Oslo synagogue 'peace ring' not all it's cracked up to bearound an Oslo synagogue. But the 'peace ring' has already been tainted.
The organizers, many of them Muslims, had planned the initiative with the endorsement of the Jewish community to protest the slaying on Feb. 15 by an Islamist of a Jewish volunteer guard at the main synagogue of Copenhagen, Denmark.
Ervin Kohn, head of the Jewish community of Oslo, told JTA he thought the initiative was “extremely positive” and said it could change the dynamics of minority relations in Scandinavia.
But some members of his community said the event was tainted because of anti-Semitic statements that one of its eight organizers made in 2008, and because he said this week that he dislikes people who support Israel.
Ali Chishti confirmed on Saturday in an interview with Verdens Gang, a highbrow Norwegian newspaper, that he delivered on March 22, 2008, in Oslo a speech on the alleged involvement of Jews in planning the 9/11 Twin Towers bombings in New York. The speech’s title was:”Therefore I Hate Jews and Gays,” the paper reported, though Chishti said he was not the one who came up with the title.
“There were several thousand Jews away from work in the World Trade Center, and why there were more Jews in Mumbai when Pakistani terrorists attacked than usual?” he said then, repeating the conspiracy theory that Jews knew in advance of the attack that killed thousands.
“Jews are a small group, but everyone knows that they have a lot of power,” he said.
In Saturday interviews, he retracted his words. In an interview with the daily Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet, he said they were “anti-Semitic” and “unacceptable.”
“I was angry,” he told Verdens Gang. “I have since changed my views.” But he also said he “dislikes” people who support “an occupying force that has been condemned in several United Nations resolutions.”
“I think it is important to distinguish between being critical of Israel and anti-Semitism,” he also told Verdens Gang.We've all heard that one before. But as has been proven time and time again, non-Jews who are anti-Israel are anti-Semitic.
Blogger Marc Goldberg has more.
Zionism is a Jewish and a European ideology. It was born in Europe as a response to a hatred of Jews. A hatred whose very name, anti-Semitism, was coined by a Jew hater who wanted his hatred to sound more scientific. Every time you hear someone arguing they can’t be anti-Semitic because they’re a Semite you’ll see his effort bearing fruit.
The only reason Israel exists is because of Europe’s shabby treatment of Jews. The fact that in the 21st century Jews are still abandoning Europe to flock to Israel is a harsh reminder of European failure vis a vis the Jews. No wonder European politicians are taking it personally it’s a harsh indictment of their ineffectiveness.
In April in Southampton at a conference entitled ‘International Law and the State of Israel’ Zionism will be attacked on the grounds of human rights. This is Europe’s big issue. The liberal breeding ground for ideas of tolerance, enlightenment and many other nice, fluffy philosophies will always have an issue with Zionism, a Jewish ideology that holds a mirror up to ‘enlightened’ Europe and shows it the real reflection of itself.
After all how enlightened can Europe be if the Jews can’t find a home there? Rather than deal with the ramifications of such a question European intellectuals would far rather attack and attempt to de-legitimise Israel. It’s easier and requires a great deal less soul searching.
In Southampton the usual arguments against Israel will be rolled out. Israel will be attacked as an ethnic state that doesn’t provide human rights or democracy for all it’s citizens. It will be decried as supremacist when in reality it’s existence is simply the result of Jews creating a state where they can find the equality that so eluded them in Europe. Of course if Europe had provided these rights to Jews in the first place Zionism would never have been born.
Furthermore if the Europeans had managed to create an environment where Jews were treated as equals they wouldn’t be fleeing now.
Zionism serves to tell Europeans that the societies of which they’re so proud are failing. It’s this critique which is the reason we see such utter defensiveness on a Channel 4 interview where an Israeli journalist who exposed anti-Semitism was accused of “provocation.” We see it when politicians react to an Israeli Prime Minister’s call for Jews to leave Europe with righteous indignation and personal attacks.
It’s much easier to celebrate the irrelevant actions of a couple of Muslim activists or to attack Bibi Netanyahu or even to post armed guards to synagogues than it is to change the underlying problems in European society that ensure thousands of young European Muslims are running off to fight and die in the Islamic State.