Academia,  antisemitism

Atzmon in Trondheim

Although there is something to be said for not giving Gilad Atzmon the oxygen of publicity he clearly craves, his movements can provide a revealing indicator of how far (and where) antisemitism is overlooked, tolerated or even approved.

Last night he spoke at the University of Trondheim, before giving a jazz performance in the same city. This event is flagged briefly on his blog, and is the subject of a lengthy article in the university’s newspaper, a small scale but fairly official and professional publication.

This is a typical passage:

He describes the slow awakening, by seeing the results of the massacre that occurred on the Palestinians, as well as refugee camps in Lebanon where conditions were terrible. He mentioned specifically a prison camp for detainees, who appeared as a pure concentration, not essentially different from the Bergen-Belsen or Auschwitz.

And here is a link to the whole article (via Google translate), ‘Jødisk identitet er problemet’, ‘Jewish identity is the problem’.

No attempt is made to criticise Atzmon’s views, or even simply note that he is a controversial figure.   The author, Tore Oksholen, isn’t a student – he’s a politician, science journalist and novelist. He is also a strong supporter of boycotting Israel – readers may remember the attempts to implement a full scale academic boycott by some campaigners at Trondheim University in 2009.  Another prominent Trondheim Israel boycotter is Trond Andresen  – as well as being a Truther he comes up with statements like this:

“There is something immensely self-satisfied and self-centered at the tribal mentality that is so prevalent among Jews. [Not] only the religious but also a large proportion of the large secular group consider their own ethnic group as worth more than all other ethnic groups. [Jews] as a whole, are characterized by this mentality…it is no less legitimate to say such a thing about Jews in 2008-2009 than it was to make the same point about the Germans around 1938. [There is] a red carpet for the Jewish community…and a new round of squeezing and distorting the influence of the quite dry Holocaust lemon….”

Perhaps it’s better that the report of Atzmon’s talk was written by Andresen’s fellow boycotter Oksholen, already a partisan, rather than by some neutral journalist who saw nothing to criticize in Atzmon’s exploration of Jewish identity.  But it’s depressing that no one (yet) seems to have criticised this event.

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