Norwegian Media: Distorting the News

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The following guest post was written by Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, a member of the Board of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, of which he has been chairman for twelve years, where he founded and directs the Center’s Post-Holocaust and Anti-Semitism program.

For a number of years, Norway has held the number one position on the Press Freedom Index. The perception that Norway has a free press is however largely false. Indeed, Norwegian authorities do not supervise or censure the media. Yet there is a strong anti-Israel slant and self-censorship among the editors of most media. The country shares a border with Russia. However, one often gets the impression that Israel appears in the Norwegian press more than its own powerful neighbor. Norway’s media are obsessed with Israel and many incite against it in various ways.

The aberrations of several leading Norwegian media often go beyond the usual bias of many other Western anti-Israel papers. They will readily report on issues in which they can blame Israel, but the numerous Palestinian crimes are often omitted or greatly under-reported. One usually searches in vain for articles about the Hamas party platform which mentions its intention to commit genocide of Jews. The same goes for the Palestinian Authority’s glorification of murderers of Jewish civilians. Frequent and transparent lies by Palestinian ministers, officials and media, rarely if ever get attention.

Norwegian media often looks away from the huge criminality and transgressions of humanitarian laws in the Arab and Muslim world. Mentioning that there is no other religion where murderous ideological criminality flourishes as much as in the Islamic world, is equally taboo.

Occasionally a positive article about Israel appears in one of the major papers. This was recently the case with an editorial in the third largest daily Dagbladet. It wondered about the lack of interest in Norway concerning Syria’s many war victims and contrasted it with a focus on Israel.

Were it not for a few brave people like the editors of the small Christian weekly Norge Idag and the leading Norwegian blog Document.no, Norwegians would not have any opportunity to read about how unbalanced the information on the Middle East is that they are being fed by the state-owned TV and radio station NRK and almost all media. The small Christian daily Dagen is equally courageous. It recently published an article of mine in which I explained why Labour Party Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg is a part time anti-Semite.

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