Scandinavian Jews were stunned following news that activists with reported communist ties tried to bar Jews from a Kristallnacht commemoration in Norway, while a ceremony in Denmark marking the same Holocaust-era rampage was used to raise funds for Gaza. In both cases, activists tried to draw an equivalency between Nazi Germany and Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.
According to the Norwegian English-language blog Norway, Israel and the Jews, an anti-racism group known as New SOS Racism demanded that Jews in Bergen be excluded from a weekend commemoration of Kristallnacht — the night of broken glass — a series of widespread attacks 76 years ago targeting Jews living under Nazi Germany.
In neighboring Denmark, a socialist alliance used the Kristallnacht ceremony to raise funds for Gaza, according to the New Antisemite, a blog that tracks European anti-Semitism. Kristallnacht took place on Nov. 9 and 10, 1938.
“[S]elf-labeled anti-racists have a difficult time internalizing that on the Kristallnacht we commemorate Jews and the destruction of Jews in Europe,” a blogger at Norway, Israel and the Jews observed.
A synagogue in Baden-Baden in flames, Nov. 10, 1938. (Photo: Yad Vashem Israel Holocaust Memorial Museum)
“In Bergen the ‘new’ SOS Racism (the old one was closed down due to massive fraud) refused to participate in the Kristallnacht commemoration since a representative from the Mosaic Congregation was invited, yes, they balked at a Jew participating,” Israel, Norway and the Jews blog added.
One observer commented on the irony of the effort at excluding Jews from a rally against anti-Semitism:
.@adambarken@Yair_Rosenberg Commemorative March on Washington to commemorate Martin Luther King. No Blacks, please.— Dr. Dawg (@DrDawg) November 9, 2014
Dr. Efraim Zuroff, director of the Israel office of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights group, called the Norway incident a “classic” example of “'Holocaust inversion,' using the events of the Holocaust to attack the Nazis' primary victims, the Jews.”
“In Norway, one of the only two Western countries in the world in which Nazi war criminals cannot be brought to justice, a group ostensibly against racism uses Holocaust events to promote racism against Jews, and thereby totally distorts the historical lessons of the unique tragedy of European Jewry, a genocide in which Norwegians actively collaborated both in Norway and in Eastern Europe,” Zuroff told TheBlaze Monday.
The New Antisemite wrote about the coverage on a Norwegian news site, “Dagen's headline to this article is ‘Demanded Memorial Without Zionists,’ but as you can see below, the issue wasn't Zionists, it was Jews, plain and simple.” The New Antisemite reported that the protesters tried to equate Nazi Germany with Israel today:
An anti-racism group called "Nye SOS Rasisme" will not take part in the general Kristallnacht memorial march in Bergen, since their demand to exclude representatives of the Jewish community was not accepted. Anne Sender, a former leader in the community, will speak at the memorial. It is interesting to note that Anne Sender is a vocal critic of Israel.
"Nye SOS Rasisme" say they will conduct their own procession with banners against Israel, such as "Zionism is Racism". On their website they explain that the day marks opposition to racism, harassment and genocide, but that today Israel is a racist state.
Quoting a Danish news site, the New Antisemite blog reported Monday that the Danish Jewish community is upset a socialist alliance in Copenhagen used the Kristallnacht anniversary to raise funds for Gaza.
According to the report, the Red-Green Alliance solicited contributions to purchase ambulances in Gaza in the context of the commemoration of the Nazi atrocity.
Dan Rosenberg Asmussen, a Jewish Community leader in Denmark noted that the alliance was showing support for Gaza’s Hamas leadership which rejects the existence of the state of Israel.
Organizers said the Kristallnacht anniversary should not only be for Jews, but highlight discrimination against others.
The New English Review blog which focuses on issues of anti-terrorism, jihad and Shariah called the effort to exclude Jews from the Kristallnacht commemoration a “moral inversion.”
“There were bizarre attempts in Norway to exclude Jews from participating in commemorations because they were ‘racists.’ The conceit of these anti-Semites, whether nativist or Islamic is moral inversion,” New English Review wrote. “Call it anti-Israelism or Palestinism, it depicts IDF soldiers defending the sovereignty the Jewish nation as the equivalent of Nazi storm troopers.”