“Jew” is the most common swear word in Norwegian schoolyards

lifted from aftenposten.no (google translate)

– Jew is the most common swear word in Norwegian schoolyards
Jewish children in Norway are afraid because of their religious affiliation, according to sources in the Jewish community in Oslo.
Helen Egedius

– Norwegians have the most anti-Semitic beliefs in Scandinavia. It is a sign of disease,  Ervin Kohn warns.

– Along with “gay” and “whore” is “Jew” is the most common swear word in Norwegian playgrounds, Kohn says , head of the Jewish community.

Aftenposten’s main article on Sunday shows that anti-Semitism in Europe is increasing and that children in Brussels must hide their Jewishness.

Now, people in the Jewish community in Oslo who prefer to be anonymous say that Jewish children in Norway are afraid.

There is a total of 1,300 Jews in Norway. 160 of them are children in Norwegian schools.

– If you go to school with a large Muslim proportion, I do not think the first thing you do is raise your hand and speak about your Jewish background, a source told Aftenposten.

Anti-Semitic attitudes
A few years ago, the municipality Oslo conducted a survey of secondary schools.

– There it emerged that one of three Jewish students were bullied at least once a month and what was used as an insult, says Ervin Kohn.

– But what disappointed students most was the teachers ‘and school leaders’ indifference.

A principal said that being called a “fucking Jew” could be compared to being called “a damn west coast hillbilly”.

– A recent global survey by the Anti-Defamation League shows that 15 percent of Norwegians have anti-Semitic beliefs. This amounts to over half a million people, and is more than in Denmark and Sweden, says Kohn.

– What does it mean to have such attitudes?

– That you believe in stereotypes and conspiracy theories that Jews have a great influence on world financial markets and seeks world domination. The strange thing with anti-Semitism is that it is over 2,000 years old, yet never dies. Many people lack any knowledge in history, and you do not even need to have Jews in a country for it to be anti-Semitic attitudes there, says Kohn, who is also deputy chairman of the Anti-Racist Center.

– Wrong focus
The manager thinks Aftenposten’s take on the theme is the wrong focus.

– We shouldn’t fight anti-Semitism merely because Jews suffer, or because frightened Jewish children dont dare to display their Star of David or scull caps, he said.

– We must combat such attitudes because they are dangerous and can lead to misery. If you believe in one conspiracy theory, it is easy to believe in another one. In alternative circles we can find people who won’t vaccinate their children , and think that condensation trails from jets really are NATO planes that spray the population. Such notions, we must keep in check, if we want to keep the community healthy.

Is attacked
Two years ago, the Holocaust Center conducted a population survey that showed that 12.5 percent of Norwegians hold pronounced prejudice against Jews. It says that the prevalence of such attitudes are relatively small in Norway, seen in a European context.

In 2006 the synagogue in Oslo was shot at. The Jewish community has experienced that people have defecated on the stairs, the buildings have been tagged and currently the police stands guard during religious services.

– Have Norwegian Jews a reason to be afraid?

– I have not experience that we are in physical danger or that the pressures on us have increased, said Ervin Kohn.

– Personally, its the anti-Semitism I fear most. The Holocaust Center’s study showed that four per cent of the Norwegian people defended the shots at the synagogue. Add to that those who thought it did not matter since no one was injured, and those who for some reason felt that they could not answer this, we are up to 15 per cent who were indifferent to the shots. This bothers me. Both the majority and the minority populations must confront anti-Semitism in their own communities.