There is a most curious witch hunt under way in Oslo. It all started with former leader of DMT in Oslo, Anne Sender’s very public mea culpa after her return from the West Bank, where she in her own words lost her veil. This has not been at all received in all quarters (very evil tongues suggest she was spending a rather lonely kiddush after last weeks Synagogue service?) – with one person penning a particularly strong worded and scathing attack on Sender for it. This person, Dr. Rachel Suissa is the leader of Center Against Anti-Semitism, and it, to put it in mild terms, a controversial figure on the local Jewish scene.
She has infuriated many, but she is also widely admired for her guts to speak straight from her kihskes (pun intended). Regardless of her ability to make people choke on their coffee, or applaud her for her refusal to remain subserviently silent, her strongly worded attack on Mrs. Sender was only circulated among readers who have expressly requested to receive her newsletters.
Mrs. Sender chose to spill her guts very publicly.
So, is arouses more than a little suspicion that there is a little political undercurrent here; some very evil tongues (much more evil than the ones mentioned a few lines up) have suggested that several people might benefit from attention being deflected from Mrs. Sender’s controversial (remember, she was a left as a wall flower at last week’s kiddush), and rather attack Dr. Suissa (who did not publish her harsh attack on Sender in mainstream media).
Some of the more outlandish allegations suggest that Mrs. Sender’s trip to the West Bank was in part funded by the Norwegian MFA, but surely that is too outlandish even for Norway?
Nevertheless, considering that this barb-trading in reality is a bit of a domestic spat within the Jewish community, and not something of general public interest, it is more than curious that Aftenpostes dedicates a full editorial to attack Dr. Suissa. What is their interest in this? Who stands to gain from this?
Below you can read first Dr. Suissa’s harsh attack on Mrs.Sender, albeit on her very own website, and received only by those who have expressly requested to receive her newsletters.
Below that again, Aftenposten’s very public attack on Dr. Suissa and her organization.
Weekly newsletter from the Centre against Anti-Semitism, 2 November 2012
Shabbat shalom, everyone.
Among the major media events this week was the homecoming of the former chairman of Oslo’s Jewish community (DMT), Anne Sender, from a 3-month training course in Ramallah. What she had to say about her personal metamorphosis in the purgatory that the Norwegian Church Aid agency had lit for her there, ought perhaps to be a private matter. What we noticed most, however, was how her latest conversion is being used by anti-Zionist media in their untiring battle against the well-being of the Jewish State. If their war on the Jewish State wasn’t legitimate before, it must surely be so now?
We are very sceptical to her entire project. That she has chosen to speak through the left wing radical newspaper Vårt Land, whose Internet homepage has long hosted one of the most anti-Semitic debate forums here, as well as in the anti-Zionist Norwegian State-run news programme, speaks volumes. Otherwise, not many newspapers got carried away by Sender’s awkward tale of her sufferings. She presents herself as a clearly legitimating voice for the latest boycott activities against Israel that was simultaneously launched by the director of the ‘Norwegian People’s Aid’ organization, the Labor Party politician Liv Tørres. Their political messages could hardly have fit each other better.
For those who might think that Anne Sender’s anti-Semitism is something new, let us remind you of her time as chairman of the DMT when she cooperated closely with the Leninist front organization “SOS Racism” which was recently found guilty of fraud concerning public funding. The result of her cooperation with this criminal organization is that the broad interest that was created in Norway around the annual commemoration of the Kristallnacht, has been ruined, causing damage to the small Jewish community in Norway and making many people fearful.
After ending her cooperation with the Leninists, she turned her attention to the American anti Zionist organization J Street (financed by the post Communist oligarch George Soros), an organization Israeli authorities are reluctant to have dealings with due to its policies being against Israel’s interests. Sender has also exhibited admiration for Israeli organizations that express clear, anti-Zionist views.
She may not understand this herself, but when she, in a situation where the media is looking for any opportunity to draw attention away from the Arab massacres and towards the claims of “human rights violations,”“war crimes” and “the abuses of innocent Palestinians by the Israeli occupation forces,” she permits herself to be used in anti-Zionist propaganda and provide moral support to the PLO, we must conclude that Anne Sender has also formally become a voice in the Norwegian anti-Israeli choir which a visiting delegation from the OSCE warned against just a few days earlier. In the emerging regional war in the Middle East, she has taken sides. As a friend of Israel she is no longer credible.
The Jews of Norway are living in demanding times. Not only must we be on guard against daily anti-Semitic outbursts and extreme Muslims threatening us with weapons, but we must also spend time and energy on people who in helpless ignorance are fuelling the anti-Semitic bonfire.
We wish you all a truly wonderful weekend.
From the SMA staff
and here is Aftenposten’s editorial,published on November 6, not online
Greetings from a rabid
Anne Sender, former chairman of the Jewish synagogue in Oslo, has visited the West Bank to update herself of the Palestinians’ situation.
Back in Norway, she has told the newspaper Vårt Land a thought-provoking story of how the Palestinians are being treated.
Many would do well to listen to Anne Sender, both pro-Palestinian activists and the most uncritical of the “friends” of Israel. Unfortunately, there is little hope of being heard. Because this weekend, Anne Sender got her reply. A small organization that decorates itself with the name “Center against antisemitism” has launched a brutal attack on the former chairman. It is being claimed that her “helpless thoughts are fueling the anti-Semitic bonfire.” At the same time, they attack the “left wing radical newspaper Vårt Land, whose website Verdidebatt [Debate of Values] has long been one of the most anti-Semitic debate forums in the country…”
We think that both the editors of Vårt Land and the paper’s readers will be somewhat surprised that this Israel-friendly newspaper is being declared a left-wing platform, in addition to being some sort of ab anti-Semitic bastion. We presume that the majority of Norwegian Jews are just as surprised that Anne Sender is being lambasted for feeding the flames of an anti-Semitic bonfire.
Perhaps we should ignore such extremism. When we choose to give it attention, it is because it represents something much worse than extreme attitudes and a rabid debate culture. Reality may well have many layers, but when it falls victim to a complete distortion, it contributes to the creation of an irreconcilable hatred.
Weird stuff, huh? Somebody wants a very public witch hunt, lets give them a helping hand a make it available also in English.
Otherwise, it is amusing that Aftenposten has the chutzpah to call others extremists. Perhaps they ought to reflect on their own decision making process when they chose to publish writer Jostein Gaarder very ugly and anti-Semitic attack on the World’s Jews during the 2006 Lebanon war?