I have written from time to time on this blog about the phenomenon of anti-Semitism — a vice that is far more widespread and insidious than many understand. I have written about it in Europe, and readers have replied that it is simply a matter of immigrants. “Real” Europeans don’t do that anymore.
Not so, alas. Norway’s Johan Galtung is no ordinary professor of sociology. Known worldwide as the “father of peace studies,” Galtung is famous for his work on the peaceful resolution of conflict. He is the founder of the Peace Research Institute in Oslo and the Journal of Peace Research, the recipient of numerous awards, accolades, and honorary degrees and professorships, as well as a hugely prolific writer on issues of peace and conflict. His Wikipedia entry calls him the “principal founder of the discipline of peace and conflict studies,” a discipline offered at universities around the world. He lived through the German occupation of Norway during WWII and saw his father arrested by the Nazis.
Galtung has long been a respected and influential member of the European academy. He is no immigrant from the Middle East and is not identified with any fringe political movements. He is as establishment as they come.
And he is also a vicious and hate-spewing anti-Semite.
In remarks at the University of Oslo and a follow-up email exchange with the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, Galtung betrayed his true feelings on Jews.
He hinted at links between Anders Behring Breivik’s attack on civilians in Norway and Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency. He suggested there was some truth behind the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. He said that Jews share some of the blame for what happened at Auschwitz — they had provoked the poor Germans under the Weimar Republic. He suggested that Jews control the American media and academic establishments. The list goes on and on — the kind of remarks that haters call “common sense” and “daring to tell the truth” but that sane people see as hatred, error and bile.
Professor Galtung is 82 and perhaps these days like his soul mate Helen Thomas he expresses himself with more freedom and less restraint than in former times. And perhaps the mind is not everything that it once was. But his example demonstrates that the bacillus of Jew-hatred, responsible for centuries of folly and murder before climaxing in the Holocaust and the destruction of half Europe, has not been extirpated. Even among liberal academics who specialize in the study of peace, the flame of hate sometimes burns.
There may be some who say that the Professor is not an anti-Semite; he is merely an anti-Zionist whose righteous passion against the sins of Israel drove him momentarily into some incautious language. And they will argue that such a peace oriented fellow could only have been stimulated to such passions by truly unconscionable activities on the part of “the Jews.” That is how such people often talk, and it is always contemptible, always dishonest, always a manifestation of a failure of either character or intellect.