Norway is far more anti-Semitic than the conclusions of the study "Anti-Semitism in Norway? - The Norwegian Population’s attitude towards Jews and other minorities" suggest. This can be deduced from this document’s own data.
This report – published last month by the Oslo Center for Studies of Holocaust and Religious Minorities – provides interesting information. Yet it does not address several major issues. One is that Norway’s prime minister and several other members of the government are part-time anti-Semites. To verify this one only has to measure their acts and statements with the common European definition of anti-Semitism.
The study finds that 8% of Norwegians do not want Jews as neighbors, nor among their circle of friends. Almost 11% feel antipathy toward Jews and 12.5% of the population can be considered significantly prejudiced against Jews. Some 13% believe that Jews are to blame for their own persecution.
The study’s English summary concludes that the prevalence of anti-Semitism in Norway is “limited” and “on par” with the UK Denmark and Sweden. This can be better worded as: “There are anti-Semites in Norway, but that phenomenon is common in post-war Europe and we don’t have as many as some people accuse us of.”
Criticism of the study in the country itself gave attention to the absence of data on anti-Semitism among Norwegian Muslims. The over 1,500 respondent sample used would have been large enough to reach conclusions about this, had Muslims been interviewed in proportion to their presence in Norway. Their number in the sample is, however, negligible.
Negative attitudes toward Jews were explained by those polled mainly in two ways. One was a reference to the role played by Israel in the Middle East conflict. This gives an indication of what should have been investigated further: Who are those among the elites who manipulate Norwegian public opinion so that Israel is shown as a villain, while the genocidal approach and glorification of murderers by Palestinian is omitted?
Another reason given for anti-Semitism among those polled were stereotypical characterizations of Jews in line with classic Western anti-Semitism. An earlier study found that in Oslo, a third of Jewish children in high schools are verbally or physically attacked at least two or three times a month.
The new report finds that the Holocaust is also used against Israel and to a lesser extent against Jews in general. On one hand, there is a strong belief in Norway that Holocaust education is necessary. On the other hand, almost two thirds of the study’s participants agree with the statement “I am disappointed in the way the Jews, with their particular history, treat the Palestinians.”
Some 38% of those polled are Holocaust inverters. They consider Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians as similar to the Nazis’ treatment of Jews during the Second World War. According to the earlier mentioned definition of anti-Semitism, this is an anti-Semitic statement. Based on this data one can conclude that the number of Norwegian anti-Semites is close to 1.5 million.
These Norwegians are more than part-time anti-Semites. They are also ideological criminals, because they falsely accuse Israel of the most extreme misdeed imaginable. At the same time, they look away from the Nazi elements in Palestinian attitudes and history. Examples of this are the role of the main pre-war Palestinian leader, Haj Amin al-Husseini, in establishing SS units in Bosnia and Kossovo, the (failed) intentions of the Palestinians and their Arab allies to massacre Israeli Jews in the 1948 war, and Hamas’ charter, which calls for genocide of the Jews.
That these issues are neglected is a direct result of the reporting by many Norwegian media, biased acts by part-time anti-Semite ministers, the statements of trade union leaders, several bishops, as well as senior academics. The Jewish community, which has often kept a low profile, has now announced that half of its members have suffered from anti-Semitism. It has also accused the media of spreading anti-Semitism.
What is needed now is not better Israeli public diplomacy. Whatever Israel says will be selectively filtered out by almost all Norwegian media. Only the Israeli government can finance a study that completes the present Norwegian one.
Such study would provide vital information about the double standards practiced against Israel by large parts of Norwegian elite. These double standards are defined as anti-Semitic acts in the European anti-Semitism definition. Such new study would also highlight a far more profound Norwegian anti-Semitism than this recent one does.
The author’s book Behind the Humanitarian Mask: The Nordic Countries, Israel and the Jews (2008) addressed widespread anti-Semitism in Norway