Oslo’s Jewish community and the Norwegian Centre Against Racism strongly reprehend a cartoon published by tabloid Dagbladet depicting Jews torturing children.
Jewish community spokesperson Ervin Kohn said he is planning to make a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission (PFU) about the cartoon saying which appeared on 28 May this year.
“The illustration falls into a very old tradition that dates back to the Middle Ages, where Jews were accused of killing Christian children and use their blood in religious rituals,” he told Christian newspaper Vårt Land, Monday.
Mr Kohn says he has received comments from people abroad about the cartoon and believes there was little reaction in Norway due to the limited number of people who have seen it.
The drawing has several other details that include torture and impaling a child’s head.
Dagbladet’s editor John Arne Markussen has defended publishing the cartoon, however, saying that people are reading too much into it, leaving “little room for nuances”.
“The cartoon’s underlying point is that you can reject criticism or discussion if you can place attitudes and actions under the umbrella of faith. We believe it is an issue that certainly belongs in the public debate,” the paper’s 3 June op-ed reads.
Centre Against Racism leader Rune Berglund Steen stated that “The cartoon lies problematically close to anti-Semitic caricatures we've seen throughout history. It indicates a form of Jewish wickedness, and the newspaper failed when it was printed.”
Vårt Land reports John Arne Markussen apologises if anyone feels offended, but believes the drawing’s them is so important that one must look beyond emotions.