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September 2, 2014 / 7 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Norway’

Norway to ‘Control’ Circumcision with Respect for Jews and Muslims

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

Norway appears to be on the way to protect circumcision for Jews and Muslims so long as they are performed in hospitals.

The Conservative-Progress government is considering suggesting regulations to control circumcisions but with taking into account religious freedom, the Norwegian Foreigner newspaper reported Monday.

A Conservative leader of the committee on health care said that a complete ban on hospital circumcisions “will only lead to this being carried out by non-professionals” with possible risks.

The government’s stand opposes a recommendation by Norway’s Medical Association and the Children’s Ombudsman to ban circumcisions before the age of 16.

Legislators from the opposition Labor and center parties also oppose circumcisions, but Socialist Left Party leader Audun Lysbakken told the newspaper that offering circumcision within the healthcare system “will be the safest solution for the children. He added that religious freedom must be taken account “since a ban would be perceived as a very negative signal among both Jews and Muslims.”

Council of Europe Says Ritual Circumcision Won’t Be Banned

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

The Council of Europe has assured President Shimon Peres that Europe will not ban religious circumcision despite last week’s non-binding resolution of the Council’s Parliamentary Assembly that cited circumcision of males as a violation of human rights and equated it with female genital mutilation.

President Peres wrote on Monday to Thorbjorn Jagland, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, to protest the resolution. Although it has no legal significance, the Council is very influential on decisions by the European Union.

Jangland said male circumcision did not violate human rights, and Daniel Holtgen, the Director of Communications at the Council of Europe, sent a tweet quoting Jagland as saying, “Female genital mutilation violates human rights. Male circumcision does not.”

The resolution angered Muslims as well as Jews. It called for European states to “promote further awareness in their societies of the potential risks of some of these procedures,” which the assembly lists as the circumcision of boys, early childhood interventions in the case of intersexual children and the coercion of children into piercings, tattoos or plastic surgery.

Marlene Rupprecht, the rapporteur behind the resolution, claimed the text did not aim to “stigmatize any religious community or its practices” but simply called for public debate “aimed at reaching a wide consensus on the rights of children to protection against violations of their physical integrity.”

While Jagland’s statements were good news for Jews and also for Muslims, it is scary that we are so susceptible to the threat of a ban on circumcision that we have to be grateful to someone deciding to suspend what would be a death sentence to Judaism.

Jews have died rather than accept decrees against circumcision, but today’s trend to use “human rights”  and “animal rights” to disguise campaigns that deprive Jewish rights is more subtle and devious than the open anti-Semitism of the past.

A judge in a German province earlier this year banned circumcision, leading to an uproar that prompted the national parliament to make it clear that ritual circumcision is legal.

The anti-circumcision movement is increasingly popular in Scandinavia, where the influx of Muslims also is a factor behind the campaign to prohibit the religious rite.

Jews and Muslims are constantly threatened with a ban on local slaughtering of animals according to Jewish and Muslim laws, which prohibit the method of stunning before using the knife. There are some leniencies in Muslim law.

The most recent controversy is in Poland, which banned ritual slaughter this year but where Jews now have to be thankful to the Catholic Church for supporting the rights of Jews and Muslims to slaughter animals according to religious laws.

The Polish parliament in July rejected a bill, sponsored by the government, to legalize kosher slaughter, but Pope Francis recently has voiced concern over the ban.

“Animal rights” supporters have successfully campaigned in Sweden, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland to outlaw kosher slaughter.

The European Union’s official policy states, “European Convention for the Protection of Animals for Slaughter” generally requires stunning before slaughter, but allows member states to allow exemptions for religious slaughter.”

Holland two years nearly outlawed kosher slaughter after the Animal Rights Party managed to convince the Lower House of parliament to pass a bill, which was rejected by the Upper House, to ban the practice.

Israel is the only country that comes to mind where Jewish rights still are unquestionably more important than “animals’ rights.”

As for circumcision, the only argument might be over “Metzitzah b’peh.”

Swedes Fume at Comparison of Palestinian Prisoners to Murderer Breivik

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

Comments by Israel’s ambassador to Sweden comparing the recently-released Palestinian prisoners to the Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik who, on 22 July 2011, bombed government buildings in Oslo, killing 8, then killed 69 on a vacation island, have left relatives of victims of the Utøya massacre seething, Swedish news website The Local reports.

In a Tuesday interview with Svergies Radio (SR), Israeli ambassador Isaac Bachman compared the release of Palestinian prisoners to setting the monster Breivik free.

“The horrors that [the Palestinian prisoners] did, to put it in a Scandinavian understanding, it’s like what happened in Norway with Breivik,” Bachman told SR.

“Imagine if Breivik was released as a gesture of some sort,” he added, and complained that Israel is not getting enough credit for agreeing to the release.

Pointing out the enormous risk Israel was taking with its gesture, Bachman noted that “research has shown that these people will return to crime. It’s not easy to get public support for releasing these people.”

It turns out the good ambassador was completely wrong in his comparison, which seemed completely reasonable to him, but not to the listeners. You see, Breivik – he killed sweet, pink skinned, blond Norwegians, which was a crime against humanity, while the Palestinians only killed Jews. Big difference, apparently, in Scandinavia.

The comments, which came on the eve of Israel’s Wednesday release of 26 Palestinian prisoners, sparked outrage from none other than survivors and family members of victims of Breivik’s 2011 attack, The Local reported.

“I think it is ridiculous to compare this with a mass murderer from Norway,” Trond Blattmann, whose son Torjusdatter was killed when Breivik opened fire on Utøya, told The Local. “There’s no similarity at all. This is a ridiculous way to talk.”

“The comparison does not make sense,” added Bjørn Ihler, who survived the Breivik massacre by hiding on the southern tip of the island. “Breivik was a solo terrorist whose actions were based purely on an unreal situation. The situation in the Middle East is very different. There is a real fight for Palestinian freedom going on.”

You see, when an entire Jewish family, babies and all, is butchered in its own kitchen – that’s freedom fighting. You have to think blond.

Even Middle East expert Per Jönsson with the Swedish Institute for International Affairs (Utrikespolitiska institutets – UI) slammed Bachman’s Breivik comparison.

“The comparison with Brevik is insane in several ways. Breivik is very special. These people that Israel is now releasing are freedom fighters, murderers, and in some cases terrorists, but they are nevertheless rather normal people,” he told the Aftonbladet newspaper.

We have to understand that the reactions from Sweden are an expression of pure, unadulterated Jew hatred, whether those people are aware of it or not. The world is changing around us, and being Jewish is no longer for the faint of heart.

Daily Compares Jewish Ire on Circumcision Cartoon to Muslim Riots

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

The Norwegian daily newspaper Dagbladet said Jewish reactions to its caricature on circumcision “are similar” to riots that erupted over cartoons mocking Mohammed eight years ago.

Referencing Denmark’s Jyllands-Posten caricatures of Mohammed in 2005, Dagbladet wrote in a statement, “We now have similar reactions to a cartoon that Dagbladet printed last week.”

Several people died in what The New York Times termed “a wave of violent protests by Muslims” in the Middle East and Europe over the caricatures mocking Mohammed.

Last week, several Jewish organizations condemned the Dagbladet caricature, which showed two people, who were widely perceived to be Jewish because of their clothing, maiming a child with a fork and bolt cutter while holding a book and professing their faith.

Dagbladet has justified itself and criticized the Jewish reaction by simply re-defining anti-Semitism as love for Jews. The caricature was not at all against Jews, said the paper, which went on to claim it actually is champion of snuffing out anti-Semitism.

Not only that. It seems to understand that the anger of Jews is a camouflage for some kind of evil intentions.

“The groups which said the circumcision caricature was anti-Semitic “leave little room for nuances and reflections,” the paper wrote in a statement published this week on its website.

“They claim that this is proof of Dagbladet’s anti-Semitic views. We come from a different angle and have a different interpretation of the cartoon,” the statement read. “It is important to distinguish between friend and foe when considering this question of values. Dagbladet has a long and consistent history of fighting anti-Semitism.”

The JTA contributed to this report.

Norwegian Daily Published Blood Libel Caricature of Circumcision

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

The leading Norwegian daily Dagbladet published a caricature of what appeared to be Jews torturing a baby during a circumcision, and the European Jewish Congress said it may sue it for committing a hate crime.

The caricature that appeared in Tuesday’s newspaper, the country’s third largest in terms of circulation – showed police officers looking on as a bearded man wearing a black hat and black coat sticks a three-tooth pitchfork into the head of a blood-soaked baby while holding a book.

Another unseen person cuts off the baby’s foot with a bolt cutter as a woman in a long-sleeve shirt and a hat shows the officers another blood-spattered book and tells them: “Abuse? No, this tradition is central to our belief.” The police officers apologize “for interrupting.”

The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s associate dean, Rabbi Abraham Copper, said the cartoon was “so virulently anti-Semitic it would make Hitler and Himmler weep tears of joy.”

Manfred Gerstenfeld, a scholar of anti-Semitism and former chairman of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, said the caricature “cannot be viewed separately from centuries of libels in Christian circles that try to establish a link between the ritual abuse of blood and the Jewish faith.”

But in an email sent to MIFF, a Norwegian pro-Israel organization, Dagbladet cartoon artist Tomas Drefvelin said he did not mean to draw Jews in his caricature, which he meant “not as criticism of either a specific religion or a nation [but] as a general criticism of religions,” Drefvelin wrote.

He added, “I gave the people in the picture hats, and the man beard, because this gives them a more religious character … Jew-hatred is reprehensible. I would never draw to create hatred of a people, or against individuals.”

Ervin Kohn, the president of Norway’s Jewish community, told JTA that in Norway, “it is not uncommon to compare brit mila with cutting off limbs and calling it mutilation. This is a form of lying, propaganda.”

European Jewish Congress president Dr. Moshe Kantor stated, “This cartoon has crossed all lines of decency and is dripping with hate and anti-Semitism. We are now studying the possibility that this legally constitutes incitement to hatred and even a hate-crime and will require legal action if this proves to be the case.

“This obviously falls outside the boundaries of freedom of speech as no one has the freedom to incite hatred against a particular people.

“The reason we have laws against hate is because modern society understands the connection between incitement and violence.

“This is a violent cartoon which is meant to inspire hate and contempt against one particular people. This type of hate, reminiscent of Nazi propaganda, cannot be left unanswered, and it is exactly this type of incitement which is contributing to a very troubling period for minorities in Europe at this time, especially with the rise of the far-Right.”

Norwegian Police Apologize for Deporting Jews to Auschwitz

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

On November 26, 70 years after the rounding up and deportation of over 500 Jewish Norwegians to Auschwitz, the Norwegian Police Service issued an apology for taking part in the murder of Jews.  The request for forgiveness came from Norwegian Police Chieff Odd Reidar Humlegaard.

On the same date in 1942, Norwegian police herded 532 Jewish citizens aboard the German ship SS Donau en route to Auschwitz.

This year, Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg issued a formal apology for the Norwegian government’s role in deporting Jews to Auschwitz.

Only a few dozen of the 770 Jews deported from Nazi-occupied Norway survived the war.  Hitler invaded Norway on April 9, 1940 and remained in the country until May 1945.

Islamist Held for Offering to ‘Guard’ Norwegian Jews With AK-47

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Norwegian police have increased security around Oslo’s main synagogue after an Islamist extremist threatened to “protect” the Jewish community with an “AK-47 assault rifle and a hunting permit.”

Police on Oct. 27 recommended indicting Ubaydullah Hussain, the 27-year-old leader of the radical Islamic organization Profetens Ummah. He was arrested last week after Norwegian media reported on a comment that appeared on his Facebook account:  “I will give them protection … as soon as I have received a hunting license and get hold of an AK47.”

Hussain, a former soccer referee who was born and raised in Norway, also lamented the absence of fatalities in a 2006 shooting outside the synagogue. Hussain, who participated in recent protests outside the U.S. embassy in Norway in connection with the film “The Innocence of Muslims,” later told Norwegian television he “could not confirm or deny” that his statements were a threat.

The comment was made in reaction to an interview with Ervin Kohn, head of Norway’s Jewish community, which recently appeared in the daily VG newspaper. Kohn said police were not providing protection outside the synagogue on Oslo’s Hanshaugen Street during services and were not proactive enough in their approach.

“We felt like we had been neglected, and this made us uneasy in light of what happened in Toulouse and in Malmo,” Kohn told JTA

In March, Mohammed Merah, a radical Islamist, killed three children and a rabbi in a Jewish school in the French city of Toulouse. Last month, an explosive charge was detonated outside the only synagogue in the Swedish city of Malmo.

Kohn said that since last week, there has been police protection outside the main synagogue of Oslo, the capital city, which is home to most members of Norway’s Jewish community of approximately 700.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/islamist-held-for-offering-to-guard-norwegian-jews-with-ak-47/2012/11/01/

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