Gil Karpas wrote an article for the Jerusalem Post Magazine on the many excellent qualities of Norway. Of course Norway is a wonderful country. I love it to bits. But as the PC squad is only too keen on telling you; if I criticize you it is a sign of the strength of our relationship.
Reading this, you might want to draw the conclusion that Gil Karpas does not really care about Norway at all. otherwise he would have challenge minister Rigmor Aasrud and her wild claim that only 190 persons in Norway have a negative attitude towards Jews. And that all of these 190 persons are old bitter men without education or job.
I do believe that the conclusion of the Holocaust Center’s study on Norwegian attitudes to Jews and Israel allows for a different reading of reality. They found that 38% of Norwegians have a negative view of Israel and think Israel treats Palestinians the same way the Nazi’s treated the Jews. The study further documented that people who are on the very left side of politics and with a high degree of identification of the Palestinian cause were over represented in the study. Also, the minister might have wanted to consult on how to extract information from statistical studies. It is not common to knock on every door in in the country to ask the inhabitants how they feel about a given topic, in stead one interviews a representative sample and then makes extrapolations to be able to say something about the general population. Had she sought this information before opening her mouth and reveal her ignorance, she would have been gobsmacked to know that the 38% of the persons in a sample of 1500 persons translates into 1.5 million of the general population with anti-Semitic sentiments (the notion that Israel treats Palestinians like the Nazi’s treated Jews, is acknowledged as modern anti-Semitism).
However, the was not left unchallenged in the Jerusalem Post, some true friends of Norway took the time and bother to write a letter to the editor with supplementing information.
The article “A Menorah of Northern Lights, Norway its Jews and Israel” (Magazine of 19 April) gives a fuzzy view of many problems. It mentions vaguely “some findings” that 38% of Norwegians agree with the statement that Israel behaves toward the Palestinians in the same way that the Nazis acted toward the Jews. This data however comes out of the detailed study mentioned of the Holocaust Center. It means that about 1.5 million Norwegians have a satanic view of Israel. Problems about bullying some Jewish students are also vaguely mentioned. Yet a study for the Oslo Municipality found that one third of Jewish high school students are harassed verbally or physically at least two or three times a month. This is unheard of in other Western European countries. A Norwegian parliamentary commission is now investigating whether the claim made on TV by Conservative parliamentarian Peter Gitmark that his country’s government is indirectly funding Palestinian terrorists is correct. The criminal Breivik committed murders at a Labor Party camp. It was not mentioned that there children from fourteen year old were incited against Israel. Also lacking was that the Norwegian government, dominated by the Labor Party, spent in 2009 $20 million dollars to honor the Norwegian Nazi author Knut Hamsun who dedicated his Nobel Prize for Literature to the Nazi leader Josef Goebbels. These “omissions” and many others shed a very different ‘light’ on Norway.
Manfred Gerstenfeld. Jerusalem.
(Author of Behind the Humanitarian Mask, the Nordic Countries, Israel and the Jews.)
Letter to the Editor, Jerusalem Post – 3 May 2013
Writer Gil Karpas interviews Rigmor Aasrud, Norway’s minister of church affairs.
Aasrud cites a survey on anti-Semitism conducted in that country between 2010 and 2012. It found that of 1,532 respondents, about 12.5 percent had “distinct anti-Semitic prejudices.” She then pooh-poohs the results. ‘Let’s put this in perspective, that’s only 190 people.’
Only 190 indeed. But that’s out of 1,532. If you extrapolate, among Norway’s population of five million, you come up with a figure of over 600,000 – a disturbingly horrific number in such a small country.
Why Karpas didn’t challenge her ‘only 190’ spin is beyond me.
I. Srul Zunder,