Skip to comments.Alan Dershowitz and Norwegian Anti-Semitism
Posted on 04/06/2011 1:46:16 PM PDT by Kaslin
Norwegian Israel-haters routinely insist that their hatred of the Jewish state is not an expression of anti-Semitism. But the record strongly suggests otherwise.
On March 29, the internationally renowned lawyer, Harvard law professor, and supporter of Israel Alan M. Dershowitz published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal about his recent experience in Norway. A Norwegian organization, he explained, had invited him to the frozen North and offered to have me lecture without any charge to the three major universities in the country. Now, in these days when lecture fees for high-profile figures like Dershowitz can be outrageously steep, one might expect that any institution of higher education would jump at the prospect of a free lecture by someone of his stature. Yet Norways universities turned down Dershowitzs proposed talk on the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Why? The University of Oslo offered no reason for its decision; the University of Trondheims excuse was that the topic was controversial. (As if one of the major purposes of a serious university werent to discuss controversial ideas!) The law dean at the University of Bergen suggested that Dershowitz serve up a lecture on the O.J. Simpson case (in which Dershowitz served as an advisor to the defense team), as long as I was willing to promise not to mention Israel. Dershowitz noted that after decades of holding forth around the world, the only country in which hed previously been denied a university lecture platform was South Africa during the apartheid era. (At the time, he was representing Nelson Mandela.) Dershowitz ended up giving lectures in Norway under the auspices of student groups.
To anyone familiar with the recent history of Norway, the shabby treatment of Dershowitz by the academic establishment should come as no surprise. The Norwegian cultural elite prides itself on its supposed love of dialogue, and its political leaders are quite self-righteous about their willingness to sit down and talk with the likes of Hamas. But that love of dialogue always seems to evaporate when the potential dialogue partner is a supporter of Israel or a proud, unapologetic, un-self-hating Jew.
Norwegian Israel-haters routinely insist, of course, that their hatred of the Jewish state is not an expression of anti-Semitism. But the record strongly suggests otherwise — and its a record that goes back a long way. Every May 17th, Norwegians cram the streets of their cities, wearing quaint native costumes and waving Norwegian flags to mark the day in 1814 when their nations constitution was signed. One fact that has long since been dropped down the memory hole is that the second article of that constitution banned Jews from the country. (The exact sentence, in the quaint Dano-Norwegian of the day, is: Jøder ere fremdeles udelukkede fra Adgang til Riget. Translation: Jews are still excluded from admission to the Kingdom.)
To be sure, the ban on Jews was lifted in 1851 (only to be reinstated by Quisling in 1942, and again lifted in 1945). But a significant difference between the U.S. and Norwegian constitutions is that while the text of the former remains intact, with its embarrassing old passages retained in the official document (as they should be) and with all changes registered in amendments that appear in chronological order following the original text, the memory of the so-called Jewish article has been neatly erased from Norways founding document. Though the English-language pages on the Norwegian governments official website include what is identified as the complete text of the countrys constitution; it isnt complete at all. Not only is the notorious sentence about Jews missing; theres no indication that it ever was there. But never mind: if the Jewish article is gone, the sentiment behind it is alive and well. Indeed, in recent years, the eagerness of bien pensant Norwegians to appease their Muslim countrymen — and, indeed, the entire Islamic world — has helped fuel an increase in public expressions of anti-Semitism, especially by the people who are supposed to be Norways best and brightest.
Its important to note here that Norways current Jewish population is tiny — at most about 2,000. In the entire country there are only two synagogues. One of them is in Oslo, a couple of blocks from where I live. In September 2006 four men were arrested for shooting at it. Theres now a guardhouse out front, with an armed guard inside. Along with the Israeli and American embassies, the synagogue would appear to be the most carefully guarded building in Oslo. By contrast, theres no sign of an armed presence anywhere in the vicinity of the Royal Palace, the Parliament, or any of the major government office buildings.
If the synagogue is a target for assault, its hardly because its been a center of controversy. On the contrary, as Oslos Muslim population has grown, and as anti-Semitic rhetoric by Norwegian Muslim leaders and their cultural-elite allies has escalated, Oslos Jews have striven to maintain a low profile. If Norways most prominent Muslims have routinely savaged Western values and havent hesitated to make it clear that they identify more with their native cultures and with the Islamic umma than with Norway, Norwegian Jews, in the face of ubiquitous Israel-bashing, have gone to extraordinary lengths to assert their Norwegian identity and to distance themselves from Israel.
Indeed, even as life has become more difficult for Jews in Oslo – to the extent that children have been advised not to wear Stars of David or yarmulkes in order to avoid harassment – Norwegian Jews have refrained from complaining, and have instead continually asserted that theyre doing just fine, thank you. No wonder, then, that when Dershowitz met with leaders of Oslos Jewish community, he observed that all they would say is that things are wonderful, before falling silent. But how, he asked, can things be so wonderful for Jews in a country where, for example, kosher butchering is illegal? To which an audience member quietly replied: We don’t talk about certain things.
No, they dont talk about certain things. Things like these:
Ive never seen any indication that Gaarders op-ed dented his domestic reputation in the slightest. On the contrary, a year after it appeared, bus shelters all over Oslo featured giant pictures of a grinning Gaarder, promoting a book club for children.
Theres plenty more, of course, where that came from.
The upside of the Dershowitz story is that his anger over Norways shabby treatment of him – and of Jews generally – seems to have awakened at least some members of Oslos Jewish community. Baila Odidort, a reporter for a Jewish website, attended a breakfast at Chabad House in Oslo at which Dershowitz met with Jewish leaders. For local Jews who have grown accustomed to keeping a low profile, wrote Odidort, Dershowitz’s fearlessness was a stunning eye-opener. Odidort provided a vibrant example:
After so many years of living here and hearing people tell me that day is night and night is day, I’ve stopped screaming that it’s not true, one of the guests at the Chabad House breakfast who preferred to remain anonymous told Rabbi Wilhelm after the meeting.Mr. Dershowitz comes along and opens the window and says it’s a beautiful day!
The rabbi himself made it clear that this guests reaction was far from unique: I received calls and texts from people who finally realized that its time to speak up. One woman called me and said we finally have to be vocal about who we are. Another said she took the courage to make a statement on Facebook and wrote I am a Jew and I am sticking up for Israel.
In the U.S., that Facebook posting might not seem too radical. In Norway – well, its a start, anyway. One can only hope that its the start of something big. Otherwise Jews in Norway might as well pack up and get out while the gettings good, and raise their kids in some place where anti-Semitism, sharia, and the rank appeasement of the religion of peace arent quite so nakedly on the march. Because unless Norways Jews do start speaking up – and doing so as loudly and firmly as those who despise them – the conditions under which they live will only go from bad to worse. And if modern European history proves anything, its that there are times when the only thing more dangerous than being a conspicuous and obstreperous Jew is being a meek and compliant one.
Norway is being overrun by muslims.
Looks like Norway is trash.
I was just in Oslo about a month ago...and it is quite noticeable all the Middle Easterners and Africans in the city. In my long trip to Europe and visiting many different cities....Oslo was probably the least European...among the people
It probably would have been more noticeable if it was not for the World Nordic Skiing Championships being held in the city...with many out of town Europeans in the city.
Any group of people, nation, or culture that promotes Islam at the expense of Judaism is automatically anti-Semite. The total deliberate ignorance of Islam and its followers is scary.
They were plenty antisemitic before the Islamic hordes started arriving.
Maybe that’s why the muslims like it there so well.
I had some respect for Norway, give the prestige of the Nobel prizes. However, those clowns and loons have done a superb job of illustrating that the supposedly gold name is nothing but plastic with a very thin sim-gold paint.
Thankfully, the science portions are holding up..but for how long, one doesn’t know.
Proof of the final collapse will be when the N committee gives a N prize in physics to some global warming idiot.
Was in Oslo for an extended period in the late 80’s......saw no Middle Easterners or others at that time! Just gorgeous Norwegian Women wearing the sheerest of see thru white dresses and sunbathing topless and nude on the Palace Grounds! WOW! For those days again! And the Coed Nude Saunas! WOW! Again! But then, they had just struck big Oil Money, Billions and Billions and they had only a population of 4 Million!
The Leeches smelled the Wealth and the Handouts and Welfare obviously! Wondering how many Mosques there are in Norway now, compared to the TWO Synagoes in all of Norway??
As is America
The west side of Oslo is still very Norwegian. downtown, north and east, not so much.
As a marker, its worth noting that Mohammad in all its variants is now the most popular boys name in Oslo.
Nationwide, however, the effects of immigration m are much weaker, at least regarding demographic counts. I don’t think Mohammad makes the top ten on a national basis.
Sorry, but topless sunbathing is pretty much out in Norway now.
Any group of people, nation, or culture that promotes Islam at the expense of Judaism is automatically anti-Semite................................. And anti every other religion. Then again aren’t most religions the same way? Its a battle for hearts and minds for what ever God the people choose to push. The Norse should have stuck with Odin. Remember, it took a Christian King to kill off the Odin worshipers in Norway. Norway was a beautiful country, it changed after WW II.
What a Loss! But since I haven’t been back in quite awhile, that news makes my day that I am not missing much! It’s a great loss to know those Women are now dressed head to toe in Burkas to satify their Muslim Immigrants!
A real shame about Norway being anti-Semitic. Interesting item is Sweden next door was a refuge country for Jews during WWII. I don’t know how much Antisemitism there is in Sweden but it is bad news all around.
Norway’s history of support of national socialism, through Quisling and the Norwegian aristocracy that was pro-Nazi—this all lives on in their continued tolerance of greater numbers of muslims in their country. Despite the loss of what has been broad cultural tolerance, the aristos, and their associated friends in Euro psuedo royalty (absent of course the Romanovs) continue elitist bigotry.
A big change when you consider the bravery of the Norwegian underground resistance in WWII and destruction of the nazi heavy water plant at Vermork, and sinking of all of the remaining heavy water. Now the Norwegian elite control a large part of North Sea oil. So there are other players in the mix, including the French (who also have their muslim problems—to say the least).
Go and talk about Israel anyway....let the Norwegians send in the goose-steppers to arrest him.
If youd like to be on or off, please FR mail me.
The Scandinavian reaction? None. There are parts of urban areas where their police dare not go. Apparently the last sensible and brave Swedes and Norwegians all left for America years ago. The mind-set in this region is extreme loony-leftist.
Lol. Actually, no. Not really. Anybody here remember the church burnings of the early 90’s?
Anyway, I’m doing a book on that period as I was in the middle of the action in some ways. The boss of the movement that burned around 50 churches in the space of a year (many of them hundreds of years old or even older) eventually declared himself of that denomination, although he has some startling links to islam. And the #3 al Quaida (Gadahn) had his background in the US arm of that movement.
In Norway, there are now calls - from among militant Atheists . to get the church burner movement started again.
For more *detail* on Norwegian antisemitism, check here: