Letter to: Mr. Jens Stoltenberg, Prime Minister, Norway

64, avenue Marceau - 75008 Paris - Tel. +33 (0) 1 47 23 76 37 - Fax: +33
(0) 1 47 20 84 01

Mr. Jens Stoltenberg, Prime Minister
Oslo, Norway
2 August 2006

Mr. Prime Minister,

Last month the Simon Wiesenthal Centre protested your government's inaction regarding Holocaust revisionist cartoons in a Norwegian newspaper. This, despite your sensitivity to our Moslem sister-faith on this issue, in the aftermath of the "Mohammed caricatures".

Once again, there is an apparent attempt by your coalition partner, the Socialist Left Party (Socialistik Venstreparti, SV) to single out Jews for discrimination, this time, by an amendment of your fiscal policy, denying tax deductibility only to charitable donations to Jewish institutions in Israel. (See "Demands to Stop Tax Benefits to Jewish Supporters",
www.aftenposten.no/nyheter/iriks/ article 1404726.ece)

The essential principle of taxation in a democracy is equitability. Fiscal manipulation against Jews has been State policy under only three regimes: Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Soviet Union and the "jizyah" protection poll tax under Islam.

Mr. Prime Minister, we are sure that Norway would not wish to join such company. Indeed, this policy would violate Norwegian anti-discrimination commitments under Council of Europe conventions.

Our Centre urges you to block this antisemitic legislation and, indeed, to reformulate it against funding the terrorist organizations that launched the current conflict in the Middle East.

Of course, this would seriously question the continuation of Norway's subsidy, since January 2006, of one hundred million dollars to the Palestinian authorities. Today, Mr. Prime Minister, this means Hamas, which is proscribed as a terrorist organization by the European Union and the United States.

Ironically, the Norwegian taxpayer is, through your government, financing the Hamas katyushas launched against the very Jewish institutions targeted by your coalition partner's tax proposal.

Most respectfully,

Dr. Shimon Samuels
Director for International Relations

Rabbi Marvin Hier, Dean and Founder, Simon Wiesenthal Centre, Los Angeles
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean, Simon Wiesenthal Centre, Los Angeles