Andrew Sullivan received an astonishing email from a friend in Norway:
This evening in Oslo there was a march commemorating Kristallnacht. According to TV2 News, no Norwegian Jews were present. The authorities, saying that they did not want any trouble, forbade any Jewish symbols, including Stars of David and Israeli flags. 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.” This in a city where Muslim demonstrations take place on a regular basis, and include signs and banners bearing hateful, barbaric slogans.
I really don’t want to believe this. Does anyone know more?
Update: Thanks to David McDuff for providing a translation of a report on the march from the website of the Norwegian Nettavisen TV channel.
It appears the march organizers (SOS Racism) decided to forbid Jewish symbols, including– but not limited to– the Israeli flag. So Jews were welcome to march as long as they did nothing to visibly identify themselves as Jews.
Is this considered fighting racism in Norway?
Further update: According to commenter Paddy Matthews, the would-be marchers came from the Norwegian Democrat party, an anti-immigrant party which SOS Racism believed was trying to disrupt the march.
I can understand why the organizers would be upset about an anti-immigrant party participating in the march, but they should have excluded them for being anti-immigrant, not for carrying Jewish symbols.
I hope the majority of Norwegian Jews reject the anti-immigrant parties.