As one reader commented yesterday, the “international BDS day” on November 26, does not seem like a randomly selected date.
Officially, but perhaps only as some sort of paper exercise, Norway recognizes the enormous betrayal of our Jews:
Stumbling to Remember
Kronikk i Yedioth Ahronoth (Israel), 22. september 2011
On 26 October 1942, the Norwegian police arrested all Jewish men. On 26 November 1942, all Jewish women and children were arrested. Nineteen Jews from Calmeyers gate 15 in Oslo – which also housed a synagogue at the time – were arrested and deported that autumn. Today, this is the home of the Oslo Jewish Museum. Of the 65 who were deported from Calmeyers gate and the surrounding streets, only one returned.
The Holocaust – the attempt at total annihilation – was a fact. The worst of it unfolded in the camps. But part of that terrible story took place in Oslo, when the Jews were arrested and driven to the harbor. And we must face the fact that this particular link in the chain of events was the work of Norwegians. This remains even though Norway was under German occupation. We must also remember that many Norwegian Jews were rescued by Norwegians who helped them escape, risking their own lives in the process.
A number of stumbling stones have now been embedded in the pavement in memory of the Jews from Calmeyers gate 15 who were deported and killed. This is a well-conceived memorial. You literally stumble over it and stop to think.
The Jews’ story is a stark account of how we are shaped by our memories. And all that Norwegian Jews have gone through has become part of our memory: the collective Norwegian memory that forms the Norwegian “we”. The memory that shapes our nation, our culture, our community, our sense of solidarity.
I greatly appreciate the way the Jews in Norway have been such a distinct, aware and committed cultural force in our society. They form a vibrant, strong minority, which I welcome as part of Oslo and part of Norway. Together we will create a Norway where the children and young people of Jewish families feel secure and free to be themselves, to take part in their culture. A Norway where Jews can pray to their God, worship in their synagogues, study their holy scriptures, share their stories. For Norway would not be fully Norwegian without the Jews and their culture.
We must hold fast to our values and strengthen them. There are undercurrents in our society, in Norway and in Europe, that still promote discrimination and hatred, people who are still prejudiced against Jews, Muslims, the Roma, and the gays. We still see signs of racism. This we must fight against. Not with violence, but in a lawful and orderly way, with openness, arguments, debate, and with the rich narratives of different cultures.
This paper exercise is rendered useless by the fact that our anti-Israel elites (or perhaps bullies is a more apt word?) feel so removed from history, so splendidly isolated in their moral supremacy, that they think nothing of targeting the Jews (euphemistically called Israelis) on such a somber day.
But more upsetting and more frightening is it that whilst we play out tearful ceremonies to commemorate the German Kristal Nacht, nobody of our otherwise morally concerned elite seem to grasp the dire dimensions of boycotting the Jews on our own Kristal Nacht, November 26.