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)

Friday 18 November 2011

Bruce Bawer On Antisemitism In Norway & What Drives It

American Bruce Bawer, who has lived in Norway for the past twelve years, has a no-holds-barred piece on antisemitism there (which he describes as "over the top") and the Norwegian elite's submission to Islamist influences, in his latest column in the online magazine Hudson New York.

Among his revelations:

'The quintessential expression of Norwegian anti-Semitism during my time in Norway was an op-ed written by Jostein Gaarder, author of the international bestseller Sophie's World. It appeared on August 11, 2006, in Aftenposten, Norway's newspaper of record. I will quote from it just to give you a flavor of the kind of thing that is considered respectable discourse in Norway. "The state of Israel in its current form is history," wrote Gaarder. "We do not believe in the notion of God's chosen people....To act as God's chosen people is not only stupid and arrogant, but a crime against humanity....We acknowledge...Europe's deep responsibility for the fate of Jews....But the state of Israel...has massacred its own legitimacy....The State of Israel has seen its Soweto.... " Gaarder went on to describe little Jewish girls writing hateful words on bombs to be dropped on civilian populations in Lebanon and Palestine – as if it were Israel that teaches its children to hate and kill. He wrote: "We do not recognize a state founded on anti-humanistic principles and the ruins of an archaic national religion and warrior religion." You might have thought he was talking about Saudi Arabia or Iran, but no; he was talking about Israel. After reading Gaarder's op-ed, one of the leading members of Norway's tiny Jewish community, a writer named Mona Levin, said she had not read anything so disturbing since Mein Kampf. Many ordinary Norwegians agreed. Yet members of the cultural elite lined up to support Gaarder. As far as they were concerned he had struck a blow for truth and virtue.

What motivates this anti-Semitism? Several things. For one, the leading lights of Norway's cultural elite are overwhelmingly on the far left, and intensely hostile to the West, to capitalism, and therefore to the US and to Israel, which they see as America's puppet and vassal – a colonialist, imperialist outpost of Western capitalism in the heart of the Islamic world. Before the fall of the USSR, an extraordinary percentage of these Norwegian leftists were either Communists or very sympathetic to Communism. They have replaced their affinity to the Soviet Union with sympathy for the great totalitarian ideology of our time: Islamism. Thus they romanticize Palestinians and despise Israel.

Part of the motivation for this anti-Semitism is of course 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 multicultural elite is to join them in their rantings. This is called solidarity....

On Oslo's version of Fleet Street there is a bar, a journalists' hangout, called Stopp Pressen (Stop the Presses). For years, there hung in its window a photograph of a smiling, beatific Yasser Arafat. From the way he was portrayed, you would have thought he was Albert Schweizer. I walked by that picture almost every day for years. It was a good reminder of the sickness at the top ranks of Norwegian society....

The cultural elite has been forced to admit that there are problems with [Muslim] immigration, but its mantra is still that the only, or at least the main, problem with Islam in Europe is not Islam itself but anti-Islamic prejudice. Also, pretty much any Muslim who is not an active terrorist is by definition a moderate. A few years ago I actually began hearing people in Norway talk about "moderate Islamists" and now this is an entirely familiar label. It is a perfect example of what Daniel Patrick Moynihan called "defining deviancy down."

These so-called "moderate Islamists," moreover, are routinely welcomed into the elite.... Meanwhile people from the Muslim community who object to the tyranny of imams and want to enjoy the same freedoms everyone else does get little support from the very authorities who should be their champions....

Two years ago, supposedly in response to Israel's actions against Hamas, Muslims rioted in downtown Oslo, making a large area of the city look like Beirut or Sarajevo at their most violent moments in modern history. The violence was out of control, the damage extensive. Yet almost everyone got off scot-free. And the whole event was soon dropped down the memory hole. The media, the politicians, simply did not want to talk about it or address its implications for the future.

Early last year, in the same Oslo Square where Quisling and his henchman once held rallies, scores of radical Muslims gathered to hear a Nazi-like message of hate against Jews, gays, secular democracy, America, the West, Israel. The speeches were chilling. Yet many of the men who gave those speeches continue to be treated with respect by Norwegian authorities. One of them threatened a new 9/11 in Norway. A few weeks ago he flew to Saudi Arabia to resume his studies of the Koran. He was considered so radical and dangerous that Saudi Arabia actually arrested him at the airport and sent him back to Norway, where he is now once again moving around freely....

Many critics of Islam were so intimidated by this vicious new atmosphere [post-Breivik] that they stepped forward and expressed regret for things they had said and written. Meanwhile leading politicians and the Norwegian Crown Prince visited mosques to show their solidarity with imams. Never mind that those imams' opinions were no different than they had been the day before the massacre. Suddenly all that was to be forgotten. Solidarity with Islam, shunning of Islam critics: this was – and is – the order of the day. In the local elections on September 10, the Labor Party received a huge sympathy vote, and the Progress Party suffered a disastrous setback. People were quite simply scared to vote for the party that had been linked, however unfairly, to the mass murderer....'

Read the entire article here


  1. I'm having computer trouble at the moment, so any comments on these threads may appear tardily - apologies in advance!

  2. An interesting point that is overlooked by the author is that the Norwegian State while technically neutral during WW2 was still overwhelmingly pro-Nazis. The Norwegians just keep shifting to the most antisemitic political theory of the day.

  3. Quisling wasn't British, you know. Maybe it's part of the Norse ethos to embrace every form of fascism there is.

  4. Thanks for the comments, IP and Trudy - they are late going up because my home p.c. is still kaput.

  5. For tHose interested in the topic of antisemitism from Nordic countries (including Norway) I highly recommend you read this freely available book (downloadable PDF) "Behind the Humanitarian Mask: The Nordic Countries, Israel, and the Jews" here:

  6. Having visited Norway several times, and marvelling at its beauty, enjoying the warmth and hospitality of Norwegian people, it was difficult to understand their antisemitic attitudes. A visit to the Jewish Museum in Oslo did not help. Now with the invasion of Moslems, apparently Norwegians do not resent the loss of their identity, but are encouraging it. there can me no moderate Moslems in Norway, or elsewhere when they are not protected from violence or murder by a government that fears Moslem radicals. They will persist, and with the aid of left wing labor will sadly prevail.

  7. Many thanks for the comments! Apologies for the delay in getting them up - computer trouble seems to be fixed now.


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