How the mighty fall! Several months back, the leader of the Holocaust center had nothing but scorn, perhaps even outright animosity to Gerstenfelds claim that anti-semitism is a great and growing problem in Norway. Back then he said:
One reason to carry out such a survey, is also the offensive which has been waged against Norway by parts of the civilian Israeli society and parts of the Israeli state, where allegations of widespread anti-Semitism has taken the form of a propaganda-offensive, because it lacks empirical proof.
Fure believes the Israeli author Manfred Gerstenfeld is partaking in this offensive….
In another interview, a day or two later, the unrepentant Fure had this to say about Gerstenfeld:
“He is not worth to be involved in a polemic with; I prefer to relate to serious persons. We do not take this person seriously. To us, his opinions are totally indifferent. What he is saying, is that highly respected researchers are intellectual frauds, this says everything about this person”, Fure says.
How interesting then that today in an interview with Vårt Land , the same old Fure had to eat his words;
I did not expect this level of harassment against Jews.
Unfortunately, in stead of biting the bullet and taking the full weight of the Oslo survey in over him, he then proceeds to relativizing the findings:
He was not surprised to learn that Jews were harassed, based on stories he has been told. But Fure is a little surprised over how many Jews that are harassed: Every third Jew in the survey says they have been subjected to negative events based on their religion two or three times or more per month.
In comparison, only 5,3 of the Muslims reported similar experiences. Fure says he had feared that more Muslims were subjected to harassment.
– But since Muslims are more numerous in Norway, one can only interpret this percentage that there are many Muslims who suffer harassment. This is a problem we also must take seriously, says Fure.
Interesting choice of words, to put it mildly, but we are of course concerned that any Norwegian, regardless of religious or ethnic background, should suffer any form of harassment.
But we must also admit a certain degree of satisfaction that once again, Gerstenfeld hit the nail on its head. Anti-semitism is a serious problem in Norway. And we have not even seen the results of the survey that the Holocaust Center has been commissioned to do; according to the same article, the survey has only recently been edited to its final version and the formal survey is expected to take place sometime after the summer holiday, although there are currently no decisions on how the survey should be carried out in reality. Results are expected sometime next spring.
So, it is a very good thing that the Municipality of Oslo had the gumption to carry out its own survey, so that in light of the less than polite attitudes previously expressed by Holocaust Center boss Fure, when the results of the HC survey finally are presented, we have something to judge them against.
10 points to Gerstenfeld. I am sure he does not mind Norwegian foul manners as long as he consistently is proven right.