What’s the most anti-Semitic and anti-Israel country in Europe?
And it’s not because it’s full of Muslims, either. About 90% of the population is Norwegian-born or has Norwegian-born parents. 83% are members of the established Church of Norway; only 1.5% identify as Muslim (Wikipedia: Norway).
Here’s how Manfred Gerstenfeld summarized his article “Norway: Extreme Expressions of anti-Israeli Attitudes” in the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs “Post-Holocaust Anti-Semitism” series:
- Norway, which gets little international publicity, seeks to project an image as a peace-loving country. Few people outside it are familiar with the extreme anti-Israeli expressions among the country’s elites. In recent years there also have been a number of anti-Semitic incidents.
- Anti-Israeli hate cartoons are published in leading Norwegian dailies and weeklies. Some are similar in message and venom to the worst anti-Semitic caricatures published in Nazi Germany. Israeli prime ministers are shown as Nazis or with the attributes of the Devil or animals. Also the most extreme anti-Semitic views disguised as anti-Israelism can be voiced in the mainstream media, such as those expressed by the author Jostein Gaarder in the daily Aftenposten in 2006.
- The current left-wing Norwegian government has probably taken the most accommodating position in Western Europe toward the Palestinian Hamas movement, which in its charter calls for the killing of all Jews. The first Hamas minister to be given entrance to Europe met with parliamentarians in Norway. The Norwegian deputy foreign minister was the first senior European official to hold talks with Hamas prime minister Ismael Haniya.
- Among anti-Semitic incidents in recent years were the shooting at the Oslo community’s synagogue, an attack on its cantor, and the desecration of graves at its cemetery. A number of Jewish children have been harassed in schools.