By Barry Rubin
The above photo is taken at a bookstore in Lebanon (the photographer will remain anonymous). It shows two copies of my book on Syria–which is banned in Syria–right next to a copy of the antisemitic Protocols of the Elders of Zion. (Incidentally, the store is part of a Western-owned chain and is located in an upscale mall. You can buy a copy of the Protocols while sipping your cappuchino.)
Speaking of antisemitism, yet another cable has turned up from Wikileaks proving me correct about that country’s growing, often officially sanctioned, antisemitism.
SUBJECT: PART II: RISING NORWEGIAN ANTI-SEMITISM AFFECTING ITS ROLE IN THE MIDDLE EAST?
REF: OSLO 90 Classified By: DCM Kevin M. Johnson for Reasons 1.4 (b,d)
¶1. (C) Summary: Anti-Semitism in Norway, and the expression of anti-Semitic comments, has increased since the Gaza war. The small Norwegian Jewish community is wary of being targeted, and “Jew” has become more popular as an epithet. While the issue of anti-Semitism is frequently debated in the media, Norwegians society has difficulty confronting it. Compared with Americans, Norwegians generally are more reluctant to accuse anyone of anti-Semitism, more reluctant to judge offense by the standards of the offended group, and more likely not to differentiate between Jews and Israelis. Israeli embassy officials have told us that increased Norwegian anti-Semitism is viewed in Israel as consistent with Norway’s general anti-Israel bias, and anti-Semitism’s rise further diminishes Norway’s ability to mediate in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. End Summary.
Unlike some newspapers, I’m not intimidated by the untruths told by the Norwegian government. In my last piece on this subject, I quoted the U.S. ambassador speaking about how the Norwegian government supports the terrorist Hamas group.
Now, we have this one from the U.S. embassy in Oslo, February 2009 :
“Anti-Semitism in Norway, and the expression of anti-Semitic comments, has increased since the Gaza war….
`Jew” ‘has become more popular as an epithet….Israeli embassy officials have told us that increased Norwegian anti-Semitism is viewed in Israel as consistent with Norway’s general anti-Israel bias….”
The cable cites a number of antisemitic incidents and statements; the fear of Norway’s Jews; the incitement of the country’s media; and the constant hate mail received by the rabbi. The U.S. embassy cable continues: “Finance Minister Halvorsen initially participating prominently an anti-war parade that ended with a full-scale riot in front of the Israeli embassy. Cries of, `Kill the Jews!’ were heard at this demonstration. ” The cable goes on to note that when accused of antisemitism, Norwegians deny it arguing that they are good people and attacking anyone who dare criticize the country. Then they smugly return to celebrating their virtue
Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal, and Middle East editor and featured columnist at PajamasMedia http://pajamasmedia.com/barryrubin/. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). GLORIA Center site is http://www.gloria-center.org.His articles published originally outside of PajamasMedia are at http://www.rubinreports.blogspot.com>