In an outburst on Facebook, members of the Norwegian Labour Party youth organization praised Hitler and wished death upon the Jews. Our Norwegian correspondent The Observer has translated an article about the scandal, which seems to have aroused far less outrage in Norway than “Islamophobia” does.
The translator includes this introduction:
The translated article from Hamar Arbeiderblad:
This article concerns some members (ethic Norwegians? I don’t think so) of AUF, the Labour Party youth organization, in Hamar (a city approximately 100 kilometres north of Oslo) and their views on Jews and Israel. As you can see from the article they use very blunt and crude language. They actually praise Hitler and the Nazi extermination camps.
It’s not really that much of a surprise that the AUF and other socialist political organizations are firm supporters of Palestinian terrorists and their armed fight against the Israeli state.
It’s also worth noting that the AUF was very keen to talk about ‘yttringsansvar’ (the closest English word would probably be ‘decorum’) after the July 22 attacks in Norway in 2011 when debating multiculturalism and Islam. I suppose different standards apply to them.
No doubt we will see some arrests in the coming days, as there are strict hate speech laws in place in Norway and these statements must surely violate these laws (I am of course being sarcastic; everybody knows that only hateful comments about non-Western immigrants and Muslims result in prosecution).
Torch light vigil in Hamar every night and heated Israel debate online
AUF members harass Jews on Facebook
“F***ing Jew whores, I wish Hitler would return and showered you a little bit more,” wrote one AUF member on Facebook. Many have reacted strongly to the fact that Labour politician Khalid Haji Ahmed participated in the online exchange. Mayor Morten Aspeli (AP - Labour) strongly opposes the harassment.
Hamar Labour Party
Thomas Jensen Jørgensen, the leader of the Labour Party in Hamar, characterizes the Jew hatred coming from several AUF members as completely unacceptable.
“I intend to have a chat with AUF member Khalid Haji Ahmed about what took place.”
Khalid claims that he has been misunderstood.
“I’m going to investigate the matter as I have not yet read the comments on Facebook,” says Langeland Jørgensen.
“I have read about the case in HA and these opinions are so far removed from Labour party politics as it is possible to get. Our approach is a two-state solution. Both the Israeli and the Palestinian population in Gaza are suffering now, thus offensive statements against an ethnic group is completely unacceptable. This is really nauseating. We strongly oppose the comments on Facebook. We now have to conduct an internal conversation within the party regarding the matter, but it is really sad to read about such attitudes. It is totally beyond the pale to equate the Nazi regime of World War Two with the current Israeli regime. It is obvious that some could do with some serious introspective reflection before they post comments on Facebook. I expect that the AUF in Hamar and Hedmark will conduct an internal cleanup,” says Thomas Jensen Jørgensen.
When a member of the AUF posted a status update that read “f***ing Jews” yesterday afternoon, it didn’t take long for reactions to reach HA. In the comment section several AUF members posted statements such as that Jews should be burned. And when high profile AP (Labour) politician Khalid Haji Ahmed joined the debate he didn’t distance himself from these sentiments. Ahmed wrote two comments that appear to be supportive. Ahmed himself claims that he has been misunderstood.
“I talked to them in youthful language. It was not support, but rather my way of rebuking them,” he says.
Redacted the comments
The youthful language is of such a nature that HA do not wish to republish the comments.
“I know the young people concerned and I know that I have to yell at them in a way they understand. This is not praise, but rather ‘Khalid rebuke’. I tried to say ‘Oh, good luck, then, if you want to go ahead and do silly things’,” he says.
He now fully renounces the Facebook status updates.
“I met the boys in town afterwards and I explained to them that they cannot write things like that. I explained that it’s like saying ‘damn Christians’ or ‘all Muslims are terrorists’. You can’t make sweeping generalizations about an entire ethnic group. There are also innocent Jews in the world,” says Ahmed.
Torches for the dead
He points out that during the ceremony at Triangelgården on Saturday torches were lit for the dead on both sides of the Israeli / Palestine conflict.
“In my speech I pointed out that we lit 71 torches. Three of the torches were for those that died in Israel, which shows that I am eager to denounce violence and honour the dead on both sides,” he says.
Group leader, Gry Veronica Engli of the Hamar AP (Labour Party), where Ahmed is a councilor finds the statements posted on Facebook unacceptable.
“They are very serious allegations and they are written in a very crude language. I think they are angry and that they are very emotionally involved, and I can understand that. But they have to find other ways to express themselves,” says Engli.