(JNS.org) A major Norwegian historian and diplomat accused her own country of being “the most anti-Semitic country in the West” and attacked it for “biased support for only the Palestinian views” at a Jerusalem event on Tuesday.
“The degree of anti-Israelism in Norway today on the state level, in the media, in the trade unions and at the universities, colleges and schools is unprecedented in modern Norwegian history. The powerful individuals that have pushed for these negative and biased attitudes in Norway are today responsible for creating a politically-correct hatred towards Israel that today portrays my country internationally as the most anti-Semitic country in the West,” Hanne Nabintu Herland said during a panel discussion.
Two thousand Jews live in Norway today. Herland also quoted several studies showing that “Jew” is the most often used curse word in Oslo schools, that a third of Jewish children feel they are being continuously harassed for being Jewish, and that 12 percent of Norwegians feel “strong anti-Jewish prejudices” and view Israel’s treatment of Palestinians as “analogous to Nazi actions against Jews.”
Deputy Head of Mission Vebjørn Dysvik, who represents the Norwegian Embassy in Tel Aviv, rejected Herland’s claim of anti-Semitism and said Norway does not tolerate the phenomenon. Nevertheless, he said, “The occupation of the Palestinians is the defining factor in the relationship between Norway and Israel.”
“This is precisely what we protest about Norwegian politicians and diplomats—that they make it a one-issue relationship, one-dimensional, and define it in what we think are unfair terms,” said Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor, according to the Times of Israel.