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Both Jews and gentiles referred to a tipping point in the winter of 2008-09 during the Israeli incursion into Gaza, when pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian demonstrators clashed in Oslo in one of the worst manifestations of anti-Semitism the Norwegian capital had witnessed since 1945. Shouts of "Death to the Jews" were heard, and elderly pro-Israeli demonstrators were threatened and assaulted. 

During this time a young man described by witnesses as Middle Eastern handed out anti-Semitic fliers on a busy street in central Oslo that instructed the public how to harass Jews by dumping garbage by the synagogue, desecrating the Jewish cemetery, and drawing anti-Semitic cartoons. Young white pro-Palestinians marched with placards bearing the slogan "Kill Jews" daubed across them in Arabic. 

I visited the only kosher café in Oslo, tucked into the corner of an attractive store selling pottery and vintage goods. With enough space for just six people, Oscar's Gate 54 is owned and run by Janne Jaffe Hesstvedt, a leading member of the Norway branch of the Women's International Zionist Organisation. Her views on Israel are moderate (she is married to an Israeli with whom she argues passionately about some issues) and she is bewildered at the situation she, a third-generation Norwegian, finds herself in. 

"It was a pogrom," she said, referring to the anti-Israel demonstrations of January 2009. "I think some of the migrant Muslims get the message that they have a free reign here."

Hesstvedt told about the changes she has seen in Oslo in recent years. "After 9/11 my daughter was verbally attacked by some Muslim boys who shouted, ‘Bloody Jews, go back to where you came from.' The school principal did not take it   seriously."

I ask if she dislikes Muslims. "No. Look at us, we are so similar, we are like cousins, but there is this terrible thing between us. I don't hate them but I do not trust them. I am scared of them."

I was invited to Hesstvedt's home for Shabbat dinner and met her husband Moshe and various friends and family. We ate gefilte fish and challah and the atmosphere was as warm and inclusive an occasion as Friday night with Jews is supposed to be. 

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Anonymous
October 31st, 2014
9:10 PM
to nunnunetc: If you want to make aliyah find the organisation called Ebenezer Operation Exodus and ask for their help or go to their website.They help the Jewish people with expenses and flights.

nunnunetc
February 26th, 2014
1:02 AM
I am a Norwegian Jew, and let me tell you: Its a lonely business. I dont live in Oslo, so I can't talk to other Jews and feel a sense of cultural closeness. The university I attended for many years is known for its very leftist views, and is overly critical of Israel, that means people all around don't seem too happy about befriending the likes of me. Not that anyone has said anything mean, but you get the eerie feeling that you dont really belong. Everywhere you go. Its like beeing an elephant on their sofa. The J-word. The bignose. Not one of them, a thing one must tolerate but not befriend... If I had the resources I would buy a oneway ticket to Israel and never look back. My only hope is that someday I can live there, because Norway is not a home for us Jews. By the constitutional Jew paragraph from 1814, we were'nt even allowed entrance to the Norwegian kingdome. they revoked it some time later, but only on paper.

tweedledee
October 15th, 2013
7:10 PM
re. the survey mentioned on page 3: the statement was: " "I am disappointed in the way the Jews, with their particular history, treat the Palestinians" but the author writes "This, remember, is a survey of Norwegian gentiles (fewer than 5 per cent of whom are Muslim) speaking about NORWEGIAN Jews" - wouldn't that be a statement about ISRAELI Jews? Since Norwegian Jews cannot be presumed to treat Palestinians any differently than Norwegian gentiles? IF the author could comment on this point that would be great, I'm researching anti-semitism in Norway and the point is not minor.

Morris Givner,Ph.D.
August 31st, 2013
9:08 AM
The Norwegian people have an oil heritage fund worth over 800 billion U.S. dollars .Why does the Norwegian Government and people use their enormous wealth to fund Arab terrorism against tiny Israel-the only democratic nation in the Middle East among the incredibly rich 22 nations of the Arab world? The answer:deep -seeded anti Semitism going back to the disgusting antiSemitism of the teachings of Martin Luther.Lest you have forgotten:Jews gave you Jesus and countless other cultural gifts throughout the ages including more Nobel Prize winners than other people on the Planet Earth.

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