Norway’s Constitution is coming up for its bicentennial, and all of Norway is gearing up to great festivities and a bit of somber reflection what it means to have a liberal Constitution. Touted as the most enlightened constitution of its time, it had one severely disfiguring and illiberal, if not to say unenlightened, feature: A clause banning Jews and Jesuits from the Kingdom of Norway. The clause was repealed in 1851, after tireless efforts by one of Norway’s most beloved poets, Henrik Wergeland, who sadly passed away before he could see the fruits of his hard-won battles. In the run up to the great celebrations in May, there is a great focus on how the constitution came into being and the personalities behind it. The NRK naturally has an important role here, as the national broadcaster, it can more than any other institution provide insights, challenge common conceptions we have about this fundament for our modern state through humor, irony, philosophy, debate. But if going for the humoristic, say ironic angle, it might be a good idea to test whether people outside the studio share the laughter. In particular since Norway’s previous attempts at joking with difficult topics, such as the Holocaust has blown badly up, we remember with horror the failed effect of TV2 comedian Otto Jespersen’s apology to the “billions of lice and fleas that had perished in the Holocaust”
The sketch got widespread Norwegian coverage on Sunday but has now spread around the world and earned a dishonorable mention in Jerusalem Post, with furious talk backs from disgusted people. Norwegian commenters get it in the neck and might, perhaps, start to reflect on how repeated attacks on Israel and central aspects of Judaism from Norwegian ministers, humanitarian workers, school kids, authors and doctors, have undermined our standing in this part of the world.
As they say, what goes around, comes around.
lifted form Jpost.com
Comedy sketch satirizes Norway’s old ‘Jewish clause’
A comedy sketch on Norway public television satirized the banning of Jews by the county’s first constitution.
The sketch broadcast Sunday on NRK, the Norwegian government-owned radio and television broadcaster, was part of celebrations to mark the constitution’s 200th year. The clause banning Jews from entering Norway was part of the constitution enacted in 1814 and was lifted in 1851.
Charlo Halvorsen, entertainment editor for NRK, told TheLocal that the sketch was meant to ridicule the founding fathers who wrote the Jewish clause, not Jews.