CHECK THAT LOX!!
Bennett M. Epstein is a criminal defense lawyer practicing in New York City .
He is a former prosecutor and professor of criminal justice.
WHY I WON'T BE SEEING THE FJORDS THIS SUMMER
By Bennett M. Epstein
On the heels of Mr. Roed-Larsen's now infamous remark that Israel "ceded all
"moral ground" in Jenin, comes word from his home country of Norway that some
supermarket chains have decided to place special identification stickers on
products from Israel.
Other Scandinavian countries may follow suit.
The Norwegians say the stickers do not constitute a "boycott" of Israel ; they
just want their customers, who are overwhelmingly pro Palestinian, to pay
attention to where these products are produced.
Maybe the rest of us should run down to our local supermarkets with a pad of
yellow "post-it" notes so that consumers of Norwegian salmon or Jarlsberg
cheese can also pay attention to where those are produced. Stick them on the
packages with a note: these products come from a place with a shameful past that
continues to operate as a European free zone for Neo-Nazis and other right wing
Those asking the question of whether Europeans are anti-Israel because of
Israel 's actions in fighting terror, or because of their own latent
anti-Semitism, should study the example of Norway . Behind the current disclaimer of a
boycott you will find that Norwegians are quite experienced at boycotting Israel .
Norwegian labour unions have recently refused to off-load Israeli farm
Last year, a Norwegian "labor youth movement" organized a demonstration
against Israeli singers from the Eurovision song contest.
Another Norwegian group has been boycotting Israeli oranges since the early
This group, "Boikott Israel l," rejuvenated by the latest "Intifada" to
Include a boycott of all Israeli commerce, denies on its website that it is
anti-Semitic but states its goal is the end Israel 's "50 year occupation" of, and the
return of refugees to a "free Palestine ."
Not anti-Semitic? In 1941, the graffiti on Jewish businesses in Oslo read:
"Jews, go to Palestine ."
To campaign now in Norway to get the Jews out of " Palestine " seems
anti-Semitic to me, if only by process of elimination. Indeed, the roots of Norwegian
boycotts of Israel run deep. Anti-Semitism has held a unique place in Norwegian
politics since the 1930s when Vidkun Quisling, later the leader of a Nazi
puppet government in Norway , formed the National Union Party.
While many Norwegians fought with the Resistance, many became eager
collaborators of the Nazis, including some 60,000 members of the National Union. Under
its auspices, Norway formed its own branch of the SS and established academies
sending hundreds of officers to set up the rings of like-minded groups from
Sweden and with little fear of official interference.
More significantly, according to a report published by the Stephen Roth
Institute of Tel Aviv University, the extreme right wing Progress Party is the
second largest party in Norway with 25 out of 160 seats in the Parliament. Among
other racist and anti-immigration views, this party advocates banning male
Schechita, kosher stickers on Israeli goods are the modern-day equivalent of
painting "Joden" on the Jewish-owned businesses of Oslo and Trondheim in 1941.
We needn't be reminded that after that, all of Norway 's remaining Jews were
deported to Auschwitz . Fewer than 30 (THIRTY!) survived the Holocaust.
I'm not the sort that usually pays attention to boycotts and
counter-boycotts, because often you don't know who you are really hurting. But there is a good
reason why I won't be buying Norwegian salmon, sardines and other products any time soon,
Their stickers have caught my attention.
Pass this on to others who might want to read this information.
CHECK THAT LOX!!