PRESS CONFERENCE IN OSLO, 24 March 2010
On the occasion of the publication of the book in Norwegian: Antisemitism in Norway – Behind the Humanitarian Mask
This book is partly based on my English book Behind the Humanitarian Mask, the Nordic Countries, Israel and the Jews, which was published one and half years ago in 2008. Other articles in the book in Norwegian are entirely new.
When the English version came out a number of statements I made about anti-semitism and anti-Israelism in Norway were criticized. Today similar statements are made by the Norwegian media and the Jewish community in Oslo.
I want to thank all of you for coming here today to hear what I have to say.
There are other people about whom I hesitate to thank. To my great surprise my name has become relatively well known in Norway in a short time. Usually when an author becomes known in a new country, it is because of what he has said. In Norway this is not the case. Those familiar with my name know about me mainly because of various statements which some Norwegian media have falsely attributed to me.
These media claim that I have stated that Norway is the most anti-Semitic country in Europe. No serious anti-Semitism expert would say such a thing because we do not have the information tools to measure this. So should I thank TV2 and NTB, and the 20 Norwegian and Swedish newspapers who have quoted the false statements attributed to me, only because they made me known in Norway. I leave judgment up to you. Thanks to TV2 and the NTB and Norwegian newspapers, I now also have a sizable collection of hate e-mails from various Norwegians.
I’ll come to what I did say about anti-semitism in Norway shortly. Let me first make a few other remarks. In recent days there has been much media information here about anti-Semitism in Norwegian schools. Those of you who have read my English book know that I mention this problem in some detail and show how the problem has existed for at least eight years.
I understand that your education minister Kristin Halvorsen said after a broadcast by NRK that she was not aware of the problem of harassment of Jewish children in schools. You are a gathering of media people. Perhaps somebody can explain to me how it is possible that a person like myself, who does not know Norwegian and lives 5 000 kilometers from here can write about this harassment a year and a half ago, while the Norwegian education minister now says she knows nothing about it. And if she knew why didn’t she do anything about it.
I have a request to you: Please do not write tomorrow: Israeli wants to become education minister of Norway as he knows more about anti-semitic harassment in Norwegian schools than the Norwegian education minister. But if there are any investigative journalists in Norway they should put this question to minister Halvorsen. They can also ask her who is responsible for hiding this anti-Semitic harassment for so long and why everybody blames it only on Muslims if even an author from Israel knows that a number of the perpetrators are white ethnic Norwegians.
There are things of course Minister Halvorsen claims to know much better than what happens in the Norwegian schools she is responsible for. She knows exactly who is guilty in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict 5000 kilometers from here.
As I have little time at my disposal let me come to my main statement about anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism in Norway. I have said in my English book and on TV2 that there are many pioneering acts of anti-Israelism and anti-Semitism in Norway. A number of examples are given in my book, about the government of Norway, the trade unions, some media, academia and others who were the first in Europe to initiate some specific actions of hate against Jews and Israel.
To better explain what I mean when I say that there are many pioneering acts of anti-semitism and anti-Israelism in Norway, let me ask you a few questions: in 2009 which was the only country in Europe where the Holocaust denier David Irving had more than a quarter of an hour interview on a major TV station. The answer is Norway and the station is TV2.
Another question: when did the largest anti-semitic riots ever take place in
Oslo. In 1939 when the Quisling party was active or in 2009? For the answer I recommend you to read Eirik Eiglad’s book “The anti-Jewish riots in Oslo.”
Next question: which was the first university in the Western world where the rector financed a series of anti-Israeli lectures by people who wanted to boycott Israeli universities. We have little time so I’ll give you the answer:
Rector Torbjørn Digernes of NTNU in Trondheim.
My next question is which country financed the trip of extremist doctors who broadcast Hamas hate propaganda from Gaza in January 2009? The answer is Norway via Norwac.
The next question is who is the prominent Norwegian who called these Hamas hate propagandists by phone to say the whole country is behind you? The answer is Norwegian prime-minister Jens Stoltenberg. He may have spoken to the Jewish community about the anti-Semitism in Norway but why has he not publicly come out against it.
The next question is when these two extremist doctors wrote a book which contained clear anti-Semitic blood libel against Israel, which Norwegian minister wrote a back cover comment for the book. The answer is Jonas Gahr Stoere. When he was confronted with this he said that a back cover comment did not mean that he endorsed the content of the book. I have published 16 books and I have never met anybody who wrote a back cover comment for my books, who was critical of its contents. Why is there no investigative journalism in Norway that asks minister Stoere what kind of a remark that is.
The next question is: which Norwegian Minister lied to the Israeli daily Maariv in March 2009 that he had recalled the Norwegian foreign office employee Trine Lilleng from the embassy in Riyad after she had sent Holocaust inversion emails from her foreign office email. The answer is Jonas Gahr Stoere.
By the way, I do not make these remarks behind the back of Minister Stoere. The publisher has told me that both he and Minister Halvorsen have been invited to this press conference. To debate a democrat like myself seems to be difficult. I have already challenged Minister Stoere once in Aftenposten that I want to debate him publicly. I repeat this here.
My last question: If you have two persons in Norway, one a peace-loving rabbi praying in a synagogue and the other an anti-Israeli bishop in a church which location has to be protected? I let you figure the answer out yourself.
The problem here is not all or even the majority of almost 5 million Norwegians. I have a great respect for several organizations here.
I wrote my two books, one in English and one in Norwegian, because from the elite of this country, which falsely calls itself progressive, comes a stream of hatred against Israel, which to a large extent is anti-Semitic. I have exposed this hatred in my book. This production of hate will sooner or later start to affect your international image.
The problems of Malmö as a European capital of hatred had been known to experts for four years at least. Now they suddenly are widely known internationally.
Will Oslo be the next Malmö? In my opinion what happens here concerning anti-Israelism and anti-semitism will reach the international press in six months to two years. Whether you want to solve the problem before, the Norwegians have to decide themselves. Thank you for your attention.
The English book Behind the Humanitarian Mask, the Nordic Countries, Israel and the Jews, can be downloaded for free at Institute for Global Jewish Affairs (link)