June 12, 2012
The Simon Wiesenthal Center today demanded that Norwegian authorities take immediate action against perpetrators of anti-Semitic hate crimes following yesterday’s fire-branding of a teenage student whose father is Israeli. The incident happened at a school barbeque in Oslo when classmates heated a coin in the fire and pressed it on the boy’s neck, leaving visible burns. The school failed to contact his mother following the incident and the perpetrator received only a mild rebuke from a teacher.
This is not the first time the teenager has been the target of anti-Semitic abuse. In 2010, his mother told Norwegian Broadcasting that she feared for her son’s life after he received death threats and being called “Jewish Pig” and “Jewish Satan.” She said that in every instance, school staff failed to intervene.
“Just what else must take place before school authorities stand up for rights of a Jewish child in a Norwegian school?” asked Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Wiesenthal Center. “We demand that authorities hold accountable the perpetrators of this hate crime and those in charge of educating Norway's school children offer a safe environment for every student-including Jewish kids,” Cooper added.
The Wiesenthal Center has been witnessing and taken action against the increase in anti-Semitism and anti-Israel rhetoric in Norway, including the a statement by the Foreign Minister condemning Israel actions in the 1967 Six-Day War and the persistent threat of anti-Israel boycotts in the universities and research facilities.
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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).