When I read the news about the shooting in Brussels yesterday, I felt a sting of fear that I know to be instinctive. Its always there, latent. Its moderately tickled when Norwegian newspapers can print article after article where Israel, the Middle East, the Jews are being lumped together to an unappetising mash and where world famous authors can get a licence to write rubbish like “Gods chosen people”, where Jostein Gaarder hides behind a risible and reprehensible excuse that he is merely criticising Israel, when he in fact is wallowing in putrid anti-Semitism. When the same newspapers foolishly and irresponsibly allows a senior politician like Kåre Willoch to deliver rant after rant against Jews, such as the infamous complaint that Obamas take on Israel couldn’t be taken seriously, since his chief of staff was Jewish, when Norwegian newspapers are rife with sickening anti-semitic cartoons and when a pogrom can go unpunished ahead in Oslo, with leading politicians siding with Muslim thugs who call for Jewish blood, this fear is positively rattled and sits like a painful lump in my stomach.
Yet this is nothing.
Nothing compared to the blood curdling feeling when my old synagogue is shot at, and where CCTV shots reveal that sinister figures keep the synagogue under surveillance, and cars pulling up to the gate and the people inside start to take pictures of the buildings. More so, when Jews are at best beat up, at worst slaughtered in Paris, in Toulouse, in Burgas, and now again in Brussels. And now the frightening results from the EU elections over the weekend. Many of these parties hold deeply offensive opinions about Jews, and do very little to hide their hate. And this is taking place in a continent with more blood on its hands than anybody else in the worlds history, where economic hard times combined with almost unchecked immigration from parts of the world where it is a religious duty to hate the Jews. All of this lumped together makes for a very explosive situation.
This fear is not calmed by reassuring oped’s from the likes of Aftenposten. After years of demonising Israel, publishing very offensive and hurtful cartoons, allowing unmitigated anti-semitic drivel from the very elites of the Norwegian society has served to foment a very disturbing aspect of Norwegian society: it has never dealt with the anti-semitic sentiments that live so well among us.
lifted from aftenposten.no (poor google translate)
During this jubilant month of May where we celebrate our Constitution, the Jewish Museum in Oslo marks the 200 years since 1814 with a very special exhibition .
Justifiably it could have been about the constitutional paragraph of shame, “Jews are still excluded from Access to the realm “. The section that we Norwegians have been taught to believe was a kind of random mistake at Eidsvoll , characterized by an antiquated zeitgeist and fiery farmers.
It was simply is not so, Håkon Harket hasvdocumented in his fascinating pioneering work of a book paragraph.The Constitutional Jew clause was to the contrary the result of a deliberate direction and intellectual choice among Eidsvoll Assembly sharpest heads.
The story is thus much worse and more serious than we thought.
But it is not this tale Oslo important Jewish Museum conveys this 2014 – spring. Rather , it is part of the Jewish Norwegian history that is totally unknown to anyone other than the especially interested:
Norwegian sports heroes of Jewish origin .
This makes this an eloquent , inclusive and humorous counterpart to the dangerous , brutal and exclusionary legal text .
The Jewish Museum in Calmeyer street thus celebrates all what the Nation’s Tfounding fathers rejected: Jewish presence in the kingdom. Here represented by participation in sports and outdoor activities.
Therefore , we now know that one of the largest names in world sports, Suzann ( Tutta ) Pettersen, has Jewish ancestry. Her great-grandfather, Hermann Feilsilber , came to Norway at age three. In 1917 he married Martha Marie Nullmeyer, who converted to Judaism. Their daughter was Tutta’s grandmother .
It is from this family ( the grandfather Hermann’s eldest brother) the Jewish community got the land to build the synagogue in Bergstien , where the foundation stone was laid in 1919. This shows us the chained events of history.
We are reminded of the legendary Manglerud Star goalkeeper Jørn Goldstein’s Jewish ancestry. And we find Max Mankowitz , European champion in kickboxing, the exciting list of large and small , known and unknown sports heroes .
One of SV’s most important politicians for decades , Theo Koritzinsky , emerging in this company as bronze medalist in luge from 1956. A big surprise for all of us who have followed him as a politician – and that thought sledging was hardly a sport for people with long legs .
Faced with prejudice
” Norwegian football was poorly placed , when you let a Jew into the national team ,” quoted a sports commentator for the Superbowl in 1930 when Norway beat Switzerland 3-0 at Ullevaal .
Where Israel Krupp scored one of the goals . The name gives no room for speculation about his background.
The exhibition is a tribute to both sports enjoyment and integration. But it is also a reminder that Jewish athletes has been met with prejudice and anti-Semitism. But it also illustrates the new knowledge currently being unveiled about our own dark past.
Almost two weeks ago the American organization Anti -Defamation League ( ADL ) published a new and comprehensive ( total of 53,000 people asked for the period from July 2013 to February 2014 ) survey which aims to identify anti-Jewish attitudes in over 100 countries .
Tremors in the anniversary spring
All such attitude surveys have their errors , but unfortunately there is little reason to use the method deficiencies to dismiss the main findings . The report estimates that there are 1.1 billion people with anti-Semitic attitudes in the surveyed countries . Total answers over half ( 54 percent ) say they have not heard about the holocaust or they doubt that the historical information is correct .
There is of course no surprise that anti-Jewish attitudes are strongest in the Arab countries. But it is more than puzzling that they are stronger in countries with a Catholic majority than those of Protestant . And it should upset us that anti-Jewish attitudes are markedly stronger in Norway ( 15 percent ) than in Denmark ( 9 percent) and Sweden ( 4 percent) .
Nearly one out of four Norwegians believe that hatred of Jews is because Jews behaving badly .
Such figures should not be passed in silence. They should shake us in our national self contented anniversary this spring.
On the last day in April, was the relatively new education minister , Torbjørn Røe Isaksen, on his first visit to the synagogue in Bergstien .
he talked about how Solberg government can best use the four million that is allocated to the fight against anti-Semitism . We see that they are needed. Through many years have documented a growing anti-Semitism in Norwegian schools. Jewish children are being bullied , and at some schools resigned it by warning students against wear Jewish symbols.
It is and remains a disgrace.
But there is also something more: It is dangerous because such a quiet indulgence paving increasing room for hatred infectious expansion. Limits moved without us noticing. And they move in the wrong direction.
New business travesty
In our own beloved Europe we see more clearly than a few years ago that the anti-Semitic ghost is not dead and buried, so we very much wanted to believe .
Ancient undercurrents that still exist in Europe’s collective subconscious , flourishes in the face of a new and frightening viable form of Jew-hatred . We see that the prejudices cultivated and that tolerance is in retreat .
Therefore, the consequences of a redrawn travesty that come up to our polished surface of society through public opinion research and the need for public campaign funds . We see it also in that of many European countries reported increasing numbers of attacks on Jews and Jewish institutions. At the moment it comes shocking messages from Brussels that it killed people precisely in Belgium’s Jewish Museum.
Out of this gloomy shadow emerge a small group of people from a small minority in a small country : Norwegian sports heroes of Jewish affiliation.
Telling a footnote to the larger story. signalling a kind of underlying hope. Also what we need .