2008–09 anti-Israel riots in Norway
|2009 Oslo Riot|
Riot police guarding arrested rioters
|Location||Oslo (capital of Norway)|
|Date||29 December 2008 – 10 January 2009|
|Weapon(s)||Rioters: stone, bottles, sticks, fireworks and other throwable objects
Police: batons, shields, teargas, Police Dogs
|Perpetrators||Rioters; more than 200 arrested|
Number of participants
|Directly involved: several hundreds
Protesters: around 5000
|Defenders||Oslo Politidistrikt (Oslo police department)|
The 2008–2009 Anti-Israel riots in Norway were a series of violent anti-Israel and anti-Jewish protests by Muslims that took place outside the Israeli embassy and the Storting in Oslo during late December 2008 and January 2009 amidst the Gaza War between Israel and Palestinian militant groups. On several occasions there were clashes between rioters and police as the protesters attacked civilians and destroyed private and public property. More than 160 people were detained, a majority of foreign descent. A Norwegian non-Jewish pro-Israel protester was attacked and injured by anti-Israel protesters shouting "take him, he's a Jew", "fucking Jew" and "allahu akbar". Among other slogans, protesters shouted "Death to the Jews," "Kill the Jews" and "Slaughter the Jews" in Arabic.
A peaceful demonstration outside the Israeli embassy in December 2008 became violent when Muslim Arab youths began throwing Molotov cocktails and rocks at the embassy and the police. The police arrested four youths of Arab descent aged 16–25.
On 4 January 2009, hundreds demonstrated against Israel outside the Storting and then moved to the Israeli embassy in Parkveien. Members of the crowd grew violent, and again the police were called in. The demonstrations was dispersed by firing tear gas.
On 8 January there was a legal pro-Israel demonstration outside the Storting. A force of 200 policemen were stationed in the area of Spikersuppa. Before the demonstration the police said that they were worried about trouble and riots. Because a prominent politician, Siv Jensen, was scheduled to give a speech a pro-Israel speech, The Norwegian Police Security Service (PST) stated that measures had been taken to insure Jensen's safety.
In the middle of Jensen's speech, pro-Palestinian activists started throwing rocks at pro-Israeli demonstrators. Jensen was forced to leave the podium. The police used tear gas when the rioters attacked a bus that tried to evacuate pro-Israeli activists from the area, including a large number of elderly demonstrators.
A Norwegian pro-Israel protester was attacked and injured by anti-Israel protesters while shouting "take him, he's a Jew", "fucking Jew" and "allahu akbar". Among other slogans, protesters shouted "Death to the Jews," "Kill the Jews" and "Slaughter the Jews" in Arabic.
According to politicians in the Storting, people tried to seek refuge inside the building, but they had to lock the doors because of the tear gas. At least four McDonald's restaurants were destroyed in the riots because of a rumor spread by text message that all the money McDonald's earned that day would go to support Israel. This was later confirmed to be a hoax.
The police arrested a total of 160 people during the riots, a majority of foreign descent, and 11 of whom were formally charged with violent behavior and damage to private and public property. The rest of the arrested pleaded not guilty to any charges. The police stated that they would investigate all the arrested and most of them would receive a fine of 9000 NOK (around 1300 USD).
Anti-semitism in Norway
In his book The Anti-Jewish Riots in Oslo, Norwegian author and editor Eirik Eiglad wrote:
As far as I can judge, these were the largest anti-Jewish riots in Norwegian history. Even before and during World War II, when anti-Semitic prejudices were strong, public policies were discriminatory, and the Nazified State Police efficiently confiscated Jewish property and deported Jews on that despicable slave ship SS Donau - even then, Norway had not seen anti-Jewish outbursts of this scale. This country had no previous history of wanton anti-Jewish mass violence.
- KLUNGTVEIT, HARALD S. (2009-01-09). "Ta ham! Jævla jøde!". Dagbladet (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2009-01-20.
- "Ta ham! Jævla jøde!". Dagbladet (in Norwegian). 2009-01-09. Retrieved 2009-01-20.
- Gerstenfeld, Dr. Manfred (Spring 2010). "2009: Norway's Most Violent Anti-Semitic Riots Ever". Jewish Political Studies Review (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) 22 (1-2).
- "Fire i arrest etter demonstrasjon mot Israel" (in Norwegian). Verdens Gang. 2008-12-30.
- "Politiet frykter bråk under Israel-demonstrasjon" (in Norwegian). Verdens Gang. 2009-08-01.
- "Politiet bruker tåregass mot demonstranter" (in Norwegian). Verdens Gang. 2008-01-08.
- "Pågrepne demonstranter nekter for alt" (in Norwegian). Verdens Gang. 2008-01-11.