Friday, November 12, 2004

Controvery about Norweigan Kristallnacht Demo

Jan Haugland (Secular Blasphemy) has written this very disturbing report:

Are Norway's anti-racists anti-Semities or did a anti-immigrant group try to disrupt a march memorializing the anniversary of Kristallnacht.

Norwegian anti-racists yesterday were marking the 66th Kristallnacht anniversary, in memory of the brutal beginning of official Nazi-Germany's genocidal murder of Europe's jews.

In our capital Oslo, the organisation SOS Rasisme refused Jews to participate in the march because they carried jewish symbols and Israeli flags.

Yes, you read that right.

The "anti-racist" organisation insists it did the right thing despite widespread criticism, including from Norway's Justice Minister Odd Einar Dørum (Liberals) and Progress Party leader Carl I. Hagen.

Technically, it was the police that refused people carrying jewish symbols from participating. The police has come in for criticism, too, but argue they could not guarantee the security of jews among the leftist "anti-racists." Which probably says a lot.

The Kristallnacht in Norway is widely used by organisations protesting Israel's war against Palestinian terrorism, and frequent comparisons of the murder of 6 million jews with Israel's acts of self-defence are totally unchecked in Norway's press.
The Simon Weinthal Center is a statement protesting the exclusion.

But quite a different picture emerges from the SOS Rasisme. Here is a letter they addressed to the SWC.
Dear Sirs,

We have registered that you have made a complaint to the Norway Embassy in Washington because of the police action to stop a handful people with Israeli flags.

The norwegian TV2 news made a very wrong story of this incident. The Star of David and other jewish symbols were of course allowed in the procession, actually there was a Star of David in the poster for the demonstration.

The committee had settled on not to take up the Israel/ Palestine- conflict in the procession. No banners either against or in support of for example the security barrierr where wanted. We fear that the day would be teared away from the historical role and the many issues of antisemittism and racism in Norway of today.

"Det mosaiske trossamfunn" (DMT), the Jewish Community of Oslo, has also excluded two of the people the police stopped. Some of the others in the group, where even not jewish, they wanted to promote a very small ultra-right-wing political party in Norway.

In a press release from the DMT, they say:
"På bakgrunn av at NIS og organisasjonens ledelse på årsdagen for Krystallnatten valgte å gå i samarbeid med aktører som DMT på det sterkeste tar avstand fra, valgte styret den 9. november å ekskludere Erez Uriely og Rachel Suissa fra Det mosaiske trossamfund med øyeblikklig virkning."

A quick translation is:
"In the light of that 'NIS' and the leadership of the organisation on the anniversary of the Kristallnacht chose to cooperate with actors that DMT strongly oppose, the board chose to exclude Erez Uriely and Rachel Suissa from the Jewish Community with immediate action."

With anti-racistic regards,

Trond Thorbjørnsen
Still, if I am reading between the lines correctly then SOS-R barred Israeli flags from their demonstration.

More on the controversy from Øyvind Strømmen on the Bjorn Staerk blog.

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