Oslo II: Wiesenthal Centre Rebukes Norwegian Professor for Protocols-Style Conspiracy Theses in Oslo Daily Aftenposten

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Oslo II: Wiesenthal Centre Rebukes Norwegian Professor for Protocols-Style Conspiracy Theses in Oslo Daily Aftenposten

Paris, 27 November 2006

In a letter to BI Norwegian School of Management President, Tom Colbjørnsen, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre's Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, reported that "Norwegian members of our Centre have brought to our attention an article entitled 'America's Strong Israel Lobby' by your Associate Professor of Leadership and Organizational Management, Haavard Koppang, published in AFTENPOSTEN on 13 November 2006."

Samuels continued,
"the title camouflages a sinister leitmotiv berating a global Jewish conspiracy:
-Koppang manipulates the theses of Leo Strauss - late of Chicago University whose Jewish origins he highlights - to malign the Jewish people as 'liars' and 'cheats';
- he applies Nietzschian terms to cast Jews as 'super humans' bent on 'control over the vulgar and subservient masses';
- he protests 'an elitist ideology such as the organized response in August to Jostein Gaarder's article in the newspaper AFTENPOSTEN';
- he contends that 'Israel maintains its control over the American military base...' Koppang apparently expiates his guilt at having 'studied Hebrew in Jerusalem in the 1970s on an Israeli scholarship' by disgorging this series of the rantings of a fevered mind."

The letter added, "the author's obsession is expressed in superficial grunts lacking the intellectual patina of a Gaarder. Perhaps his ideas would have been better fitting in the era when your School was opened in the Norway of 1943. Koppang should rather be aware that 'the organized response in August to Gaarder's article' came from over 600 Norwegian indignant supporters of our Centre's 'Open Letter to the Norwegian People', which was also published by AFTENPOSTEN."

The Centre requested that the School consider "whether Koppang has ever exceeded freedom of expression by carrying his Protocols of the Elders of Zion-style conspiracy theories into his lectures on leadership and management."

The Centre strongly urged "an investigation into his possible dissemination of such bigotry in class, which would impugn the international reputation for academic excellence of the BI Norwegian School of Management."

Samuels emphasized that "abuse of pedagogical influence over young minds on your campus would, we are sure, be adequate grounds for prompt suspension", concluding that "our membership will be most eager to review your findings."

For further information, please contact Dr. Samuels at +33 6 09 77 01 58.