Summary by Tundra Tabloid
Yesterday, Israeli anti-Semitism expert Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld gave a lecture at the Vidal Sassoon Center of Hebrew University in Jerusalem, titled “Anti-Semitic and Anti-Israel Hate Mongering: Norway as an Example.”
Dr. Gerstenfeld asked what Norway’s wartime Prime Minister Vidkun Quisling and other Nazis would like about Norway today. He said that at first sight, there should be nothing, as Norway is a democratic country dominated by the Labor Party. There are however many matters involving the present Norwegian government and others which Quisling and other Nazis would greatly appreciate.
Among the examples which Gerstenfeld presented was the fact that Norwegian author Knut Hamsun, who had received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1920, was honored in Norway for a full year in 2009, on the occasion of his 150th birthday. Hamsun was a passionate Nazi and dedicated his Nobel Prize to German Propaganda Minister Josef Goebbels. Hamsun also visited Hitler during the war.
Other examples Gerstenfeld spoke about were that the Norwegian Embassy paid for an exhibition in Damascus which demonized Israel. He also mentioned that then-Finance Minister Kristin Halvorsen attended an anti-Israel demonstration in 2009 in Oslo where there were shouts of “Death to the Jews.” The minister was photographed standing close to someone who held up a sign saying, “The greatest axis of evil – U.S.A. and Israel.”
Dr. Gerstenfeld detailed many incidents of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic hate acts during his lecture. He mentioned the weighty role the Norwegian government and some of its politicians play in this hate dissemination. He spoke about Norwegian King Harald V granting honors to anti-Semites (TT: Trond Ali Linstad), the bias of Norway’s media, Norwegian non-governmental organizations which promote hatred of Israel, boycott attempts by universities and many others. He pointed out that despite Norway being a relatively small country, it leads the way in promoting anti-Israel viewpoints.
Dr. Gerstenfeld also discussed the horrific murders committed by Anders Breivik. He stated that via the global publicity this horrible murderer attracted, it was revealed that the camp of the AUF youth movement at the island of Utoya was, to a large extent, a place where young children of 14 years and older were indoctrinated against Israel. Then-Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere had spoken at this camp also. He opposed the boycott of Israel there, yet he called for the removal of the security “wall” – which is actually a fence mainly – knowing full well that it would lead to further murders of Israeli civilians by Palestinian terrorists.
During the lecture’s question and answer period, the first secretary of the Norwegian Embassy in Israel handed out the conclusions of a study on discrimination of minorities by the Norwegian Holocaust Center, in English. She stated that the situation in Norway regarding anti-Semitism is not worse than in many other European countries.
Dr. Gerstenfeld said that while the methodology of that study and its numerical findings seemed to him correct, its conclusions however were deeply flawed and hence masked the truth. Scholars who wrote up the study didn’t even refer to the European definition of anti-Semitism and consequently arrived at artificially low percentages of anti-Semitism in Norway.
German anti-Semitism scholar Gunther Jikeli who was present at the lecture, remarked to the Norwegian government representative that she should not try to excuse Norwegian anti-Semitism by using other countries as an example. He added that Gerstenfeld’s lecture had shown how widely spread the reach of the hate disseminators is.
Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld
The writer has been a long-term adviser on strategy issues to the boards of several major multinational corporations in Europe and North America.He is board member and former chairman of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and recipient of the LIfetime Achievement Award (2012) of the Journal for the Study of Anti-Semitism.