Dagsavisen is a struggling Norwegian daily traditionally associated with the Labor movment, unions and party. It is a newspaper which can be counted on to support the red-green coalition government in Norway. Today it gives Israeli academic Manfred Gerstenfeld a “fair go”: rather than just repeat the allegations made against him, the journalist asks Gerstenfeld relevant questions which he subsequently is allowed to answer.
– Silent out of fear
When the book was published for the first time for one and a half year ago, Anne Sender was however among those who failed to recognize the picture of Norway which was cast.
– But statements which were rejected then, are now openly repeated in the Jewish milieu in Norway, says Gerstenfeld.
He believes fear can explain why they have remained silent, and comments on the last weeks’ debate over anti-Semitism in the schools.
– I showed in the English edition how Jewhatred had existed in the classrooms for eight years. How could I, who am not Norwegians, write this for one-and a half years ago, while Minister of Knowledge Kristin Halvorsen first recently became aware of it? She cannot even control her own schools. Even so she criticizes Israel, he says.
– Encourages stereotypes
– What is really the problem over Gilbert and Fosse’s descriptions of what they say during the Gaza-war?
– By claiming that Israel intentionally went in for killing children, they are encouraging stereotypes about the blood-thirsty Jew, which descend from the 11th century, says Gersretenfeld.
– Are you not making it impossible to legitimately criticise Israeli warfare?
– In the same moment that you shut out half of the facts, criticism becomes illegitimate, he says, and refers to the many thousand rockets which were fired upon Israel from the Gaza-strip for years before the war.
– Jonas Gahr Støre is among those who have claimed that a smear-campaign is being conducted against Norway?
– Only clean people may be soiled. Those who are already dirty, cannot be smeared, says Gerstenfeld.
– The first edition received much attention in Norway. The translation has been carried out by a publishing house which rarely penetrates into the mainstream market. Have you been able to find marginal cooperation-partners?
– They are marginalized. There are pro-Israeli voices in Norway, but they are not heard. For the elites of society believe they are above them. They will not meet me in a debate. Instead they send you, concludes Gerstenfeld.
Foreigners can not possbily understand how we are seeing mountains move here, and not only with this interview. In Aftenposten the other day a journalist referred to the riots of January 2009 as “anti-Jewish” in nature, in accordance with Eirik Eiglad’s narrative in the “The anti-Jewish riots in Oslo” rather than the pro-Palestinian euphemism “Gaza-riots” which most journalists prefer.
It is just possible that the pro-Palestinian hegemony may be cracking.