6 Giugno 2012

Antisemitism common in Norway

Data:

06/06/2012

Fonte:

www.antisemitism.org.il

Antisemitism common in Norway: study

 

 

30/05/2012

 

 

Some 12.5 percent of Norwegians hold clear prejudices against Jews, according to the country’s first ever comprehensive survey of antisemitism.

 

The study, commissioned by several Norwegian government agencies, was carried out by the Holocaust Centre in Oslo in conjunction with pollster TNS Gallup.

 

 “In all, 12.5 percent of the population have distinct prejudices against Jews. In a European context, this makes the prevalence of antisemitic thinking relatively low in Norway and on the same level as Great Britain, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden,” according to the report.

 

In certain areas, respondents displayed a particularly high level of antisemitism. For instance, a full 19 percent agreed with the statement that “the world’s Jews are secretly working to advance Jewish interests”, while 26 percent of Norwegians agreed that “Jews view themselves as being better than others”.

 

Eight percent said they would not like to have Jews as neighbours or friends.

 

Antisemitic tendencies were most apparent among men, older people and people with a low level of education, while women, young people, and well-educated Norwegians were in general less prejudiced.

 

Holocaust Centre coordinator Øivind Kopperud noted that, while the level of antisemitism was relatively limited, 12.5 percent of the population still equated to more than 600,000 people.

 

 “A few of the individual figures are quite frightening,” said Kopperud, who pointed out that Norway is a politically stable and wealthy country.

 

He expressed particular concern over the fact that 38 percent of respondents equated Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians to the Nazi’s treatment of Jews during World War II.

 

Furthermore, a quarter of Norwegians believed Jews used the memory of the Holocaust to gain advantages for themselves, while 12 percent said Jews bore responsibility for their own persecution. In neighbouring Sweden, just 2 percent of people said Jews had themselves to blame, while in Germany the figure rose to 10 percent.

 

Kopperud said it should also be borne in mind that Norway is home to only around 1,500 Jews. Few people have either Jewish friends or colleagues at school, university or in the workplace.

 

 “So when they speak about Jews and their view of Jews, they are speaking about the mythical ‘Jew’, and that’s completely different from the relationship to other minorities who are quite visible.”

 

The study also showed that criticism of Israel did not always go hand in hand with antisemitic opinions.

 

An analysis revealed that half of respondents who held radical pro-Palestinian views did not display signs of antisemitism.

 

Among people with more moderate pro-Palestinian opinions, 75 percent showed no indication of being antisemitic.

 

 “This shows that the relationship between antisemitic and anti-Israeli views is more complex that an often polarized public debate sometimes suggests,” said Kopperud.

 

The study also showed that Norwegians are more prejudiced against certain other minorities, with Muslims, Somalis and Romany people subject to the highest levels of discrimination.

 

The report makes four recommendations for improving the climate for Jews and other minorities. These include providing more information in schools about Jewish history, antisemitism, and prejudices against other minorities.

 

The authors also propose carrying out a similar survey every five years, as well as compiling comparable surveys for other minorities.

 

According to the researchers behind the study, the Norwegian police should begin keeping records of any hate crimes with antisemitic motives.

 

 

***

 

 

The Jewish communities blame the press for antisemitism

 

 

06/06/2012

 

 

Three quarters of Jews living in Oslo believe antisemitism in the population has grown.

 

This morning the Jewish community reeled the results of a survey among the members of the congregation. The numbers are striking. Of about 300 Norwegian Jews at the synagogues in Oslo and Trondheim, 54 percent said that they had experienced antisemitism.

 

– This is important to know, because we now identify antisemitism as something special. We now have to address the fear of discussing this topic, Ervin Kohn the leader of the community in Oslo told Vårt Land at a press conference today.

 

Schools.

 

There are indications that more and more experience hatred of Jews. Of all respondents, it is not a single person who believes that the extent of antisemitism has been reduced over the last ten years. Many also say that they have experienced antisemitism in school.

 

– We have probably under reported the problems our children face. We have said that we have not experienced much antisemitism, but the figures show that the reality is different, Kohn said.

 

One-sided coverage.

 

The press gets their share of the blame for the harassment many people experience. 9 out of 10 said that media coverage of the conflict in the Middle East has led to more antisemitism. But now the members of the Jewish Community want to do something about this situation;  more than half of members from Oslo would like it to use more resources on educating the wider community on Judaism.

 

– We did not realize that we are so interesting to the wider public. We are humbled by the interest the public has shown in this matter, Kohn says.

 

Respectfully, and taking care to not ride roughshod over sensitive toes… I believe this is what Gerstenfeld tried to point out only a few years ago, triggering a furious response by the community. As they say, in order to make an omelet, you need to break an egg. Gerstenfeld might be perceived as undiplomatic by some (I just think he speaks clearly), but nobody can claim that his diagnoses miss the mark.

 

 

***

 

 

Antisemittisme i Norge ?

 

English Summary

 

 

This report presents the results of a survey of Norwegian

 

attitudes toward Jews and other minorities, undertaken

 

by the Center for Studies of the Holocaust and Religious

 

Minorities. Data were collected in November 2011 by

 

TNS Gallup. 1522 respondents participated.

 

The results confirm that stereotypical notions of

 

Jews do exist in Norwegian society. Overall, 12.5 per

 

cent of the population can be considered significantly

 

prejudiced against Jews. Thus, in a European context,

 

the prevalence of antisemitic notions in Norway is

 

limited and on a par with Great Britain, the Netherlands,

 

Denmark and Sweden. Certain antisemitic notions are,

 

however, more widespread in the Norwegian populace.

 

19 per cent of respondents agree with the assertion

 

that «World Jewry works behind the scenes to promote

 

Jewish interests», and 26 per cent believe that «Jews

 

consider themselves to be better than other people».

 

Antisemitism can also be measured by negative

 

feelings and social distance. The survey reveals that

 

9.7 of respondents feel antipathy toward Jews, while 8

 

per cent do not want Jews among their neighbours or

 

circle of friends. Taken as a whole, the three dimensions

 

that were utilized to measure negative attitudes toward

 

Jews are somewhat less prevalent among women,

 

young people and those with higher education than

 

among men, older people and those without higher

 

education.

 

ATTITUDE TOWARD OTHER MINORITY GROUPS

 

Attitudes toward other minority groups

 

Respondents were also questioned about their attitudes

 

toward immigrants and people from other

 

nationalities and religions. The results show a greater

 

degree of social distance toward most other groups

 

than toward Jews. The populace is most negative

 

toward interaction with Muslims, Somalis and Romani

 

(gypsies). Those who possess the strongest antisemitic

 

attitudes also denounce contact with other groups.

 

76 per cent of those who demonstrate social distance

 

toward Jews display similar attitudes toward Muslims.

 

Antisemitic attitudes are also more common among

 

those respondents who are most sceptical toward

 

immigrants. Such tendencies have been observed in

 

other European countries as well.

 

A much larger share of respondents perceived

 

negative attitudes toward Muslims to be widespread in

 

Norway than the share who perceived such attitudes

 

toward Jews to be widespread. When asked what

 

they thought the reasons for such prejudice were,

 

respondents often made a connection between negative

 

notions of Muslims and specific societal problems

 

of multicultural Norway. Negative attitudes toward

 

Jews were more often explained with reference to

 

the role played by Israel in the Middle East conflict.

 

Specific references to Norwegian society were hardly

 

ever made in attempting to explain attitudes toward

 

Jews. The comments did, however, sometimes contain

 

stereotypical notions of Jews or held such prejudice

 

to be the cause of negative attitudes among other

 

people

 

THE HOLOCAUST

 

There is widespread consensus in the Norwegian

 

population on the importance of Holocaust education.

 

Practically everyone agrees that pupils should learn

 

about the fate of the Norwegian Jews during World War

 

II, with three out of four stating that this is an important

 

part of Norwegian history. A clear majority also believes

 

that Jews today have the right to remind international

 

society of what occurred during World War II. At the

 

same time an equally clear majority dismisses the

 

notion that the Holocaust gives Israel the right to any

 

kind of special treatment. Rather, the Holocaust is used

 

against Israel and to some degree against Jews in

 

general. Almost two thirds of respondents agree with

 

the statement «I am disappointed in the way the Jews,

 

with their particular history, treat the Palestinians»,

 

and 38 per cent believe that Israel’s treatment of the

 

Palestinians is similar to Nazi treatment of the Jews

 

during World War II. One out of four believes that

 

Jews today exploit the memory of the Holocaust to

 

their own advantage. Also a relatively large share of 13

 

per cent believes that Jews themselves are to blame

 

for their persecution. The corresponding number for

 

Sweden is 2 per cent, and for Germany 10 per cent.

 

Norwegian attitudes toward the Holocaust, then, are

 

complex: On the one hand, the strong belief in the

 

necessity of Holocaust education. On the other, a

 

refutation of the belief that the Holocaust provides

 

grounds for any particular considerations regarding

 

Israel and contemporary Jewry.

 

THE MIDDLE EAST

 

To what degree are Norwegian attitudes toward Jews

 

connected to attitudes toward the Israeli-Palestinian

 

conflict? Aiming to answer this question, the survey

 

has also mapped attitudes toward the Middle East

 

conflict. While approximately half of the respondents

 

take no stand regarding this conflict, 13 per cent support

 

Israel and 38 per cent support the Palestinians.

 

Respondents can be grouped into three categories:

 

pro-Israel, pro-Palestinian (critical of Israel) and radically

 

anti-Israel. The second category, pro-Palestinian,

 

dominates, and respondents who fall into this category

 

often express disappointment in Israel. 29 per cent

 

say that their attitude toward Israel has changed in a

 

negative direction (and only 2 per cent in a positive

 

direction), a view that is more widespread among

 

men, older people and those with higher education.

 

The analysis demonstrates a clear connection between

 

antisemitism and attitudes toward the Middle East

 

conflict: respondents with antisemitic attitudes more

 

often support anti-Israeli statements and disagree with

 

pro-Israeli statements. This, however, does not imply

 

that antisemitism motivates all those who support

 

anti-Israeli statements. Half of those who support

 

such radical positions show no antisemitic attitudes

 

whatsoever. This holds to an even larger degree for

 

those who support a more moderate pro-Palestinian

 

position. In this group, 75 per cent show no antisemitic

 

attitudes, while 15 per cent show only moderate

 

antisemitic attitudes. Thus, the connection between

 

antisemitic and anti-Israeli attitudes seems to be more

 

complex than what is sometimes asserted in public

 

debates, which are often sharply polarized.