Anti-Semitism debate pans out / News / The Foreigner

Anti-Semitism debate pans out. Rhetoric, propaganda, but a possible improvement. Part of this week’s political agenda has been devoted to the debate over anti-Semitism in schools. Against a backdrop of inter-party bickering, mixed with slight progress, come calls for improvements in education. Meanwhile, a book containing allegations of a world Jewish conspiracy is still on sale.Workgroup “Norwegian authorities have to chart the problem and who it applies to,” Anne Sender of the Mosaic Religious Community in Oslo told NTB on Monday.

schools, anti-semitism, norwegian, norway, racism, jewish, children, muslim, ethnic, groups



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Anti-Semitism debate pans out

Published on Friday, 19th March, 2010 at 14:18 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 19th March 2010 at 16:05.

Rhetoric, propaganda, but a possible improvement.

Interior of the Norwegian Parliament
Interior of the Norwegian Parliament
Photo: Tomoyoshi/Wikimedia Commons


Part of this week’s political agenda has been devoted to the debate over anti-Semitism in schools. Against a backdrop of inter-party bickering, mixed with slight progress, come calls for improvements in education. Meanwhile, a book containing allegations of a world Jewish conspiracy is still on sale.

Workgroup

“Norwegian authorities have to chart the problem and who it applies to,” Anne Sender of the Mosaic Religious Community in Oslo told NTB on Monday.

NRK’s TV news programme about Jewish schoolchildren being subject to anti-Semitic harassment their Muslim pupils in Norwegian schools has prompted action.

Kristin Halvorsen – the Minister of Education, and leader of the Socialist Left Party (SV) – met with Sender on Wednesday to discuss racism and anti-Semitism in schools.

Halvorsen is now going to set up a workgroup, whose task is to come with suggestions as to how unwanted attitudes can best be combated.

Politicians have their say

But it was a different story earlier in the day during Parliamentary Question Time. The Progress Party (FrP) used the opportunity to censure SV.

“The Government hasn’t lifted a finger to combat racial hatred,” claimed FrP’s Solveig Horne, directing her question to Audun Lysbakken, SV’s Minister for Children, Equality, and Social Inclusion.

Horne alleged SV’s “self-centred criticism and stigmatising of Israel” is the reason for increased anti-Semitism in Norway.

SV has gone in for boycotting Israeli goods in protest of what they claim to be Israel’s war crimes committed under the recent war on Gaza.

Lysbakken warned strongly against mixing the two matters, however, because of the undesirable repercussions.

“It signalises that Jewish Children in Norway are responsible for what the state of Israel is doing. Anti-Semitic harassment is completely unacceptable.”

Education

The Christian Democrats (KrF), have already said it’s high time a targeted plan of action was put in place in schools.

“We’ve warned against bullying of Jewish children and it has to be met with measures that improve dialogue between Jews and Muslims, that increase knowledge about anti-Semitism and the Holocaust during teacher education, and improve teaching in schools,” Party leader Dagfinn Høybråten told NTB.

Lysbakken said he agreed with this, and that it would be completely wrong not to deal with the issue.

Janicke Heldal Stray, pedagogue and researcher at the University of Oslo, believes part of the problem is that Norwegian schoolchildren aren’t taught the democratic rules of play. She claims Norwegian authorities defy international recommendations.

“These types of democracy subjects in schools could work against harassment. It’s about becoming participants in a democratic society, how we meet and treat one another, have respect for each other, how we use freedom of speech, see things from several sides, and how pupils become politically conscious through school” she tells Dagsavisen.

Conspiracy

Meanwhile, books that continue to spread lies about a Jewish world conspiracy are still on sale.

Azmeh Rasmussen, who came to Norway from Syria in 1995, found a copy of what she translates from Arabic as being “Jewish Predators – and their country Israel” in a bookshop in the same building as a mosque in Oslo.

It cost 55 kroner, and she claims she was told the book is subsidised by Saudi Arabia.

Opening a page at random, Rasmussen found a passage mocking Jews for being insidious, treacherous, greedy, and sneaky, and that these qualities explain the reason for hatred against them. The adjectives are coupled together with verses from the Koran.

“I’m ashamed. I view this as being so serious, that I must confront it,” she tells Vårt Land.




Published on Friday, 19th March, 2010 at 14:18 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 19th March 2010 at 16:05.

This post has the following tags: schools, anti-semitism, norwegian, norway, racism, jewish, children, muslim, ethnic, groups.





  
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