Friday, July 21, 2006

Under Attack
In Norway

The new Anti-Semitism is basically the same old anti-Semitism dressed up to look like opposition to Israeli policy, or "anti-Zionism."

However, when criticism of Israel is out of proportion to criticism of the rest of the evil in the world, then the dressing up just doesn't work, no matter how trendy it is. An example of this lack of proportion is the fact that every year between 1/3 to 1/2 of United Nations condemnations for bad behavior are directed at the state of Israel.

Often when a person or group are accused of this new for of anti-Semitism, they will deny the truth of the assertion saying it is not that they don't like Jews, instead, they simply disagree with the behavior of the state of Israel.

Ok, that sound fair enough.

But then, why is it that when Israel is engaged in a war with Hizbollah, Jews are then attacked for being Jews in the state of Norway?

Only about 1,300 Jews live in Norway, but because of the tensions and the current events in the Middle East, they are at risk of being attacked. The Norwegian newspaper VĂ¥rt Land reports that a Jew was assaulted by Arabs in the streets of Oslo last Saturday. In response, The Mosaic Community in Oslo has sent out a recommendation to its members to leave the kippah at home, or cover it under a cap. It is also warning its members against speaking Hebrew in public. During the past few days the Community has received several threats and other unpleasant messages.

The Jewish journalist Mona Levin declared she was shocked by the Mosaic Community's recommendations. In a reaction she said she was going to wear her Star of David again: "We should not hide that we are Jewish. If we do that, we betray ourselves."

At the same time, the cartoonist Finn Graff published an anti-Israeli cartoon in the popular Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet. The cartoon shows Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert as a Nazi commander in the concentration camp of Auschwitz. The scene comes from the movie Schindler's List, in which the commander shoots down a random Jew from his balcony. For the sake of clarity: Finn Graff is the same cartoonist who declared only half a year ago that he would not draw a cartoon about Muhammad out of fear and "respect." Apparently he has no problems with his fear, nor does he need to show any respect when he can insult Jews or Israel, or Christians for that matter.