Antisemitism has increased over the past years. Jews in Europe fear not only that discrimination and hate crime will increase, they fear for their lives.
The European history has shown us the fatal consequences of systematizing antisemitism. In so many countries, people lost dear ones due to the Holocaust. A great number of Norwegians were killed during the Holocaust and this awful memory has formed the identities of many Norwegian families – and our society.
Everyone`s right to freedom of religion is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This right also includes a right to manifest one’s religion freely and to be protected against hate crimes, abuse and persecution.
Discrimination of people on the grounds of religion or ethnic background must be addressed holistic, through appropriate measures such as education, awareness raising and the promotion of dialogue.
Protecting minorities and combatting antisemitism are strongly prioritized by the Norwegian government, and in 2016, we launched an action plan against antisemitism. This plan, which includes 11 concrete measures, has been welcomed internationally, including by IHRA members.
Preventing anti-Semitic attitudes is already integrated in the schools’ framework, and part of the comprehensive approach to strengthen pupils’ learning environment.
In close cooperation with the Center for Studies of Holocaust and Religious Minorities, the Norwegian government extends knowledge about minorities and efforts to end religious, racist and ethnically motivated repression.
The expression of antisemitism on the internet and in social media is on the rise. One of the 11 measures includes an initiative to monitor antisemitism expressed and disseminated on internet. In 2017, the Norwegian government funded a pilot project to monitor antisemitism in the media and on the internet.
The results, which were published in March this year, provided an overview of anti-Semitic hate crime in Norway, which in turn will enable implementation of more targeted measures in the future.
Norway is also actively committed to international efforts to combat antisemitism. In recent years, the government has allocated grants to projects and initiatives that combat antisemitism, and which increase knowledge and multicultural understanding by preserving Jewish heritage in Europe.
In order to defeat antisemitism, we must, as a society, stand united in the global fight against hatred, intolerance, and xenophobia. This is why Norway unequivocally condemn all manifestations of antisemitism and other religious, racist and ethnically motivated violence. Our Jewish community must feel and be safe.