaflets. The mall was closed for fifteen to twenty minutes while police struggled to restore order. 
 Last Sunday, BBC television news, always keen to deride legitimate concerns over mass Third World immigration into Europe and to deplore "Islamophobia" whatever the trigger or occasion, trotted out Thorbjorn Jagland to sing the praises of the Norwegian/European commitment to mass immigration and that supposed Utopia wrought by multiculturalism.

Alas, modern Norway is a society in which all minorities may flourish unimpeded (even those whose cultures are inherently misogynistic and treat women as chattels).

All minorities except one, it seems.  (Incidentally, Shechita is banned in Norway, but Muslim ritual slaughter is allowed!)

American writer and literary critic Bruce Bawer has described antisemitism in Norway, where he lives, as being de rigeuer amongst much of  "the cultural elite – the academics, intellectuals, writers, journalists, politicians, and technocrats".

He maintains:
"Part of the motivation for this anti-Semitism is the influx into Norway in recent decades of masses of Muslims from Pakistan, Iraq, Somalia and elsewhere. Multiculturalism has taught Norway’s cultural elite to take an uncritical, even obsequious, posture toward every aspect of Muslim culture and belief. When Muslim leaders rant against Israel and the Jews, the reflexive response of the multiculturalist elite is to join them in their rantings. This is called solidarity."
Read more in Joseph Klein's invaluable article "Norway is repeating its Quisling treachery of the Nazi era, this time."
See also Alan Dershowitz on recent events and his own experience of Norway's antipathy to Jews and Israel:
as well as
Update: Don't miss Barry Rubin's new piece on the "Oslo Syndrome":


  1. Daphne- thank you for the good work you do in defending Jews. you may want to visit Debbie Shclussel's website (not the movie reviews) for a look at Fatah's participation at the indoctrination camp:
    Herb Glatter -

  2. Many thanks, Herb. I will check that out!

  3. Incredible posts:

  4. Screw Norway, I frankly feel no sympathy for them...

  5. Anonymous - which says it all...

    Their children have been killed because they were at a leftist summer camp. Who knows, but they might have grown up - some of them may even have been changing their opinions. Oh, and murder is wrong. Thou shalt not commit murder. Why not? Because we are all made in the image of God.

    And now they are coming after the 'Christianists'!

  6. Glenn Beck got into a bit of bother when he compared this camp to a Hitler youth camp from the 30's.
    I also read in the initial reports that on the agenda for that fatefull afternoon was a couple of hours discussion of how to support Palestinian militants in their struggle, note the word militant and not terrorist. And what would Palestinian terrorists do to Israeli's and Jews given any support by these misguided youth?

  7. Thanks, gentlemen!

    I had not heard what Beck said until I followed Herb's link...

  8. Something is rotten in the state of...Norway! I knew it was bad, but I didn't know that it was that bad.
    Thanks for the post, Daphne, you are doing an excellent job.


  9. Thank you, Sophie - I appreciate the feedback.

  10. So, basically, you fascist numpties think the Norwegian kids had this coming...What delightful people you are.

  11. Nobody is saying that.
    So please do not put words in our mouths or misrepresent what we have said.

    I commend Alan Dershowitz's article to you, which concludes:

    "The time is long overdue for Norwegians to do some deep soul searching about their sordid history of complicity with all forms of bigotry ranging from the anti-Semitic Nazis to the anti-Semitic Hamas. There seems to be a common thread"

  12. A good post here:

  13. The mass murders in Norway are being used by leftwingers to clamp down on free speech about Islam/creeping sharia in Europe - they must NOT get away with it
    Jaglund has been using the Guardian with this objective Daphne - I don't know if you saw this yet, its by that Norsk pisser Jaglund

  14. Shomer, the Guardian is such a repellent rag, and combined with Jaglund it's enough to give me apoplexy! I shall have to beg, borrow or steal some of those old-fashioned smelling salts before I venture over there.
    The venomous antisemitism and double standards shown by the Norwegian Left, which is becoming ever more evident, is staggering. Dershowitz's article, for example, has left me reeling.
    Al Beeb has the gall to describe Norway as "one of the most tolerant countries in Europe" - not a word about its attitude to Jews, of course.

  15. nicked from a comment on cifwatch -

    Norway imposed stringent inheritance taxes on returning Holocaust survivors. Thus, for example, if all other members of an individual’s family had been murdered, the eldest were deemed to have died first. This frequently meant that estates were virtually wiped out and the survivors received next to nothing. Incredible that the state that had collaborated so wholeheartedy and efficiently in the murder of Jews should then impose laws and rules that enabled it to profit so handsomely from those deaths and at the expense of those who had survived.

  16. Smelling salts, please!!!
    The most polite reply I can make regarding that, Anon, is that I shall not be taking that cruise around the fjords that I'd once contemplated before returning Down Under...
    Now, if you have no smelling salts, a sick bucket will do!

  17. their 'response' to Oslo, more democracy it's not -

  18. Sick bucket, Anon!

    Prof. Barry Rubin has written a must-read blog on the "Oslo Syndrome". He begins:

    'One of the most sensitive aspects of the very sensitive subject of the murderous terrorist attack in Norway by a right-wing gunman is this irony: The youth political camp he attacked was at the time engaged in what was essentially (though the campers didn’t see it that way, no doubt) a pro-terrorist program.

    The camp, run by Norway’s left-wing party, was lobbying for breaking the blockade of the terrorist Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip and for immediate recognition of a Palestinian state without that entity needing do anything that would prevent it from being a terrorist base against Israel. They were backing and justifying forces that had committed terrorism against Israelis and killing thousands of people like themselves.

    Even to mention this irony is dangerous since it might be taken to imply that the victims “had it coming.” The victims never deserve to be murdered by terrorists, even any victims who think that other victims of terrorists “had it coming.” This is in no way a justification of that horrendous terrorist act. It’s the exact opposite: a vital but forgotten lesson arising from it that can and should save lives in future.

    Call it the Oslo Syndrome.'

  19. A disturbing article indeed. After a suitable seven day silence after Norway's national tragedy, the silence about the hatred in that country must be broken. After reading your article, I wrote about the same subject and linked back to it on my web site. I also added your high quality site to my Jewish link list. Now I will be checking back to your site regularly. A job well done on a sad topic

  20. Thanks for the positive feedback, Joe - I shall look at your site. Glad to learn of it.

  21. Masterful, impeccably researched.

    The same people who accuse you of saying 'they had it coming' are the same who say the Israelis 'had it coming' or the 'settlers' 'had it coming'.
    Just like the Jews 'had it coming' in the 1930's.

    Obnoxious, double standard, moral and ideological blindness hiding behind anonymity.

  22. Ray, it's good to hear from you: your own blog is taking a "rest" but you must return!

  23. In the '90s of last century more than 50 churches have been burnt down in Norway.
    In Norway, people want to go back to their pre-christian roots. For them all cultures are the same except the jewish and the christian ones.
    I describe them as self-hating ex-christians or westerners.

  24. As a Norwegian I will just help to clarify a few things. Most Norwegians are definitely against nazism and the atrocities in WW2 still. After WW2, most if not all of Norway was on Israel's side. With the gradual move towards the left among young people in the 60s, a process began which gave ear to other "revolutionaries" - Israel was allied with the US and automatically became suspect.

    Consequently, today I would think half the Norwegian population support Israel against the palestinian terror, while the rest are either indoctrinated to believe the palestinians are sufferers or revolutionaries or they close their eyes.

    The situation in the media is another. It is almost impossible to defend Israel without receiving a torrent of hate. The media is in the hands of propagandists. In the guise of charity, socialists can say almost whatever they want.

    As for the Utoya camp, they participated actively in playing palestinians vs israelis, or good vs bad.

    The things is, the Norwegians are ultra-national and probably the country with the biggest collective ego in the world.

    As for the youth organization, they don't define Hamas as terrorists, but poor people who are just fighting back and whose acts of aggression are perfectly understandable.

    If you try to enter into any discussion, the hate torrent is on you.

    This is written so that you should know not all Norwegians are against Israel and that we understand your situation. We are, however, ridiculed always if we leap to your defense.

  25. Many thanks indeed for that comment, Anon - and apologies for the tardiness in posting it.
    I really appreciate the comment, and am sure it will be read with great interest.

  26. AntiSemitism is wrong. Its consequences are morally evil. Ditto Islamophobia.

    Innocents died in Oslo and Utoya. Remember that Breivik identified his victims as "multiculturalists," and his target as the existing government.

    Your post damns the same government and many comments damn the same victims' politics as Breivik damned, but in the name of "AntiSemitism."

    There is a basic, nasty illogic in your attack on Norway. Think about it.

    What people think about Israel is their business. What legal and peaceful means they take to oppose Israel's government is their business. It should not incite an attack on an entire nation.

    For the record, my Norwegian cousin and their compatriots on the islands from which my family emigrated to the U.S. resisted the Nazis and conducted people to Sweden and Scotland.

    John Steinbeck set his story of anti-Nazi resistance, _The Moon is Down_, in Norway. Had the Oslo Accords, which were approved by a majority of Israelis at the time, been implemented, there would have been a two-state solution to Israel's national security conundrum.

    Sometimes, you have to listen to what people say and not resort to tear gas projectiles, bulldozers, special forces attacks or wars to resolve a problem about which people differ.

    Ease up and stop acting like the people you pillory.

  27. I make no apologies for drawing attention to the rabid antisemitism that infects the Norwegian Left - a Left which fails, incidentally, to protect the rights of abused Muslim women in Norway because it wilfully turns a blind eye to their plight in the name of multiculturalism.

    Norway outlaws Jewish ritual slaughter but permits Islamic ritual slaughter. A despicable piece of discrimination in so "multicultural" a nation, wouldn't you say?

    Norway has been called "the most antisemitic country in the West" - by a Norwegian whose link I give at the end of the blog.

    This is a good article relevant to the topic of the Norwegian Left's flirtation with Hamas:

  28. Like you "Daphne," I have a doctorate, and you and I both know that using selective details to characterize a nation, a political party, a religion is not solid rational argument. Yet, you do all of this to serve your emotional commitment. You surrender your reason to your emotions just as do the people you criticize. A little self-insight would be helpful.

    I support Israel, but I am not blinded by emotion. Israel has also erred and needs to be subjected to critical evaluation. Only by subjecting all sides to critical evaluation and not relying on selective detail to tar and feather an entire collective can the troubles that Israel faces be resolved.

    Jews and Arabs are cousins, but Cain and Abel were brothers....

    Think about it.

  29. OK, I'll try again to respond to your reply. My last response has not been posted, despite its mild and courteous tone.

    I recommend to you and your sympathetic commentators a recent book by Timothy Snyder called _Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin_. It is the best and most responsible history of mass killing in WWII Europe. In the last chapter he discusses the "comparative martyrology" of competing narratives. This reminds me of the competing Israeli and Palestinian narratives.

    As a historian and fellow academic, I invite you to think more deeply about the use of such terms as "Islamofascism," "Islamophobia," and "Islamophilia," as well as their counterparts, "Judeophobia," etc. Resort to this vocabulary indicates the presence of cultural hatred and distortion.

    Victims of cultural hatred, Snyder reminds us, are dead. They do not choose the manner of their death, nor their killers. But survivors often co-opt their deaths by interpreting them and weaving them into the "comparative martyrology" of competing nationalist narratives.

    Intellectually, this is abuse of the victims, who can no longer speak for themselves. What is common to all these dead is that their blood is on the hands of those who use them to foster their own superior cause and give a ready excuse for further killing.

  30. May there be none to extend help to Norway on the inevitable day when they cry for help against the enemies within. May both they and their enemies be cleansed from the earth and their lands and resources given to a more deserving people. And let all the congregation say amen!

  31. "Had the Oslo Accords, which were approved by a majority of Israelis at the time, been implemented, there would have been a two-state solution"

    The majority of Israelis were not in favour of the Oslo Accords. The Rabin government had to openly bribe two Knesset members to have Oslo II pass by one vote. Prime Minister Rabin was opposed to the creation of a palestinian state and the Oslo Accords make no mention of such a state.

  32. Thanks, everyone, for the latest comments!
    Anon, thanks for your comments (I have posted your previous one, as you'll see.
    I don't accuse all Norwegians of antisemitism - that would be monstrously foolish and unjust; I am talking in the blog about the leftwing elites and governing circles.
    As long as all Muslims in the West fail to speak out forcefully and publicly against terror attacks, as long as they fail to be seen to distance themselves from those calling for the implementation of Sharia on "kufars" in Europe and who speak of the inferiority of women and justify wife-beating (as some imams have done), and as long as there are those among them who commit "honour" killings of femal family members, as long as there are extremists among them who intrude Islam into the public domain, as is happenning in parts of Europe, then I'm afraid "Islamophobia" will continue to exist.

  33. this i found about eskil pederson his hate for israel


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