Josef Elias Benkow – zichrono l’vracha (may his memory be blessed)

jobenkow

 

Today we lost a giant in Norwegian politics, conservative politician Jo Benkow. A man of conviction and integrity, he fought tirelessly for social justice, for the inclusion of minorities, and for a better and more open society.

All of his female relatives, including his mother and his 4 year old niece Ada were gassed to death in Auschwitz, whereas he managed to flee to Sweden and towards the end of WW2, became a fighter in the Norwegian air force.

In spite of having been badly let down by his own country, he re-built his life here, and gave his life up in service for the greater society, as a politician, as the President of the Storting, and as an eager participant in the public discourse. He particularly warned against the new anti-Semitism and all other forms of prejudice.

We lost a truly great Norwegian today – may his memory be blessed and may we have the wisdom to learn what he taught us with such grace and compassion – tolerance.

 

 

 

12 comments for “Josef Elias Benkow – zichrono l’vracha (may his memory be blessed)

  1. : )
    May 18, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    McG,

    when it comes to the new anti-Semitism I hope Jo Benkow’s last work will never be forgotten, that DMT will do all they can to protect their children from this poison so they can live happy and free everyday. As Jo Benkow hoped all Norwegians could be, the best of us self in a peaceful Norway.

    I save Jo Benkow as a child at a meeting and his energy was enormous all the time. I remember I told my family that it was like he had contact when he talked. They sad he was a real war hero, one of the best of all Norwegians. Thank you Jo Benkow it was fantastic to see you speak. One of my best memory. A real hero has left us McG let us keep him alive by reading his books and talk about him to our children.

    All thoughts to his family in this time.

  2. Harry Jess
    May 18, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    Jo Benkow was a giant oak in the Norwegian forest. May his soul rest in peace.

  3. Martin
    May 19, 2013 at 3:18 am

    He must have passed away a really disappointed person to see his life’s work threatened by the Jew hating elitist establishment. I read his very entertaining book. It was a great read, a pity our enemies will never read this book. Harry, is it in the library where you live? I join you as well, may his soul rest in peace.

  4. Ellen
    May 19, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    May his soul rest in peace!

  5. Harry Jess
    May 20, 2013 at 1:11 am

    Yes, Martin, I have read his book. I have often thought of how betrayed and disappointed he must have felt by his partisan fellow Willoch’s journey into anti-israelism.

  6. Norwegian Jew
    May 20, 2013 at 10:19 am

    Martin,

    I had hoped Jo Benkow would have joined the party this autum when Norway get a change in the goverment. It was really hard to see how he used energy in the end
    and what kind of response he was given back. In one way its good to know that he can not be hurted anymore in heaven. Willoch might try to show a picture of Jo Benkow as a man that gave up, let him try he will never make it!

    http://www.vl.no/samfunn/-mine-kritikere-liker-ikke-fakta/
    http://www.idag.no/aktuelt-oppslag.php3?ID=15426

    http://www.verdidebatt.no/debatt/cat1/subcat2/thread397332/#post_397332
    Just a Jew? He was a Norwegian Jew!

    Lets win this election for the memory of Jo Benkow against the liers!

    Hope to see you again Jo Benkow : )

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRsJlAJvOSM

  7. Martin
    May 23, 2013 at 2:33 am

    Yes Norwegian Jew, I agree with you about this lousy, unethical, undemocratic and corrupt government in Norway and hope things will improve. However, I believe that un fortunately no matter which parties gain power, the loony lousy left is in place in all sections and departments in the public and civil service. I see it here in the UK.

    The only difference here, is that even within the Conservative led coalition government, many of the right wing party feel enough is enough and that Cameron is out of his depth. nothing new there, as I said he is just another Blair – unfortunately.

    Insofar as the slaughter of the soldier in London in which he was beheaded and hacked by two Islamists, I don’t believe much will change. The UK capital was known as Londonistan as far back as the 1970’s. It is indeed a “reward” by the British establishment for their cowardly stance to Islamic behaviour in the UK. They complain that all is the fault of the EU. What rubbish, they are too concerned at losing military contracts to Saudi Arabia, a country behind all this.

    I have stated many times that that despotic regime is handing out $billions annually to its embassies around the world with two intention; To convert losers to Islam, who indeed carry out their bestial acts of slaughter and to demonise the Jews and Israel. When will the world wake up to the fact that Islam in a religion of conquest? Is this statement racist? Not at all, even the Islamis state openly what their intentions are. What do we hear from our slick professional politicians? How their hearts go out to the families etc. What nonsense, they could not care less, these acts of terror are just a slap in the face of the “experts.”
    What a terrible crime and waste of a good life. I wish that Europe and the USA will do as the Russians claim to stop these barbarous acts of slaughter. They threaten that any dead or alive Islamic terrorist will be smothered in pigs fat. That is a good positive response, as the b******s will not enter paradise to gain their v72 virgins.
    If either of the two terrorists live and face trial, they will be disappointed and in good British fashion will face only about a quarter of their sentence in Jail, living in comfort and luxury that pensioners here can only dream about.

  8. Norwegian Jew
    May 24, 2013 at 9:51 am

    Martin

    Her is what Jo Benkow wrote in the book Svar 3

    Forord

    I løpet av dette året (2008) feirer Israels venner over hele verden det moderne Israels 60-årsjubileum. I Norge, som i mange andre land, har markeringen av 60 kommet til uttrykk gjennom en lang rekke festlige tilstelninger blant de organisasjoner og i de miljøer som har slått ring om Israel.

    Gjennom de siste tiår har store deler av norsk opinion vendt seg mot Israel. Fra å være velvillig positive, er det nå stadig flere som er ensidig kritiske, for ikke å si overkritiske. Massemediene har skiftet spor. Fra å være forståelsesfulle overfor Israels holdninger og handlinger har den skjeve og ensidige mediadekning gitt betydelige bidrag til det jeg vil kalle Israel-hets. Dette har i sin ført til at antisemittisme, terrorisme og historieforfalskning har fått alt for gode vekstvilkår.

    Massemedienes omtale av 60-årsdagen har vært annerledes. De aller fleste fjernsynskanaler og toneangivende aviser har gitt en redelig og rettferdig omtale og har gjort poeng av hvilken enestående politisk kraftpresentasjon det er å bestå som levende og sant demokrati i et geografisk område der Israel er en ensidig demokratisk svale. Det er også verdt å merke seg vår utenriksministers anerkjennende ord som ble gjengitt i de fleste medier. Kanskje det som er blitt sagt og skrevet som en slags oppsummering ved 60-årsjubileet, innvarsler en mer saklig og balansert omtale av den konflikten mellom palestinere og arabere, som alle ønsker å få slutt på. Dersom det skulle komme til å skje, er det enda større grunn til å jubilere, for ikke å si juble.

    Apropos jubileum. Dette ordet er utledet av det hebraiske ordet Jubla og betyr ordrett at man blåser i basun (bukkehorn) i såkalte jubelår og holder jubelfest når det for eksempel er 10, 25 og 50 år siden en særlig viktig begivenhet fant sted. Med en smule tilpasningsdyktighet tillater vi oss et jubelår selv om det er vanligere å feire 50 enn 60 år.

    Ingen jøde som opplevde det vil noensinne glemme den stjernestund i jødisk liv da den tusenårige drømmen om tilbakekomsten til det hellige land ble til virkelighet. I leksikalsk sammenheng opererer man med to begreper. Det ene er det gamle Israel og det andre er det moderne Israel. Det er lange historiske linjer som binder det gamle og det nye sammen.Sånn sett kan jødene betraktes som urinnånere selv om det har funnet sted voldsomme og langvarige avbrudd. Det har skjedd atskillig i løpet av de 3500 år som har gått siden jødedommen kom til og frem til år 134 etter Kristus da jødenes siste opprør førte til total utslettelse av den jødiske staten. Mange mener Holocaust var den utløsende og sterkt medvirkende årsaken til at De Forente Nasjoner i 1947 ga sitt flertalls-ja til etablering av en jødisk stat i det britiske mandatområdet. Og det er ikke tvil om at mange av oss jøder hadde en sterk opplevelse av det nye Israel, som en fugl Fønisk steg opp av asken etter Auschwitz. Vi følte at intet kunne være mer dyrekjøpt enn den nye jødiske staten. Når dette er sagt, skal vi tross alt ikke glemme at de eldgamle røtter som hadde festet seg i israelsk jordsmonn.

    Både Israels kritikere og Israels venner forsikrer hver på sin måte at de håper at konflikten mellom palestinere og israelere til slutt vil føre til fred og forsoning. Til begge parter vil jeg si at gjensidig beskyldninger aldri vil gi noe fruktbart bidrag til forsoning, langt mindre fred. Hvis man bare henvender seg til sine egne tilhengere og nekter å høre den annen part, da vil fred og forsoning fortsatt forbli en fjern drøm.

    Når alt dette er sagt, så vil jeg selvsagt gjøre alt jeg kan for å støtte Israels kamp for å overleve. Men det burde være innlysende at man aldri kan oppnå fred hvis man bare snakker sine venner etter munnen og nekter å snakke med sine fiender.

    Alle nordmenn jeg kjenner har en dypt forankret ærefrykt for livet- Det som er en naturlig holdning for oss her hjemme, later likevel ikke til å ha en tilsvarende gjennomslagskraft alle steder i verden. Det er skremmende. Særlig når vi vet hvilket nært etisk og moralsk slektskap som eksisterer mellom de fem store verdensreligionene. Ikke minst slektskapet mellom de tre abrahamistiske religioner, jødedommen, kristendommen og islam.

    Både bibelen og koranen er fulle av tilsynelatende selvmotsigelser og kan virke agressive og grusomme. Men selve grunn-tonen er felles, en høysang til livet og en oppfordring til å elske sin neste som deg selv.

    Selv om det er mange av oss som ikke bekjenner oss så sterkt til en spesiell religiøs tro, så kan det ikke være tvil om at religionene har og har hatt en enorm siviliserende kraft. Denne har ført med seg en flik av allmennreligiøsiteten kan bidra sitt til gjensidig forståelse. Men økt gjensidig forståelse kan antagelig ikke oppnås uten en åpen og fri presse, der meninger ustraffet kan komme til ordet.

    På dette området er Israels frie presse et enestående fenomen til forskjell fra hva som praktiseres i det øvrige Midtøsten. Vi opplever regelmessig at Israels frie presse, med den største frimodighet, kritiserer sine egne politiske ledere og beslutninger. Men til forskjell fra den overkritiske og ensidige kritikk man finner i den overveiende delen av norsk presse, har de israelske medier en helt annen forståelse og innsikt i konfliktens tosidighet.

    Disse enkle betraktninger er ment som et forord til den jubileumsbok for Israel som avisen Norge IDAG utgir. Boken er å betrakte som en oppfølger til bøkene Svar 1 og Svar 2 som ble distribuert i over 10 000 eksemplarer og som var kraftfull reaksjon på antisemittisme og historiske usannheter.

    Med disse ord slutter jeg meg til rekken av Israels gratulanter med et ønske om frihet, fred og forsoning.

    Jo Benkow wanted a open and free press where people can say their opinion.

  9. May 25, 2013 at 11:18 am

    Nice. BUt… for our non-Norwegian speaking/reading friends, how is this going to make sense to them?

  10. Norwegian Jew
    May 25, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    Sorry, a google translate in a hurry for non Norwegians. It probably does not give Jo Benkows word the same power. Martin there is only one Jo Benkow, hope is there that voices to Jews from other generations can make them self heard in the same way as Jo Benkow did.

    Foreword

    During this year (2008) celebrates Israel’s friends around the world of modern Israel’s 60th anniversary. In Norway, as in many other countries, the celebration of 60 found expression through a variety of festive events among the organizations and the communities that have switched call on Israel.

    Over the past decade, much of the Norwegian public opinion turned against Israel. From being benevolent positive, it is now becoming more like one-sided critical, not to say over-critical. The mass media has changed track. From being sympathetic to Israel’s attitudes and actions have the skewed and one-sided media coverage made significant contributions to what I would call Israel-breaker. This has resulted in its anti-Semitism, terrorism and falsification of history has been too good growing conditions.

    Mass media coverage of the 60th anniversary have been different. Most television channels and leading newspapers have given an honest and fair discussion and points made by the unprecedented political power presentation it is to remain as vivid and true democracy in a geographical area where Israel’s unilateral democratic swallow. It is also worth noting our foreign ministers appreciative words that were restored in most media. Perhaps what has been said and written as a kind of summary of the 60th anniversary, herald a more fair and balanced coverage of the conflict between the Palestinians and Arabs, who all want to end. If it were to happen, it is even more reason to festive, if not cheering.

    Speaking anniversary. This word is derived from the Hebrew word Jubla and literally means that one blows the trumpet (ram’s horn) in the so-called Jubilee and hold jubilee when, for example, 10, 25 and 50 years ago a very important event took place. With a bit adaptability allow ourselves the Jubilee although it is more common to celebrate 50 than 60.

    No Jew who witnessed it will ever forget the star while in Jewish life since the millennial dream of the return to the Holy Land became a reality. In lexical context operate with two concepts. One is the old Israel and the other is the modern Israel. It’s long historical line that connects the old and the new sammen.Sånn speaking, the Jews considered urinnånere although there has been fierce and long interruptions. There has been considerable over the 3500 years that have elapsed since Judaism came up to the year 134 AD when the Jews last rebellion led to the total destruction of the Jewish state. Many believe the Holocaust was the direct and major contributing cause of the United Nations in 1947 gave the plural yes to the establishment of a Jewish state in the British mandate area. And there is no doubt that many of us Jews had a powerful experience of the new Israel, as a bird Phoenician rose from the ashes of Auschwitz. We felt that nothing could be more costly than the new Jewish state. Having said this, we should after all not forget that the ancient roots that had attached itself to Israeli soil.

    Both critics of Israel and Israel’s friends assure each in their own way that they hope that the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis will ultimately lead to peace and reconciliation. For both parties, I would say that mutual accusations will never give any fruitful contribution to reconciliation, let alone peace. If you just turn to their own supporters and refusing to hear the other party, then the peace and reconciliation still remain a distant dream.

    With all that said, I will of course do everything I can to support Israel’s fight for survival. But it should be obvious that one can never achieve peace if you only speak their friends by mouth and refuses to speak with their enemies.

    All Norwegians I know has a deep-rooted reverence for life-It is a natural attitude for us here at home, seems nevertheless not to have a similar impact in all worldwide locations. It’s scary. Especially when we know which closely ethical and moral kinship that exists between the five major world religions. In particular the relationship between the three abrahamistiske religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

    Both the Bible and the Koran are full of apparent contradictions and can seem aggressive and cruel. But the basic tone is common, one hymn to life and a call to love his neighbor as yourself.

    Although there are many of us who profess so strongly to a particular religious faith, there can be no doubt that religions have and have had a tremendous civilizing force. This has led to a lap of general religiosity may contribute to their mutual understanding. However, increased mutual understanding can probably not be achieved without an open and free press, where opinions impunity might the word.

    In this area, Israel’s free press an unprecedented phenomenon in contrast to what is practiced in the rest of the Middle East. We regularly experience that Israel’s free press, with the utmost confidence, criticize their own political leaders and decisions. But unlike the over-critical and one-sided criticism found in the vast majority of the Norwegian press, the Israeli media is a completely different understanding and insight into the conflict duality.

    These simple considerations are intended as a preface to the anniversary of Israel as the newspaper Norway TODAY publishes. The book is considered a sequel to the books A1 and A2 which were distributed to over 10 000 copies and was forceful reaction to anti-Semitism and historical falsehoods.

    With these words I join the ranks of Israel’s congratulations with a desire for freedom, peace and reconciliation.

  11. May 25, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    thank you, much better!

  12. Martin
    May 27, 2013 at 11:57 am

    Norwegian Jew – Kol hakavod. Yes, it is true regarding the difference in freedom of the press and the right of reply between Israel and Norway. I have been stating this for a long time and how Norway can consider itself to be a full democracy is beyond me. Full democracy means freedom of speech – surely with responsibility and truthfulness. It also means the right of reply and it is that which the Norwegian establishment refuses to accept.
    This is not an Israeli problem, This is a Norwegian problem which will only improve with a new government, free of the elitist establishment which practices full Stalinist dogma

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