If you haven't noticed, Norway has been undergoing a bit of bad publicity of late apropos of what has been described as its unparalleled levels of anti-Semitism. One of the country's few highly placed truth-tellers, Hanne Nabintu Herland, a religious scholar at the University of Oslo, recently put it this way: "How could a country that was once a loyal friend of Israel be transformed into a nation with a government that refuses to distance itself from Hamas as a terrorist organization? Norway is the most anti-Semitic country in the West, because of the left-wing elite." Alan Dershowitz said the same thing here at Front Page last year after a series of unpleasant personal experiences in the land of the fjords: "Norway is the most anti-Semitic and anti-Israel country in Europe today."
Nor did it do much to rehabilitate Norway's image when the Royal Palace announced a couple of weeks ago the awarding of a medal to Trond Ali Linstad, a Muslim convert who is also an outspoken anti-Semite. (Fortunately, the public furor over this decision caused the king to change his mind.)
The other day, when I noticed a headline indicating that the Norwegian police were apologizing to the country's Jewish population, I experienced a fleeting sense of hope. Had at least one important national institution actually realized the error of its recent ways? Then it turned out – and, knowing the country as long as I have, I should have seen this coming – that the police were apologing for having helped the Nazis during the occupation with the job of rounding up Jews and shipping them off to be exterminated. A full news cycle was consumed with conspicuous self-flagellation about this horrible chapter of Norwegian history. The sole still-living Jew to have been handed over to the Germans was interviewed all over the place.