SWC URGES NORWEGIAN PRIME MINISTER TO STOP ANTI-ISRAEL BIGOTRY AT NORWAY'S UNIVERSITIES

SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTRE - EUROPE
Tel. +33-147237637 - Fax: +33-147208401
e-mail: csweurope@gmail.com

SWC URGES NORWEGIAN PRIME MINISTER TO STOP ANTI-ISRAEL BIGOTRY AT NORWAY'S UNIVERSITIES

Paris, 25 January 2010


In a letter to Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, expressed "outrage at the mounting academic anti-Israel bigotry of Norwegian universities."

Samuels recalled his protest of last October "at the deformation of scholarly discourse by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim."

The letter continued "as the world prepares, on Wednesday, 27 January, to commemorate the Holocaust, it is now the Rector of Bergen University who leads the call to boycott his Israeli colleagues, who happen to be Jews."

Samuels added that "apparently, Norwegian rectors are following the path of Quisling as, never since the Hitler period, has any university rector in Europe granted a personal blessing to prejudice based on national origin."

The Centre stated that "Norway may be a major donor to the United Nations, but besmirches that organization by such positions against Israel – a fellow democracy and UN member-state. Boycott threats singling out Israel also violate Norwegian commitments to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), under the Berlin Declaration on Antisemitism of 2004 – which includes 'singling out of Israel as a contributing factor to the scourge of Jew-hatred.'"

"Mr. Prime Minister, stop this epidemic of antisemitism in Norway. What began with a television comedian and then infects universities and media can become a Quislingist virus that will endanger society as a whole. We count upon the Norwegian public to join us in protesting this campaign of hate." concluded Samuels.

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).

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For further information, please contact Shimon Samuels at +33 609 77 01 58