The Schmooze

Antisemitic Riots in Oslo: Part of a Trend?

According to “The Anti-Jewish Riots in Oslo,” a cogent new book by Norwegian historian Eirik Eiglad, the riots of January 2009 in Oslo, ostensibly against the war in Gaza, actually followed “age-old patterns of antisemitic hatred.”

Himself beaten, kicked, and spit on by demonstrators, Eiglad, who had not joined any side, recounts how a deranged Internet rumor that McDonald’s restaurants are Jewish-owned led to five McDonald’s in Oslo being burned by angry mobs. Norway’s then-Minister of Finance and current Minister of Education Kristin Halvorsen was photographed smiling next to a poster reading: “The greatest axis of Evil, USA and Israel.”

Along with a national neurosis over finite wealth based on exhaustible reserves of oil and herring, Norway is currently experiencing a stiff-necked rebirth of nationalism. Oslo’s paltry Jewish population, only 800 by one count, is the time-honored target.

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Antisemitic Riots in Oslo: Part of a Trend?

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