Dagbladet still getting stick for its sick cartoon

Dagbladet seems to be trapped in a parallel universe, where they just don’t get it – they are seriously out of touch with what ordinary Norwegians think. The dust has not settled on the cartoon issue, before they got themselves caught up in a very peculiar debate – whether or not Fjordman, the blogger who through his writings (but certainly not throrugh any concrete actions or even incitement to act) caught the sick imagination of that twisted bit of evil ABB) is worthy of receiving a grant from a free speech organization to write a book, his own book on Anders Behring Breivik. Unfortunately for Dagbladet, they have fallen down on the side of denying Fjordman, regardless of how ridiculous many of his ideas might be to many, the right to express himself freely on the topic. After all,  people and/or institutions like Dagbladet and others who profess to be progressive, liberal and pro-human rights have held a kangaroo court where they have tried and found Fjordman guilty of practically murdering the victims of 22/7/11 himself. For this, and for the booboo regarding the anti-Semitic cartoons, Dagbladet is being panned.

The Fjordman debacle is not a topic for this blog, so you can catch up on it here (in the very eloquent words of Sara Azmeh Rasmussen and google translate will give you a more than adequate insight in the ongoing cat fight).

But last week condemnations continued to rain on Dagbladet’s parade, including very sharp condemnations from the Catholic church and the Church of Norway


Vårt Land 2013 06 13 p 24, 25

John Færseth

Not Online

Anti-Semitism is racist motivated hatred of Jews; in which the Jews has a set of negative attributes through being Jewish; which is being seen as something negative and dangerous. We see dangerous portents in this debate.

The philosopher Bernhard Harrison distinguishes between two types of anti-Semitism; the social and the political. To us; the political is the most interesting. The political anti-Semitism regards Jews as a collective (entity); working to promote its own targets, being a potential threat against the communities in which they lives. They may be referred to as being in control of the media, finances and politics; working for dominance over the world.


My interest for this subject arose from a lecture held by Professor Johan Galtung in the fall of 2011; connected to the Utøya killings. He emphasized the terrorist as being a Freemason, referring to those as “artificial Jews”; recommending the anti-Semite author Erik Rudstrøm. Galtung followed up on this through recommending the “protocols” as a “guide” to today’s world; claiming 96 per cent of the media was being controlled by Jews, based on a tract  by neo-Nazi William Pierce. Galtung was removed from festivals and conferences in several countries. Not in Norway, though, where he was the guest of honor at several events. In August of 2009, the Klassekampen published an op-ed, “Israelsk Psykdom”[1]; in which associate professor Trond Andresen claimed a characteristic trait by Israeli Jews were a lack of empathy with other peoples. Andresen has also made claims over Israeli intelligence services being aware of the 9/11 attacks ahead of them taking place, without issuing any warnings, and also over being a supporter of former RV (Marxist party) member Hans Olav Brendberg, excluded due to large number of anti-Semite statements..

Identity as a problem.

In the fall of 2011; Andresen’s colleagues at the NTNU, together with the PalCom, invited the British-Israeli author Gilad Atzmon to hold a lecture. Atzmon- who resigned his Israeli citizenship in 2001- has through many years claimed Jewish identity by itself is being racist; Jewry being in opposition to Christian and humanitarian values. Even a reference to the Nazi extermination of Jews as unique is chauvinist to Atzmon; who has skirted Holocaust denial perilously close. Therefore, many Pal-activists have distanced themselves from Atzmon, not however the NTNU, where Professor Arnuf Kolstad refuted all attempts at questioning the invitation.

In 2010, Kolstad was interviewed in the context of Jewish children being bullied, and the use of the term “Jew” as an invective. He did however place this in the perspective of Israel’s policies; holding the position Israel had the responsibility of treating the Palestinians better, even though parents and teachers also had the responsibility of separating between Jews and the policies of Israel. Something very corresponding could be read in Morgenbladet in February of 2006; as Fredrik Heffermehl, the leader of Norway’s Peace Council, claimed Norwegian Jews were under the responsibility of distancing themselves from the policies of Israel, if they were not to be affected as a group.



These are all examples of Jews being attributed negative features through being Jewish; Jews being held collectively responsible over each other’s actions, Jews being primarily loyal towards each other’s and being a potential threat.

Why does Klassekampen still publish Andresen? Why is the peace movement still engaging Galtung? Why did the PalCom invite Atzmon as other Palestine activists has broken with him- even after he referred to Anders Behring Breivik as a lackey of, and a sympathizer of, Israel?

Part of the answer may be in anti-Semite statements being interpreted as criticism of Israel’s policies. Harrison claims part of the European left wing turned segments of its former ideology into moral rules of life after the bankruptcy of Communism. One of them was states and movements representing the “third way”, fighting “imperialism”, always were right.


To many people, Israel, together with USA, is the closest thing to an “enemy”. Nearly any attack against them may be explained or excused. Israel can be compared to Nazi Germany; Israeli politician’s being caricatured wearing a Nazi uniform. This would be unthinkable with other countries. Research by the Holocaust Center has demonstrated the existence of limited, but genuine, anti-Semitism inside Norway, though there is no reason to believe it is more widely spread among the left wing or those supporting the Palestinians- rather on the contrary. However, tolerance concerning anti-Semite utterances may have dangerous consequences at a time when conspiracy theories- not least those concerning the Jews- are on the advance. The internet has made it easier to migrate attitudes and ideas across political divides. Tolerance of anti-Semitic statements may legitimize these statements when it comes to those harboring doubts; strengthening those who already have faith in them being correct. 


Vårt Land 2013 06 13 p 24

Rune Berglund Steen


The author is the leader of the “Anti-Racist center”.

On May the 28th, Dagbladet printed an unusually brutal cartoon depicting circumcision of boys; staging a scene in which a child is being mutilated by two adults. Any religious practice should of course be subject to open debate (…)

The fact is, this cartoon immediately gives the reader associations to anti-Semite cartoons. These associations are according to our view reasonable and rational.  The extermination of Jews in WW2 is not only history; but a living heritage to expect editors in media artists to be actively conscious about. This should consist of an awareness surrounding the risk of using terms of expression close to former day’s anti-Semite propaganda. We do not of course intend to hold the opinion Dagbladet is an anti-Semitic newspaper. However, Dagbladet has printed a cartoon it is both reasonable and rational to interpret as anti-Semitic. Briefly stated: Dagbladet has tangled itself into something it should disentangle from; rather than making a bad situation worse through blaming the alleged existence of something called “Jewish” sensibility.


[1] Untranslatable. Israelsk means Israeli, «Psykdom» is a portmanteau, most likely devised by Andresen, consisting of «Sykdom» (Disease) and «Psyk» (mental), indicating Israel is something of a mental disease.


Dagbladet 2013 06 14 p 76

Michael Melchior


Hardly anything more revolting exist in our world than people mutilating children. Perhaps, to me, as a religious individual, this had to be crimes committed against children in the name of religion; justified by the holy writings. Abusing children in the name of God, exploiting children, mutilating girls in order for them never to have sexual pleasure, using children for cannon fodder. As a rabbi, I have devoted much of my public life in the struggle over children’s rights. For natural reasons, children are unable to speak in their own defense, the rights of children being far from secured in our world of today.

As the cartoonist of Dagbladet, Tomas Drefvelin, draws a cartoon depicting a Norwegian rabbi like myself, having characteristic Jewish traits, a black coat and a hat, large nose and a demonic trident in hand, looking at holy texts, mutilating a child so cruelly blood spatters in all directions, a more revolting depiction of me or us being Jews can hardly be imagined.

In a conversation I had with the chief editor of Dagbladet he attempted to defend the cartoon by (stating) it could equally had been an attack on Muslims; as also they are circumcising boys. The problem with this argument is however that IT would have been indifferent if this persecution was directed at the Muslims. Also, the cartoonist is in possession of both the talent and the experience to know how to depict Muslims. He has done this before, thankfully avoiding conveying the hatred radiating from this cartoon.

Protecting free speech and understanding satirical depictions and hyperbole is a basic pillar of our democratic debate. It is above any discussion to point out the place for criticism of religion in the public dialogue. According to Jewish tradition I hold the opinion criticism of religion is not the domain of atheists and agnostics only, but should also include religious individuals as contributors. We do not however need any patronization by the editors of Dagbladet to accomplish this. Actually, we do it on a daily basis.

Dangers arise as free speech, under the cover of democratic rights is abused to disperse hatred and persecution at other individuals. When we are accused of gross violations of human rights, words, and not least this cartoon, becomes part of an image of violence. When classic anti-Semite effects and lies are used in addition to this, like the blood symbols; and alleged Jewish control over the country’s police apparatus, in order to reinforce the effect of the total lack of power of the abused children, this is not only the expression of an opinion. It is an expression which to many will appear to be tantamount to these cruel people, holding a demonic weapon, in this case the Jews, not having any room in our civilization. How often have we not seen throughout history how such racist and anti-Semite expression in its consequences have led to physical violence? To those of us having at least some historic perspective; observing what is ongoing in our society; it is obvious it is conductive to hatred. In this context, the intentions of the cartoonist are not of any great interest.

As the editorial of Dagbladet expresses some understanding of the impossibility of denying Jewish reactions to anti-Semitism after the Holocaust; this reveals a lack of understanding. The question is not whether Jews react to anti-Semitism. The question is whether Dagbladet has the courage to express regrets over a cartoon that will take its place in history as yet another example of repulsive anti-Semitic hatred. Seeing the editorial of Dagbladet, defending Drefvelin, this question unfortunately appears to have received an answer.

Talkbacks to this article, as published on the web pages of Dagbladet are unabashedly anti-Semitic in content.

7 comments for “Dagbladet still getting stick for its sick cartoon

  1. Eric R.
    June 19, 2013 at 8:11 am

    I would just like to see their heads explode (and I mean that literally, I would clean the brain matter off the floor) if Israel were to ban them, along with Aftenposten and Sweden’s Aftonbladet.

  2. Eric R.
    June 19, 2013 at 8:18 am

    By the way, let me clarify the above statement — I am not looking for explosives to blow up the heads of our Norwegian enemies, but the term is figurative in English for someboy who cannot control their rage. If the rage is bad enough, it can lead to a brain stroke or aneurysm. However, if their rage was so great that the pressure inside their heads literally caused it to explode, I would not mind.

  3. June 21, 2013 at 5:03 am

    Is the cartoon made by Drevfelin still a topic? I find it quite strange that of all religions the cartoon targeted, only one seem to think it’s just about them? Drevfelin have stated that he tried to construct a “religious look, not linked to any specific faith or church” (quote from interview in VG) since the point of the cartoon was not that many religions have barbaric mutilations as part of their heritage. (Circumcision of one or both genders, scarification etc.) but the hypocritical way Norwegian laws deal with it.

    Children should be protected from unnecessary medical procedures instigated by their parents until they are old enough to have a say themselves. If any gods exists (and as we all know, there’s not a shred of evidence any do) I’m certain they could care less if a believer have to wait a few years until they can arrange any medical procedures themselves.

  4. Ellen
    June 21, 2013 at 10:49 am

    Yes, but as long as the raeg is experienced as righteous, it can function as a morally fueled dynamo instead of making the heads go asplooie. Just being banned in Israel, would probably make them more proud than angry, because they’d be able to thumb their chest and say: “Look, we’re being cencored! That means we’re telling the TROOF!!!”

    I wouldn’t claim to understand what is going on in their heads, but it seems mighty strange that someone who sees themself as a champion of liberty, equality and human rights can be so incredibly fond of an organization that almost exclusively target innocent civilians that they close their eyes to everything they do wrong. Like I said in another thread, they remind me of Pitbull owners. (Yes, I’m “prejudiced” against Pitbulls, OK?)

  5. : )
    June 23, 2013 at 4:02 am


    both the Muslim and the Jews react a lot stronger on restriction around religious education than the Christians does. Most of us find it ok to help Christian children that are told that people are infected by the devil by their parents in their everyday. Its ok to not like everyone you meet, but its not ok to say that some people are evil, it just don’t fit in a modern democracy! How to meet a boy that has been performed circumcision is something we all need to know more about. I respect that for a boy it might feel that its best to change alone when most boys are not circumcision! Its to meet the individual and make this person feel well!

    When it comes to the how some people feel about religious people I think we have to discuses open that when some see animals as humans its a fanatic idea. If one read the Bible one understand why a band against circumcision is not a way to go in a modern democracy, it puts one in the same boat as the one that trowed books on the fire. One don’t know what one do because one lack knowledge about Abraham. How can anyone of us go back in time and talk to Abraham and his way of thinking? We can think its madness to hear voices and say that people that has these feelings today should get medication also the one that sees angels so what about Norway’s princess ore is some madness ok and not all? One just have to be rich to be mad?

    One can’t use one one feelings to control others we have to use justice.

  6. Norman Ronneberg
    June 26, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    I think it is a generational issue.

    Anyone who lived through World War Ii, and the years immediately following is fully aware of the Nazis’ (and others) use of the “blood libel” argument against Jews. Also, check out the Norwegian “hook-nosed Jew” cartoons during the war. People with memories of these are likely to be particularly appalled by the Dagbladet cartoon, and take it personally. Young Norwegians, like many apparently educated young people around the world, know little about history, and do not understand how past events still resonate today.

  7. : )
    June 27, 2013 at 4:42 am


    what I read in young educated people is that they know the 2 ww history well, but they question if the Jews really are victims or if the Jews made the 2 ww so that Israel could be made. They know what democracy is, but they wonder if they really want it. In my opinion to excuse the young is the same as just looking on how they ruin them self and their future. Life is not only good and happy one has to see facts and be able to handle them in a logical way to have some progress!

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