Norwegian state radio host wishes “vaccine didn’t work” in Israel

A host at Norwegian state-owned radio station NRK P13 went on a live antisemitic rant where he expressed his wish that the COVID-19 vaccine would not work in Israel because it is a “shitty country.”

According to Norwegian NGO Med Israel for Fred (MIFF), Radio host Shaun Henrik Matheson was discussing the news that the COVID-19 vaccine by Pfizer and BioNTech had been found to be 92% effective in Israel when he told listeners the following:

“Well, we had better mention the good news, even if they come from Israel (laughs). I know, how sick is this? Good news from Israel, when did that happen last time? Do you know what, I don’t know actually. But we have read about this all day today and heard it just now on the radio news.”

“Both the newspapers and the radio news forgot something important, or didn’t mention it, something we should never forget: Israel is an occupying power, an apartheid regime, where some people are more worth than others, and where these “others” are subjected to systematic oppression, their land are stolen from them and their water and electricity will be cut if they step out of line.”

“And if some homemade rocket should land somewhere over G*d’s chosen people, then terrible actions of revenge are committed where thousands of people are killed, often children,” he added

“Could there really be good news from this country? In a way, yes. In a way, but only if we think about ourselves and forget about all the abuse and murders the Israelis perpetrate against the Palestinian people.”

“So apparently, numbers from Israel show that among more than 1 million fully vaccinated persons, less than 1000 were infected. No matter how you twist and turn it, these are good news. Only I wish it was from another country, if you get what I mean. It’s almost as though I wish the vaccine didn’t work. You cannot say that. I’m sorry, I do understand that. Damn it.”

“Did I say apartheid? I did, didn’t I. Just to underline it: In the beginning no Palestinian got any vaccine, 14 days ago, they got 100, yesterday they got 2000. 1.1 million “proper” people got their vaccine, 2.100 of the less proper people got their vaccine.”

“We must just never forget just what a shitty country Israel is, it’s desperately important that we never forget. We must never forget what a shitty country Israel is!”.

MIFF secured a recording of Matheson’s rant and published it on YouTube, and said it considered writing a formal complaint to NRK and a legal complaint to the police for hate speech.

NRK decided to remove the radio item from their archive, but the editor in charge says that the incident would have “no consequences” for the radio host.

According to the working definition of antisemitism of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective; claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor; applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation; and using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism to characterise Israel or Israelis are among contemporary examples of antisemitism in public life and in the media.


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