November 13, 2012
Center Urges King Harald to Withdraw Award
The Simon Wiesenthal Center condemned King Harald of Norway and his Palace staff for their decision to award a royal service medal to Trond Ali Linstad (pictured), an activist who has created day care programs for Muslim children but who has also stirred controversy by criticizing the Jewish community and spreading conspiracy theories of Jewish world domination. Through his website, Koranen.no, Linstad warns his readers to “beware the Jews,” and the “influence they have in newspapers and other media, in many political organs” to further their interest in expanding Israeli territory. One Oslo anti-racism organization has called Linstad’s views “one of the worst collective attacks on Jews…”
“This shocking award is not only insulting to Jews, but potentially dangerous as well, said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Wiesenthal Center, adding, “Perhaps the King is unaware that young Norwegian Jews are bullied by their classmates and that in France the very same conspiratorial worldview of the all-powerful Jew contributes to violent and sometimes deadly attacks on Jewish citizens.”
“Make no mistake, whatever the motivation, the impact of Norway's king awarding a bigot who wraps his Jew-hatred in theological garb, will be to further mainstream anti-Semitism in your country and beyond,” said Cooper, concluding, “Is it too much to ask that the King acknowledge an error and judgment?”
Since the controversy has hit, Oslo Mayor Fabian Stang has refused to award the medal and the public ceremony was postponed due to security concerns. It is still not known if the Royal Palace will withdraw the award.
During a recent visit to Oslo, the Wiesenthal Center launched “Norway Watch”, an initiative to track anti-Semitism in Norway as well as the support for the anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanction) Movements in the Scandinavian nation. “Norway, may be a small nation, but it has an oversized impact on the international community and global human rights,” Center officials explained. “Frankly, instances of anti-Semitism in Norway have damaged Norway's international reputation,” they added.
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The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).