On Shabbos, the Progressive Party in Norway, the smaller of two parties within the ruling government coalition (with 29 of 169 parliament seats), announced that it intends to initiate a law banning circumcision in the country for males under the age of 16.
The Jerusalem Post reported that supporters of the bill “claim that circumcision constitutes mental and physical harm to children and constitutes a serious violation of children’s rights.”
Historically, movements to ban circumcision are centered in attempts to move the Jewish commitment from G-d and refocus it on man. In fact, almost every campaign to destroy the Jewish people started with a ban on circumcision, followed by a ban on kosher slaughter and finally a ban on teaching Torah (Norway reversed the order: they began with Kosher slaughter).
The second paragraph of the original 1814 constitution of Norway read: “The evangelical-Lutheran religion remains the State’s public religion. Those inhabitants who profess to it, are obliged to raise their children in the same. Jesuits and monastic orders may not be tolerated. Jews remain excluded from admission to the kingdom.” That paragraph was repealed in 1851, but that didn’t mean the country’s attitude changed.
Shechita has been banned in Norway since 1930. Technically the ban is against any method of slaughter that does not involve stunning the animal first.
When Holland outlawed the kosher slaughter of large bulls in 2002, Rabbi Michael Melchior, former chief rabbi of Norway, responded, “They simply don’t want foreigners, and they don’t want Jews. I won’t say this is the only motivation, but it’s certainly no coincidence that one of the first things Nazi Germany forbade was kosher slaughter.”
“I also know,” Rabbi Melchior said, “that during the original debate on this issue in Norway, where shechitah has been banned since 1930, one of the parliamentarians said straight out, ‘If they don’t like it, let them go live somewhere else’.”
Norwegian media often spreads anti-Semitic canards. For example, in On Jan. 12, the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten published an article about Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and his senior adviser: “The Jew Kushner reportedly pushed for David M. Friedman as the new ambassador to Israel,” Aftenposten wrote. The newspaper later apologized for calling Kushner “the Jew.”
Johan Galtung, the Norwegian sociologist nicknamed the “father of peace studies,” who made anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli remarks while lecturing at the University of Oslo, claimed that a connection may exist between the terrorist responsible for the massacre of children in Norway and the Mossad. He’s also claimed that “the Jews control U.S. media and divert it for the sake of Israel.”
A popular form of modern anti-Semitism is portraying the Israeli government or IDF as bloodthirsty or as Nazis. For example, Dagbladet, a newspaper of the Norwegian Left, published a cartoon in which Palestinian terrorists leave an Israeli prison with the German motto of the Buchenwald concentration camp: “Jedem Das Seine” (to each what he deserves).
In September 2016, the Norwegian National Theater opened its Festival in Oslo with a dramatic video clip that urged a boycott of Habima, the National Theater of Israel, labelling Israel a state “based on ethnic cleansing, racism, occupation and apartheid.”
Last November, Utbildningsradion, the Swedish Educational Broadcasting Company, aired “The Occupation of the American Mind: Israel’s Public Relations War in the United States,” which suggested that the “Israel Lobby” (i.e., Jews) controls public opinion in America.
In a 2009 letter to Norwegian Prime Minister, Jens Stoltenberg, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, wrote of the growing Norwegian academic boycotts of Israel as “a new stage in Norwegian incitement to Jew-hatred, the outrageously anti-Israel bigotry of the Middle East seminar at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim.”
“The virus of anti-Semitism in Norway’s media, unions, NGOs and even government circles is now infecting academia. NTNU has deformed free and open scholarly discourse based upon mutual respect into a campaign of hate propaganda, led by masters of disinformation who exploit their academic credentials to call for boycott of their colleagues who happen to be Israeli. Most disturbing is the role of NTNU’s [Norwegian University of Science and Technology] Rector, Torbjorn Digernes, who has declared his support for this campaign.”
In 2014, the Norwegian Ministry of Finance excluded Israeli firms Africa Israel Investments and Danya Cebus from its Government Global Pension Fund. It was one of the most significant BDS victories since that fund, which invests the Nordic nation’s oil and gas wealth in foreign stocks and bonds to save for future generations, holds more than one-percent of all global stocks. The Norwegian EL and IT union, which represents over 30,000 energy and telecommunications workers, then adopted a boycott of the Histadrut, Israel’s labor union.
Make no mistake about it, this proposal to ban circumcision has the same purpose as the paragraph in the 1814 constitution described above — to keep the Jews out (meanwhile, Jews are a very tiny minority in Norway; the WJC estimates that there are only about 1,200 Jews in the country).
This proposed bill hits one of the most basic provisions of Jewish practice. Circumcision is not a rabbinical interpretation — it is a direct order! Just read Bereishit Chapter 17, verses 9-11. It’s right there in ink and parchment: “And G-d said to Abraham, ‘And you shall keep My covenant, you and your seed after you throughout their generations. This is My covenant, which you shall observe between Me and between you and between your seed after you, that every male among you be circumcised. And you shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin, and it shall be as the sign of a covenant between Me and between you’.”
This new effort by Norway sends a clear message to its Jews, “Get The Hell Out!”