October 22, 2012
Anti-Israel attitudes in Norway may be fueling anti-Semitism there, the international security organization OSCE warned.
The warning came in a report on Norway compiled by members of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the daily Aftenposten reported, adding that the report called the trend “disturbing.”
The report also called for the abolition of a ban on Jewish ritual slaughter, or shechitah, that has been in place in Norway since 1929. Abolishing the ban would be “an important symbolic gesture,” the report said, according to Aftenposten.
The OSCE report points to a survey conducted last year by TNS Gallup for the Oslo-based Center for Studies of Holocaust and Religious Minorities. Thirty-eight percent of the survey’s 1,522 respondents said that Israel's treatment of Palestinians is comparable to the actions of the Nazis. Some 12 percent expressed strong anti-Jewish attitudes.
The delegates also called Norway "an exemplary state when it comes to human rights and equality," but called on police to do more to confront hate crimes.
"The foreign minister should promote a civilized discussion about the Middle East conflict, and to react when the state of Israel is demonized in public discourse," Aftenposten quoted the report as saying.
The OSCE delegation to Norway was comprised of Rabbi Andrew Baker, director of international Jewish affairs for the American Jewish Committee; Adil Akhmetov, a Kazakhstani diplomat; and Catherine McGuinness, a retired Supreme Court judge from Ireland.
An OSCE spokesman told JTA by telephone that he could not immediately send a copy of the report on Norway.