A new survey of attitudes in six European countries confirms that on average one in four Europeans are carriers of anti-Semitic stereotypes and delusions. An improvement is registered in Eastern Europe, while in Western Europe one still finds a high level. The findings are not dissimilar to those that appeared in the HL centre’s survey in Norway last year. These findings are not surprising. The population is exposed to an almost daily stream of negatively charged “news” and “commentary” in the national media, which the vast majority of people in this country have as their only sources of political information. In many ways, Norway is a media-controlled society.
For decades, the media has had a particular focus on Israel, which has become the country from which no good news ever comes. Everything revolves around the problems there. This does something to ordinary people’s perception, – there must be something in all the negative things that are reported. So when the HL centre in its surveys formulates questions that in their context also seem leading, it is not unexpected that four out of ten Norwegians think that the Israelis treat Palestinian Arabs the way the Nazis treated the Jews. It becomes a sort of natural conclusion to everything you have heard in Dagsrevyen.
The authorities are not absent in this development either. They contribute more than what TV and newspapers say. When it is reported almost daily over many years about dead people, terrorist acts and military actions that lead to Palestinian Arabs being killed and demonstrations on both sides that create noise and street fights, over time a general impression is formed among people that it is perhaps best to be a bit reserved towards these Israelis with whom there is always some trouble.
The Norwegian national media does not cover the daily incitement in the Arab media that causes young people to arm themselves and participate in actions and battles against Israeli civil society. The Norwegian media does not convey the speeches of “president” Mahmoud Abbas and his close allies, which overflow with Jewish-hatred and denial of Jewish history in the country. Nor does it cover the rejection of the Jewish state’s right to exist, even in cooperation with the UN, without Norway asking for the floor. The Norwegian media tell what happens when the Israeli police have to intervene to restore order and liveable conditions for the Israeli population, but they say nothing about the fact that the Oslo agreements and the “peace process” that entailed were a deliberate forgery on the part of the Arabs to have their terrorist organisations transferred from Tunis to Israel, where they have since operated to fulfil completely different goals.
European and Norwegian authorities are well informed and fully aware that the media they keep alive with “press support” do not tell the whole truth about the Arab-Israeli conflict. They don’t do that themselves either. Over many years, the European and Norwegian authorities have been sent written information that their support for the “peace process” is being channelled to members of groups that are classified as terrorist organisations in both Europe and America, they do not react. Despite the fact that information about this is available from open sources. When the information comes from the Israeli government they demand source information which they know they will never get. They choose to continue financing terrorism despite having acceded to a number of international conventions and declarations that require them to prevent such financing. This is part of the scandal.
The reason why the authorities refuse to accept the documentation they have received and end the financing of organised terrorist activities against Israel is the scale of the scandal they have been guilty of. There are politically intolerable consequences to what they have allowed themselves to be used for, this also applies to the voluntary organisations in the so-called “peace industry” in Norway and Europe, which over the decades have collected billions for their efforts in the terror war against Israel.
There is no reason to expect that the authorities or organisations in Norway will publicly admit or attempt to rectify any of the damage they have caused and recognise the thousands of lives the “Oslo war” has cost.
The effects this has had on the formation of opinion about Israel in Norway will not change either.
The persistent media pressure, which is reinforced by a very one-sided corps of commentators who frequently speak out without the other side being allowed to speak, will continue to contribute to keeping anti-Semitic delusions alive in Norwegian society.
By Dr. Michal Rachel Suissa, head of the Center against Antisemitism