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Services to antisemitism? News from Norway

Norway has plenty of form when it comes to worrying stories about antisemitism, but this latest news is particularly shocking.  The prestigious Royal Medal of Merit, which recognizes services to the arts, sciences, industry and the community, was on the point of being awarded to a man, Trond Ali Linstad, who is notorious for having made a string of antisemitic statements.  Although he is strongly opposed to Israel, Linstad’s antisemitism manifests itself in more traditional forms as well.  This account of some of his views is taken from the (Google translated) Norwegian Wikipedia entry:

According to SOS Racism , “kindle Trond Ali Linstad under antisemitism” after a post that was written by him on the site Koranen.no in June 2010. Linstad poem “Be critical of Jews in the world, in terms of the influence they have, in newspapers and other media, in many political bodies and the contacts and networks that exist where decisions are made, “and further” ‘ Beware the Jews! ‘ They can talk hot for a cause of democracy and human rights, and other people are concerned, but sometimes this may seem like a facade that hides a deeper commitment, whose content is ‘Jewish’ interests. “In the article adds Linstad particular emphasis the Jewish lobby and their interest in expanding Israel’s borders and are critical to the support they receive from the U.S.. SOS Racism claimed that the article is “one of the worst collective attack on Jews who have been laid out in Norway after the war”.

McGonagall notes:

Mr. Linstad has offended gay people, calling them an abnormality; he has offended refugees from Iran who have had to flee their home land thanks to ruthless theocrats in charge there. He has even managed to get himself banned by the Norwegian Islamic Council, which is quite an astonishing feat!

He claims ‘he’s not anti-Semitic but rather “anti-Zionist’.  Uh huh.

Although this is a horrifying story, at least several Norwegians protested against the decision to honour Linstad. (It was Linstad’s work in relation to Muslim day care centres and schools that earned him the nomination.)  These include Oslo Mayor Fabian Stang, who refused to participate in the ceremony.   It now seems as though the scheduled ceremony, as well an alternative rearranged ceremony, have both been cancelled, but it is not yet clear whether the decision to award the medal has been withdrawn.

Hat Tip: Bella Center