A couple of stories to give you an impression of the schizophrenia that exists on this thorny issue in Norway today.
Faremo wants to monitor Jew hatred
Justice makes a U-turn and wants more details about the anti-Semitism in Norway.
Lise Marit Kalstad
Today police records all types of hate crime. There are four categories (see fact box), but the Jewish community (DMT) has always meant that the category ‘religion’ is a bag term that makes little sense. Justice Minister Grete Faremo (Ap) will not create a separate category of anti-Semitism, but rather ensure that the current system is better.
- We need a better overview of the hate crime committed in Norway. In the first place, I want more details about hate crimes committed against Norwegian Jews, because we are talking about such a serious matter, she said.
Got criticized by the OSCE. Last year, it was revealed in two different studies that several Norwegian Jews have experienced anti-Semitism personally. Center for Studies of Holocaust and Religious Minorities (HL center) recommended that hate crimes motivated by anti-Semitism must be registered. In addition the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe (OSCE) criticized Norwegian police for not taking hate crimes seriously. OSCE expressed strong concern over the Norwegians’ views on Israel and Jews.
- Obviously this has had an impact on my decision, says Faremo.
The current system of registration of hate crimes is to be renewed entirely, but technological challenges have delayed the process.
- We are in the process of developing a modern criminal system, but this lies somewhere the future. I am impatient and do not intend to wait for the current system to be replaced by a new one, says Faremo.
Gives a speech on Sunday. – The Police Directorate has previously stated to Vårt Land that the numbers of anti-Semitism is too small to be registered in a separate category. Is this argument no longer valid?
- I think it is wrong to see this as a form of discrimination that should only be linked to the number of Jews in Norway, says Faremo.
An improved way to register hate crimes will also be a topic when the justice minister will give a speech on Sunday during the commemoration of the International Holocaust day at the quayside in Oslo. The minister can not say when the improved system will be ready, but hopes an improved registration will be appreciated by DMT.
Not happy. The leader of the Jewish Congregation in Oslo Ervin Kohn is however not particularly excited when he hears aboutFaremo plans.
- It is not good enough to say that the registration should be more detailed. We want Semitism to be a separate category, equal with the other four. This is what Norway has undertaken to do, he says.
Kohn refers to obligations by the Task Force for International Cooperation onHolocaust Education, Remembrance, and Research (ITF), an organization dedicated to increasing knowledge and awareness of the Holocaust. Through the so-called Stockholm Declaration, the 31 member countries, including Norway, have also pledged to “shed light on those aspects of the Holocaust that are still in the dark.” Read the full statement here.
Meanwhile, and sadly without receiving the appropriate level of attention neither by media nor politicians who claim to be nothing but Israel’s and the Jews’ best friends, Mr. Kohn has also been busy delivering a police complaint regarding a particularly nasty anti-Semitic posting on a tourist board for the islands surrounding Oslo:
DMT reports Jew hatred on web-site about Oslo Islands
The Jewish community (DMT) has notified police about an anti-Semitic text on the site oslooyene.no. The text that equates the “Israeli Jews ideology” with “Adolf Hitler’s ideology” has been out on the front page of the website for a long time.
By Conrad Myrland
Published: 25/01/2013, at. 9:53 am
The web-site oslooyene.no, which Harald Gjerde is the editor of, was created in 2004. There is apparently a lot of helpful information for those who want to explore the islands outside Oslo, but there is also something else. The red text on the front page is the following statement far:
“We strongly condemn Israel’s terrorism.
The chosen people have started a new Holocost with the extermination of Palestinians.
Adolf Hitler’s ideology is now Israeli Jews’ ideology.
Like most Norwegians we take a strong distance from
Israel’s apartheid and their supporters. ”
The text has been published on the website for a long time. Miff reported on this text on Facebook the first time in May 2012. The web service Wayback Machine shows that the text was added sometime in summer 2008.
Yesterday, Ervin Kohn, the leader of DMT, reported the case to the police
- I ask you to register it and forward the entry to the appropriate agency for review, Kohn writes in an e-mail to the police.
The first and last sentence of the section, is in Kohn’s view political expression.
- The two sentences in the middle, however, are clearly anti-Semitic, says Kohn. Connecting Holocaust, Nazism and Hitler to Israel and Jews as is done here is clearly anti-Semitic according to, among other EU definitions, the leader says.
In May 2012, it emerged in the HL-center report on anti-Semitism that 4 out of 10 Norwegians believe Israel treats Palestinians as bad as the Jews were treated during World War II. Despite all of Israel rightly and wrongly has been accused of having done to the Palestinians, the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza Strip do better than their Arab brothers on surveys of living conditions. Arabs living in Israel enjoy better standards of living than any other Arabs in the world, including Arabs in Western countries, according to the Israeli diplomat George Deek, a Christian Arab.
The Miff also has also exposed a very worrying trend in an article in dagen.no, where they explain that (excerpt from article):
- An elderly lady from Kløfta who just called in, said she did not want anything “from the Jews.” “You should have been wiped out,” she declared before he hung up the phone, said Conrad Myrland, who is general manager of miff.
He is surprised by some responses that have come from the Norwegians after they have received miff magazine in the mail.
- What’s your response to such a reaction from the woman Kløfta came with?
- It should arouse us to greater effort when we see the intense hatred that many have for Israel. This has been the most serious reaction from Akershus, but I’ve also heard much more disturbing answers Conrad Myrland.
- It is almost entirely ethnic Norwegian who call in with their hate messages. Especially when it comes to some older callers, I suspect that it is old Nazi ideas. This mixed up in the false images that Norwegian mass media has presented of Israel in the last decade.
Kol hakavod to Kohn for challenging the powers that be in Norway to duly register anti-Semitic hate crimes in the same manner as other types of hate crime are registered and to slam minister Faremo’s pussyfooting around a serious problem which continues to grow in Norway. And also Kol hakavod to MIFF for working hard to correct the image of Israel in Norway, and also documenting serious cases of anti-Semitic hate.