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November 16, 2004

Kristallnacht observance

The following was sent Friday, November 12. I will post the reply when the Norwegian government stirs itself to make one. In the meantime, I can add Norwegian products and services to the list of things I will choose to buy elsewhere.


Dear Royal Norwegian Embassy in Ottawa,

I am writing to ask for comment on an article from the New York Sun (Nov. 12, 2004), "Paris, Oslo, Helsinki". The following paragraph is drawn from the article:

"This came at the end of a week in which Norway managed to forbid Jews from marking the anniversary of Kristallnacht, a step the French haven't yet taken. The local TV2 News reported that no Norwegian Jews participated in Oslo's commemoration of Kristallnacht."TV2 also reported that the authorities, saying they didn't want trouble, forbade any Jewish symbols, including Stars of David and Israeli flags," according to Israel's Arutz-7 radio station. "On the TV2 evening news, a group of Jews and their friends who wanted to take part in the commemoration were shown being firmly told by a policeman to 'please leave the area,'" according to a dispatch from an American journalist living in Norway, Bruce Bawer, on "This in a city where Muslim demonstrations take place on a regular basis, and include signs and banners bearing hateful, barbaric slogans." The ban prompted a protest from the Simon Wiesenthal Center to the government of Norway." (

Does this account accurately reflect the events of the day? That is to say, were people showing wearing Jewish symbols including the Star of David and the flag of Israel forbidden from participating in Kristallnacht observances? If so, does police action in this case reflect Norwegian governmental policy? If not, what is the Norwegian government's position regarding the decision to exclude people on this basis?


Posted by Ghost of a flea at November 16, 2004 05:47 AM

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I have a post with a few links in it here:

And there is a lengthy back and forth on the issue at Bjorn Staerks' blog here:

Note that the takes are different. My own problem with the event is that it's clear the Euro-Left has co-opted Kristallnacht to turn it into a sort of generic anti-racism event (often code for all sorts of nasty stuff on other days of the week depending on who's doing the talking), while on Staerk's blog the debate has gone over whether or not Jews and Jewish symbols were actually banned (the Israeli flag was unarguably a no-no).

One of these days I'm going to do a lengthy post on the subject.

Posted by: Solomon at November 16, 2004 01:17 PM

I sent the article to a cousin in Sweden under the title: Can you believe this? He wrote:

Hi Michael
Yes I believe this. It is as in Sweden. The anniversary of
Kristallnacht have been tranformed inoto the leftish (communists etc.)
way to demonstrate for the terrorists within PLO, against the United States etc.etc. all the time against and against- no sollutions. To bee a activ as a Jew and try to get a balanced discussion about the Middle East here in Sweden is very difficult.

Posted by: Canadian Headhunter (Michael) at November 16, 2004 05:18 PM

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