The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on Thursday urged Norway’s King Harald V to rescind a decision to honor a Norwegian citizen who, the group said, had 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 Linstad’s work in education for immigrants.
In a letter to Wegger Strømmen, the Norwegian ambassador to the United States, ADL national director Abraham H. Foxman stressed that Linstad’s comments on anti-Israel violence and Jewish conspiracy theories should disqualify him from receiving the award, regardless of his achievements.
According the ADL, Linstad has openly espoused various anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and has defended violence against Israel as legitimate and “great success.” The ADL also charged that Linstad on his blog supported the use of the slogan, “Kharibat Khybar!” which it said was a recognized jihadist term for violence against Jews in the context of anti-Israel actions.
“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,” Foxman said. “At worst, those reviewing 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.”
The ADL also cited that Linstad has expressed “thanks to Johan Galtung,” a Norwegian academic and proponent of the anti-Semitic work The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, for asking whether Jews in positions of power used “manipulative and undemocratic methods” to influence world events.
Foxman said he was encouraged by Norwegian media reports that the Royal Court has postponed the award.
“We hope that action is the first step toward the award being rescinded,” said Mr. Foxman.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, fights anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.