Facebook takes down Norwegian antisemitism watchdog for 'terror propaganda'

Facebook group gone after unamsking antisemitism in Norwegian media for years, taking with it the largest archive of antisemitism in Norwegian press; 'It is not pleasant to be a Jew in Norway nowadays,' says local

Facebook Norway has removed a group on the social network that has documented thousands of examples of antisemitism in the country over the last eight years, with an emphasis on the Norwegian state television NRK.
The group, known as Stop Antisemitism on Norwegian TV, had 5,000 followers and its administrators are convinced that its removal from the social media platform was intended to silence and hide the fact that "Norway is the most antisemitic country in Europe today."
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קריקטורה אנטישמית ב-NKR. "יהודים חזירים"
קריקטורה אנטישמית ב-NKR. "יהודים חזירים"
Antisemitic cartoon found on the public broadcaster titled 'Pig Jews'
The administrators of the group announced that they would wage a legal battle in Norway in an attempt to force Facebook to restore the group to the platform. Meanwhile, they appealed to several Jewish organizations around the world and warned that the removal of the group meant the deletion of documentation compiled over many years.
"This is not only a serious violation of freedom of expression, but even worse it is the removal of a vital resource in the fight against antisemitism on state television and other media in Norway," said On Elpeleg, an Israeli-Norwegian citizen who has lived in Norway for 35 years.
According to Elpeleg, this is the largest such archive in Norway, which has recorded thousands of cases of antisemitism.
"The group was removed after Facebook claimed that the group falls under the category of 'dangerous people and organizations' that spread terrorism. This is referring of course to videos uploaded to the group from the October 7 massacre, and included atrocities committed by Hamas terrorists," he explained.
"At first, Facebook's bot removed videos and posts and sent warnings. I was warned that I was spreading propaganda of a terrorist organization. I responded and explained that we are fighting terrorism and trying to spread information and knowledge about antisemitism and harm to Jews around the world, and then they rejected my complaint."
Elpeleg also said that the last straw was a post that compared protesters in Oslo, who burned and spat on the Israeli flag, to what it called Hamas "protesters" who burned and killed Israelis on October 7.
Elpeleg said that a very high percentage of Norwegians support a boycott of Israel. "Their method is a silent boycott. Jewish and Israeli children who live in Norway are ostracized in schools. Jews suffer from threats. I, for example, have experienced threats on the phone. It is not pleasant to be a Jew in Norway nowadays," he said.
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בייבי ג'יזס בכתבה ב-NKR
בייבי ג'יזס בכתבה ב-NKR
NKR post headlined 'Jesus in the ruins' is meant as a blood libel, group says
"For the Norwegians, Zionism is a bad thing. In Norway there is a great sensitivity to freedom of expression, but only for one side. No Norwegian newspaper was willing to report on the deletion of our group. But if a Palestinian wrote an antisemitic article on Instagram and it was deleted, it would lead the news in Norway." However, several websites in the country reported on the group being taken down.
The Facebook group was established following Norwegian media reports depicting students complaining about the difficult housing market and comparing it to the Auschwitz extermination camp.
"The last example was at Christmas, when a well-known Norwegian journalist, an NRK reporter, published an article in which there was a photograph from Bethlehem of a doll wrapped in a keffiyeh lying in rubble (symbolizing the ruins in Gaza), and she even wrote 'Baby Jesus,' this is a blood libel. On Norwegian state television, accusations that Israel is committing genocide are made all the time. They don't show the other side, but only the Palestinians," he says.
Comedian Roseanne Barr, who followed the Facebook group, called Norway's state television "Nazis" after they featured a video comparing the housing plight of students in Norway to Auschwitz.
In another case, the website of Norwegian state radio published an interview with a rapper who said that he studied the Torah and realized that the Jews do many ugly things. According to him, Jews understand that because they are the chosen people they are allowed to murder people and in this context, he spoke about a "genocide" in Gaza.
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הפוסט של רוזאן בר
הפוסט של רוזאן בר
Comedian Roseanne Barr, who followed the Facebook group, called Norway's state television 'Nazis'
The NRK also published a cartoon in 2019 in which the word "Jewish pigs" appeared under the figure of an ultra-Orthodox Jew. At first, the channel refused to remove the cartoon on the grounds of preserving freedom of expression, but after international pressure, the channel issued an apology. In Norwegian media articles about the case, Facebook did not respond and neither did NKR.

Jerusalem against Oslo

Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry issued an unusual statement against Norway. "Even six months after the largest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust, Norway, the only country among the like-minded countries that still maintain relations with the Hamas terrorist organization, continues its disproportionate and biased position that favors Hamas," according to the statement issued on Tuesday.
"It is shocking that the murders, rapes and other atrocities that the terrorists of Hamas committed did not change the Norwegian government’s position at all and that it still does not consider Hamas to be a terrorist organization."
The statement continues: "We searched the Norwegian statement and did not find a single reference to the horrific sexual crimes perpetrated by Hamas against Israeli women and men on October 7th, crimes recognized by the United Nations that continue to be committed against the men and women hostages who still remain in Hamas’ captivity six months later.
"Norway displays a lack of proportionality and double standards toward the State of Israel, which is doing what every democratic country is supposed to do to protect its citizens.
The statement came in response to a statement published by the Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide, who frequently criticizes Israel.
"Just when we thought it couldn't get any worse, the crisis turned into a disaster," wrote the Norwegian minister, who also mentioned the 133 hostages being in the Gaza Strip. "For six months we have witnessed a complete collapse of international humanitarian law. The war we are witnessing in the last six months undermines security and is very destructive to both Israelis and Palestinians. And this threatens stability in the entire Middle East."
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