Gerstenfeld – auf Deutsch

Konkret is a well respected German leftist news magazine. The latest issue analyses Norway post 22/7, where among other specialists, Manfred Gerstenfeld is interviewed (I bet you this was not quite what  Fredrik Græsvik and Sidsel Wold had in mind when they decided to treat him to to their lies…)

Unauthorized translation and with apologies in advance for any errors or misrepresentations as a result of this:

Norwegen is kein offenes Land - Norway is not an open country

“Norway is not an open country”

Interview with Manfred Gerstenfeld, Chairman of the Board  of the “Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs,” on anti-Semitism in Norway

KONKRET: In your opinion, the Norwegian society is obsessed with Israel and that this tiny and fr-away country is the subject of more scrutiny than its gigantic neighbor, Russia. Why do you think this is?

Gerstenfeld: Norway is ruled by persons who  are totally unfamiliar with the concept of self-criticism. They do not ask themselves: “Who am I, what shall I do, what are my values,” I’ve worked in 20 western countries and can say: Many Norwegian journalists are of such low level, that I have not seen the likes of it anywhere else. The Israel correspondent of the Norwegian state radio NRK once interviewed me, and accidentally deleted the interview. What did she do?She stole 20 seconds from an interview that she found on the Internet, then wrongfully invents, and then criticizes her own fiction.Nothing like this has happened in any other country.  The commercial television station TV2 also once interviewed me.  I said that there are prestigious organizations in Norway, where pioneering acts of anti-Isralism and anti-Semitism can be found. They translated: “Norway is the most anti-Semitic country in the Europe” This alleged quote was taken up by the Norwegian news agency NTB, and since then, was circulated in the media. You can not imagine  how bad much of the Norwegian media is.

Why is that?
Norway is not an open country, almost no foreigner speaks this language, and there is a small oligarchic elite that controlled almost everything . For centuries, Norwegians were  farmers and fishermen …
… until they  found oil.
Oil and gas, yes. There is one important difference between UNorway and Sweden. Sweden has large international companies, who send their managers abroad, where they have a certain culture of contact with the
developed outside world. It does not exist in Norway. Norway may be well shielded against criticism from abroad.

How is this?

Before the Breivik killings, nobody was interested in Norway or the Norwegian language. Not even the Swedes or Danes are interested in Norway. Secondly: If someone criticizes the Norwegians, they do not publish this. Third, many persons in a position can easily get away with a lie, because nobody ever cares to check the facts. Fourth, critics are demonized. This has even happened to me. I told the journalist from TV2, that it is barbaric to hunt and kill whales in such a cruel way. I also said that the debate on my book on North-European anti-Semitism was not particularly intellectual.  TV2 then misrepresented my words in such a way that I insulted the Norwegians as “unintelligent barbarians.”
Another example: the Norwegian foreign minister Støre wrote an endorsement for a rag of a book, wher eit says that Israel invaded the Gaza strip in order to kill children and women.   When he was asked how he could recommend such an anti-Semitic book, he answered: “If I write something for the cover, it does not mean that I recommend the book”. Recently, Norwegian newspapers brandished an Israeli professor as a monster, by botching a translation from English into Norwegian of an article this professor wrote.  You can simply not imagine  what is being played out in Norway, it is hard to believe that there is such a thing in Europe.

Is it this that makes up the breeding ground for people like Breivik?
It’s difficult to say. You never know what happens in the brain of an individual person. Many things have changed because of the internet too. In earlier times, whomever wanted to be a Nazi, simply signed up as a member. Nowadays, any person can make his own, bespoke  political menu from the enormous offer available on the internet.  One should not draw conclusions too quickly, as some are doing now. I’ve even read that Breivik committed the bombings because of his poor relationship with his father, an oedipus complex he such a bad relationship with his father – in other words that an Oedipus complex was the reason.
What can you say about anti-Semitism in Norway?

In Europe, there is hardly any  Judeo-Christian culture, but Judaism has had a certain influence on the culture of Germany, Austria, France and Holland. In Norway, however, Judaism has had not influence on society; there is only one Norwegian Jew who is reasonably well known. The previously mentioned TV station TV2 invited Holocaust denier David Irving, whom many other states do not even allow entry into their realms, to their studio and for an interview that lasted more than  a quarter of an hour. They even paid the expenses. In 2009, a celebration was to commemorate  150th birthday of the writer Knut Hamsun, who dedicated his Nobel Prize medal Goebbels, and also built a 15 million euro museum  in honor of the Nazi friend. The Norwegian elites have no morals and are therefore also shameless. There, everything is possible, and therefore these Norwegians do things, which are not found anywhere else in Europe.

Regarding the Nobel peace price award

I can tell you a little story. In 1994, Arafat,along with Rabin and Peres received the Nobel Peace Prize. A member of the Nobel Prize Committee was Hanna Kvanmo, a Nazi nurse who has been on the Eastern Front and who had been sentenced to prison after the war. Kvanmo once said she would love to take the Nobel price away from Peres, whereas it was just fine when it became known that Arafat had continued to fund terrorists. Another case: Dr. Mads Gilbert, who praised the 9/11 bombers,was sent to Gaza on the Norwegian Governments expense. Norway stands  behind Gilbert, the Norwegian Prime Minister said. I wrote a book on anti-Semitism in Norway, which was translated into Norwegian. This book is not sold by the major bookstores, because it was published by a Christian publisher, which is not politically correct.

What do you think of the claims, that  ”incitement against Islam ‘ is to blame for the mass massacre of Utøya? Is this a tit for tat, a welcome opportunity to settle old scores?

Anyone who argues that Breivik used the anti-Islamic right to justify his acts, will have to explain why a recent survey published in June shows that one in three Jewish schoolchildren in Oslo are harassed several times a month, verbally or physically. Which Norwegians are responsible for this? The assumption that a tit for tat will only work until the next terror attack perpetrated by Muslims. We must realize that the greatest danger posed to the world is represented by the 150 million people who believe that Al Qaeda is right.

Are there any similar conspiracy theories about Israel being behind the anti-Islam tendencies, as the anti-Semitic conspiracy theories that Jews were behind 9/11, bird flu, AIDS and even the earthquake and tsunami in Japan?

One must simply understand that-Semitism is a part of European culture. I would not say that most Europeans are anti-Semites, I even think that they’re not, but the European culture was partly built on anti-Semitism.The most important thinkers behind most of the cultural structure of Europe  – the leaders of Catholicism, Martin Luther, Erasmus, Voltaire, Marx, the first French Socialists, almost all major German philosophers and English writers – were anti-Semites.

What effect could the Utøya massacre have on the Norwegian Jews global anti-Semitism and Israel?

This must be separate. On the global anti-Semitism: zero. After it became known that Utøya was an anti-Israel camp, Israel will hopefully hear less from Norway. Until six months ago, I was the only one who has written about anti-Semitism in Norway. Today, there is much material on it. But, it will be even more difficult for the Jews. Prime Minister Stoltenberg said: “We want a democratic, open society” but my Jewish and non-Jewish friends in Norway tell me that the opposite is happening. It will be even harder to move outside the current political correctness, that also means it will continue to be difficult to be pro-Israel. I hear from many acquaintances and friends from Norway, that in recent weeks, life for them has become much more difficult and more pressure is exerted on them be quiet. Some escape by practicing self-censorship.

In German media we can read that many Israelis have expressed themselves gleefully on internet forums after the terror in Norway. Is that true?

If you look for it, you will surely find this too. But there are not many. In Israel, there has been great sympathy and solidarity. Our Embassy in Oslo lowered the Israeli flag to half mast, which is very unusual. Israel was among the first countries to offer help. However, the Norwegian government declined the offer.

– Interview: Stefan Frank