David Weiss (fictional person)
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In March 2009, Haviv Rettig Gur was contacted by a man claiming to be David Weiss, captain in the Norwegian military. Weiss was quoted in a news story written by Gur in The Jerusalem Post in which Norwegian Jews said they experienced tensions related to their Jewishness, mostly from Muslim immigrants and through anti-Israel discourse in the media.
Contrary to the claims of some Norwegian journalists, Gur did not accuse Norwegian Minister of Finance Kristin Halvorsen of chanting "Death to Jews" in a demonstration. His story was correcting a previous, inaccurate report written by another journalist that seemed to suggest this. (That article has been removed from the Post′s website.)
The article concerning possible anti-Semitism in Norway was discussed by Norwegian media and landed on the front pages.
The article caused Norwegian Jews to react and in subsequent articles denounced the claims printed in the Jerusalem Post, which led to a retraction of the article regarding Kristin Halvorsen.
On 4 April the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten published an interview with "David Weiss", in which he claimed to be reprimanded by his superiors for speaking out against antisemitism in Norway, reiterating his claim of Norwegian state-sponsored antisemitism and claimed that he had to live in a secret location and had a special security clearance. He also admitted to conducting espionage in favor of foreign interests.
On the same day the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet published an article containing a press statement by the Norwegian Armed Forces. The press statement was unusual since it broke with the "no comment" policy when referring to the clandestine services of the armed forces. In the press statement, Major Bent-Ivan Myhre of the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Defense, stated that there were no records of such a person. When asked why the Norwegian MoD made such a statement, he replied that it was unacceptable that the Norwegian Armed Forces were falsely implicated or used to credit a story.
On 5 April 2009, Aftenposten chief political editor Harald Stanghelle in an article, denounced the Norwegian MoD claim, and considered the claim as fake, indicating that "this is not the first time the armed forces has not told the truth". Later on 5 April, Dagbladet published a new article, "Expose of David Weiss, he is a hoax", where the journalist had tracked down the 45-year-old man (name not published) who was identified as being the pseudonymous "David Weiss" and confronted him.
In the pursuant interview with Dagbladet he admitted that the person of David Weiss, Norwegian officer, was a hoax / fictional person.
- Norway Jews still tell of tolerance[dead link]
- Nygaard, Nut A. (01.04.2009). "Trekker påstander om Kristin Halvorsen". Aftenposten (in Norwegian).
- Claussen, Mona W. (03.04.2009). "Norsk offiser: Jøder har det svært vanskelig i Norge". Aftenposten (in Norwegian).
- Egeberg, Kristoffer (04.04.2009). "David Weiss er en bløff". Dagbladet.no (in Norwegian).
- Nordseth, Pål (04.04.2009). "Stanghelle tror Forsvaret bløffer om at David Weiss ikke finnes". Dagbladet.no (in Norwegian).
- Egeberg, Kristoffer; Arve Bartnes, Geir Ramnefjell (05.04.2009). "Her blir "agent David Weiss" avslørt". Dagbladet.no.
- Gur, Haviv Rettig (Apr 08, 2009). "The mad, dishonest raving about truth and honesty". The Jerusalem Post. Haviv's Blog.
- Haviv Rettig Gur