New York, NY, November 13, 2012 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today urged Norway's King Harald V to rescind a decision to honor a Norwegian citizen who has promoted anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and publicly advocated for Palestinian violence against Israel.
Trond Ali Linstad has been nominated to receive Norway's Royal Medal of Merit (Silver) which recognizes service in the fields of art, science and industry and outstanding public service. The award was intended to recognize Mr. Linstad's work in education for immigrants.
Mr. Linstad has openly espoused various anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and has defended violence against Israel as a legitimate and "great success." He also supported the use of the slogan, "Kharibat Khybar!," a recognized jihadist term for violence against Jews in the context of anti-Israel actions, all of which have appeared on his blog.
"At best, the disturbing decision to grant Mr. Linstad the award resulted from a failure by the staff involved to fully examine Mr. Linstad's public statements," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "At worst, those reviewing Mr. Linstad's public record have shown great insensitivity to anti-Semitism. Whatever the cause, we respectfully urge that this error be rectified with a decision to rescind the award, coupled with a clear and public statement that Mr. Linstad's advocacy of violence and bigotry are contrary to the values of Norwegian society and the Kingdom of Norway."
In a letter to Wegger Strømmen, the Norwegian Ambassador to the United States, Mr. Foxman stressed that Mr. Linstad's comments on anti-Israel violence and Jewish conspiracy theories should have disqualified him from receiving the award, regardless of whatever achievements might have served as the underlying reason.
Mr. Linstad has also expressed "Thanks to Johan Galtung," a Norwegian academic and proponent of the anti-Semitic forgery, Protocols of the Elders of Zion, for asking whether Jews in positions of power used "manipulative and undemocratic methods" to influence world events. He also stated that "every president in the U.S. must adapt to the Jewish lobby," in which he argued, determines U.S. foreign policy.
"We are encouraged by Norwegian media reports which indicate that the Royal Court has postponed the award, and we hope that action is the first step toward the award being rescinded," said Mr. Foxman.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.
November 15, 2012
The Royal Palace revoked the award to Linstad, noting that his written statements "seem to suspect Jews as a group and remind us of stigmatizing conspiracy theories about the Jewish people.”