Browsing MIFFs excellent resources, I came over this story: Is the Bible anti-Semitic?
It turns out that the Norwegian Bible Society published a children’s bible with some very nasty illustrations in it. The Miff article also reflects the research and thoughts of a Norwegian scholar and amanuensis in religion, faith and ethics at the university college of Oslo Gunnar Haaland. The original MIFF article covers several aspects of modern anti-Semitism, I have just cherry picked one paragraph which precisely outlines the kind of unconscious anti-semitic attitudes Norwegians of every age and background inherit:
Mixing political struggle and liturgy
In recent years, there are signs that Christmas is about to become the high season for persecution of Jews. Haaland referred to an example from 2005, when the Norwegian Church Aid, the Church City Mission, the Inter-Church Council’s and other church organizations organized a political demonstration against Israel’s security barrier during the advent season. Israeli soldiers were dragged into a liturgic game like “bad guys,” just as the “bad Jews” was used in the Easter Passion Play.
- We are using religious symbols against Israel, which we would never use when demonstrating for or against something else, Haaland pointed out.
- I can understand that artists in Bethlehem stock olive tree figurines with Mary and Joseph under the Israeli security wall, but I can not understand that Norwegian Church leaders purchase such figures, Haaland said.
The rest of the article is equally revealing on Norwegian clerics’ abuse of religious symbolism to castigate Israel, thus implicitly, the Jews. But the illustrations they have seen fit to use in a children’s Bible, speak volumes about the perception the Norwegian Bible Society have about Jews.