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TRANSCEND International's Statement
Concerning the Label of anti-Semitism Against Johan Galtung


It is both possible and meaningful to be

  • anti-hitlerism without being anti-German,
  • anti-stalinism withour being anti-Russian.
  • anti-US imperialism without being anti-American,
  • anti-expanionist zionism without being anti-semitic,
  • anti-quislingism without being anti-Norwegian,
  • anti-Japanese militarism without being anti-Japanese.

I have stood and will continue to stand by these convictions.
Johan Galtung, Founder Of The Academic Discipline Of Peace Studies

Click here to comment!

May 2nd 2012

1. Prof. Galtung has been working on the case of Anders Behring Breivik since the very day of the man's murderous onslaught on July 22nd 2011. In this capacity, Prof. Galtung was invited late 2011 to give a public lecture at the University of Oslo to elaborate the components of Breivik's motivational and political psychology.
Professor Galtung was shocked by the reaction to some of his peripheral observations in connection with his ongoing inquiry into Breivik's mind in Norway. He did not expect to be labelled totally incorrectly as anti-Semite. He refuses this utterly repugnant black-white etiquetting. Günter Grass was also labelled as anti-Semite and denied access to Israel when he published a poem that warned against a specific point, a possible Israeli attack on Iran.

2. Again: All of this results from his ongoing inquiries into the Breivik case. All want to disassociate themselves from Breivik, but it is clear from Breivik's own statements that he is firmly rooted in the Judeo- Christian history, including myths. As a Free Mason, he is a member of a secret organization with a loyalty oath. From a researcher's perspective, this "conspiratorial oath to secrecy" makes a meaningful police investigation impossible.

3. Johan Galtung received a series of questions by email from the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz. His answers are added at the end for public perusal. They have not been quoted in the Ha'aretz article, but been completely twisted out of context and misrepresented.
Almost everything human has positive and negative aspects. Some people cannot accept any criticism at all. Yet a critic may be your best friend. If someone walks towards a cliff, who is a real friend, the one who says, "Go right ahead!" or the one who says, "Stop, turn around, you are in danger!" There is no doubt who is a true friend.

4. Galtung fully recognizes that the "Protocols", as revealed in 1921, are a sickening falsification, probably fabricated by the Russian Secret Police, to justify the pogroms. But he does not know precisely who was the author, a point prominently echoed by Umberto Eco for his masterful "The Prague Cemetery". Galtung is fully aware that they represent a very sensitive issue that brings up all the sufferings of the Jewish people. This trauma notwithstanding, it is important that people know of those aspects of the content, which deal mainly with the use of debt bondage as power. The major actors that currently apply debt bondage are China, Japan and the EU relative to the US, Germany relative to peripheral countries in Europe, like Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Ireland (GIPSI) and the World Bank relative to the World; for a horrifying example, see John Perkins (2004) "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man". That people of Jewish belief and Judaism have nothing to do with any of this goes without saying.

5. To criticize Israel's current foreign policy is not anti-Semitic, but a part of democratic debate. Johan Galtung, like many others, is the proponent of a prosperous and peaceful Israel, in peace with all its neighbors. He has a concrete proposal, first time made public in 1971: A Middle East Community of Israel with its five Arab neighbors, modeled after the European Community of the Treaty of Rome, which went into effect in 1958. This very proposal was published by Akiva Eldar in Ha'aretz in 2007 under the title "Ingredients for a True Peace Process."

Appendix: Johan Galtung's complete answers to questions by Ofer Aderet at Ha'aretz, 29 April 2012

Click here to download this comparison as PDF.

Discussion (archived)

Anthony Judge

I find the exchange very unfortunate for a number of reasons.

I also have endeavoured to derive insights from the Breivik case -- at a time when equivalent numbers are killed on a daily basis in many countries. I note the lack of attention to the situation in the Congo for example. Norwegians have every right to find Breivik's actions repugnant in the extreme. I note that Norway contributes forces to the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. Is there any problem with a Norwegian killing 80 Afghans with the authority of that body? How many Afghans have Norwegians killed? I endeavoured to explore what we might learn from the paradoxical world in which we live in an article posted via the Transcend Media Service:
Gruesome but Necessary: Global Governance in the 21st Century?
Extreme normality as indicator of systemic negligence

It is understandable that people want simple answers. The chaos of the times does not lend itself to simple answers. The issue is what is to be learned from the disasters to which we will be increasingly exposed. If Norway in its entirety believes Breivik should be condemned, why waste tax payers money on a trial. Justice could be done, as Obama claimed, with respect to the termination of Osama -- from whom no one wished to hear.

With respect to the anti-semitism label in the case of Johan Galtung, the problem for all concerned is that NOTHING problematic can be said about Israel without the critic being potentially so labelled. It is my sense that it is impossible to prove that anyone is NOT anti-whatever. This is the well-documented legal issue of it being impossible to prove a negative. Someone who is declared a "self-hating Jew" cannot prove the contrary. Israel cannot prove that it is NOT anti-peace. Iran cannot prove that it is NOT developing nuclear weapons. Someone accused of being anti-American under McCarthy could not prove the contrary. The US Security Service cannot prove that its agents did NOT endanger Obama in Columbia. So Johan Galtung cannot prove that he is NOT anti-semitic.

My interest in endeavouring to transcend a futile pattern of accusation is to determine whether the potentially offended party is able to offer "guidelines" to others who might see reason to criticize its behaviour -- irrespective of whether the concern is anti-science, anti-Islam, anti-blasphemy, anti-women, etc. I have argued this case in:

Guidelines for Critical Dialogue between Worldviews: as exemplified by the need for non-antisemitic dialogue with Israelis?

Unfortunately, in the current case, it is the very nature of the trial by media which is so deeply regrettable. No one will be satisfied, except those that would like to see someone hung from a scaffold in public according to the style of the Middle Ages

Lars Kjelkenes Giæver

Why does Galtung write like he does in After so many years he must know how people will react.

SiVisPacemParaPacem (Moderator) in reply to Lars Kjelkenes Giæver

Dear LarsMDG, thank you for your inquiry. Could you please be so friendly and specify and single out point by point which formulations you are offended by? We will provide you with the rational ASAP.

Most sincerely,
Si Vis Pacem Para Pacem - TRANSCEND International outreach team

Lars Kjelkenes Giæver in reply to SiVisPacemParaPacem

Than you!

I am am not the one that is critical, but many people in Norway are. Here is some of the critic: and I suppose that Galtung knew how the reactions would be after so many years of experience. That's why i wounder why he would like to trigger this kind of reactions.


LarsMDG in reply to Lars Kjelkenes Giæver

Answare Øyvind Strømmen instead.


You really need to see the "Roger Dommergue interview" on youtube. This is important information by a jewish raised Professor. He has a key to understand the issue. It is very important. It is for parts at 10 minutes each.

SiVisPacemParaPacem (Moderator) in reply to Redikon

We are fundamentally apalled by the dehumanisation of jewish people professed in that video of yours. Thanks but: NO THANKS! We gave it a chance. Utterly repugnant and disgusting material. Racism at its finest and in need of some desperate conflict resolution. Utterly disgusting indeed. Well, this is what happens when THAT label is ascribed. All sorts of weird assumptions are made about the emotional-cognitive perspective defining a specific analytical stance. No dear Redikon. No one here agrees with the views expressed in your video. How could we? To know about the ideas that TRANSCEND International espouses, watch this video here:

Øyvind Strømmen in reply to SiVisPacemParaPacem

It is understandable that you are appalled by the said video. Do, however, let me point you to the article mr. Galtung linked to as a source for his claim of Jewish media power. Aside from being a boiled-down version of a neo-Nazi pamphlet written by William Pierce, this source itself states:

"Should any minority be allowed to wield such awesome power? Certainly not, and allowing a people with beliefs such as expressed in the Talmud to determine what we get to read or watch in effect gives this small minority the power to mold our minds to suit their own Talmudic interests -- interests which as we have demonstrated are diametrically opposed to the interests of our people. By permitting the Jews to control our news and entertainment media, we are doing more than merely giving them a decisive influence on our political system and virtual control of our government; we also are giving them control of the minds and souls of our children, whose attitudes and ideas are shaped more by Jewish television and Jewish films than by their parents, their schools, or any other influence."
[Original bold]

The longer text, which also contains Holocaust denial, is in itself included on the link given by mr. Galtung himself. Furthermore, the text is equipped with an image can not be described as anything less than classic anti-Semitism. Now, would you not agree that the source referred to by mr. Galtung himself contributes to "dehumanisation of the Jewish people", and could you not understand that people would say: "Thanks, but: NO THANKS!" to that very source?

Furthermore, you do point out that mr. Galtung believes that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion has relevance as a tool to understand our society, in spite of it being a falsification, and with reference to "debt bondage as power". Why would you say that using the Protocols is particularly valid, interesting or relevant in such a context; when - I am sure - there is plenty of other literature available to underscore the point Galtung claims to want to make.

Mr. Galtung also refers to Erik Rudstrøm in this context, and says to be in agreement that "it is difficult to believe that the Secret Russian Police was able to write such an analysis". This seems to be rather the opposite than what is said above, namely that it probably was the Secret Russian Police.

That question is  a question for some debate in recent research, but no serious researcher think that it is anything but an anti-Semitic falsification, plagiarizing easily identifiable sources. Mr. Rudstrøm - whose book has also been recommended by mr. Galtung - did however see the Protocols of the Elders of Zion as something else. He saw it as relevant in connection with the Freemasons -and- the labour movement, which he saw as movements taking instructions from the book. Would you agree that this is utter nonsense? If you agree, why was the book recommended by mr. Galtung in a lecture, without a single critical note? Why does he say that he is agreement with such an obviously ludicrous author? The difference from the video in question above is very small, indeed!

At last, Galtung also considers, in connection with the 22. July, "Yes, I see the membership in the Free Masons and the Templars as important because of oaths among members and the secrecy: ties of loyalty that constitute a collectivity of solidarity, support, perhaps also cooperation [my italics] on that day of his atrocious attack on categories of people, those working in government buildings and AUF (Workers’ Youth League) members at Utøya". (The Bad in the Good and the Good in the Bad)

This raises a number of questions:

1. Does mr. Galtung seriously believe that the Free Masons would willingly block any investigation into one of the largest terrorist attacks in Norwegian history, due to "ties of loyalty"?
2. Does mr. Galtung seriously believe that there might have been a case of "cooperation on that day of [Breiviks] atrocious attack", from the Freemasons?
3. If the answers above are "no", then why did he write it?
4. Mr. Galtung has also implied that it is a valid (though unlikely) hypothesis that Mossad was behind the terrorist attacks on the 22. July 2011. What in the world makes this a valid hypothesis?

Do note that I have not called mr. Galtung an anti-Semite. It is not relevant to the discussion; which has arisen based on the fact that Galtung in his essay in Humanist refers to 1. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, 2. An obscure anti-semitic author and conspiracy theorist, Erik Rudstrøm, 3. An anti-semitic text about alleged Jewish media control, being a boiled-down version of a pamphlet published by one of the most well-known extreme right-wing leaders in the United States in the last few decades, William Pierce, the author of "Turner Diaries". Is such a use of sources worthy of harsh criticism?

Øyvind Strømmen in reply to Øyvind Strømmen

Regrettably, the formating functions seem not to work for me; and thus some bold and italics are left out; also I am unable to correct "Norwegian history" to "European history", and some links are lost. However, I am sure that you will be able to check them out for yourselves.

SiVisPacemParaPacem (Moderator) in reply to Øyvind Strømmen

Jesus. Quite some homework there.
First: We will see what we can do about the formatting functions
Second: We will see to providing you with unfiltered and unmanipulated responses to your questions. They will all be sent to Prof. Galtung

Thank you for taking the time and engaging in dialogue.

Redikon in reply to SiVisPacemParaPacem

Please try to justify possibly trauma-inducing forced circumcision on eight day old babies without narcosis even. How would you justify this forced cruelty, possibly altering the hormone development even (Dommergue's thesis), before an ethic that holds dear a total respect before the inviolability and prevention of cruelty against defenseless infants? And please do not mix up, Dommergue argues exclusively against this circumcision and says very clearly: There are no racial differences. He says: There is no races. Please don't mix things up, he is talking about circumcision and NOT race. How do you justify the circumcision against a sensible ethic? This is not a minor issue, i think.

SiVisPacemParaPacem (Moderator) in reply to Redikon

Honestly: Preposterous stuff.

Redikon in reply to SiVisPacemParaPacem

It is alright. You got no answer here, imagine one for yourself. Truth is strong. You mixed up the whole thesis in your first response. Remember he is a born jew himself. That is not leightweight. I had hopes Mr. Galtung would be able to scrutinize and recognise the thesis. Anyway. Wish you well!


Johan Galtung is so used to being involved in the Left stream that he doesn't see ideas that are thought of as " truths" are in fact paradigms. It is readily apparent to independent political people that the Left, including Jews, are increasingly more agitated by things done by Jews and the Jewish state than by other participants on the world scene, and I am a Left leaning person saying this. If Mr Galtung wants to be in the forefront in fighting against expecting Jews to have a different standard than other peoples, he needs to look closely in the mirror to understand why Jews owning things bothers him so much. He also needs to be sensitive to suggesting that Jews are even hypothetically responsible for the horror unleashed by a madman. That suggestion is hurtful to every Jewish person who identifies as such.

SiVisPacemParaPacem (Moderator) in reply to Hsfass

He also needs to be sensitive to suggesting that Jews are even hypothetically responsible for the horror unleashed by a madman. That suggestion is hurtful to every Jewish person who identifies as such.

Dear Hsfass,

this is by far the most sensitive issue in recent european history. The superficial way Ofer Adaret, the Ha'aretz journalist, dealt with it is therefore mindboggling. To say the least. Here is why: Though he has been dedicated to working in the domain of Conflict Transformation and Conflict Resolution since at least 1957, methodologically, Johan Galtung is known to be a structural & cultural sociologist and a specialist in stochastics. He has been internationally known and highly acclaimed as such for at least 55 years.

What this means is that he analyzes structural inequalities within societies as well as between societies (Galtung, 1978). His ‘Social Position Theory’ [] is characterized by a holistic approach to the analysis of the dynamics of power within societies. "The general aim is to study the combined effects of different types of social inequalities between Social Positions within societies and the way these effects are influenced by structural inequalities between societies."

Put in less sociological a jargon, Galtung rejects the misconstrued claim attributed to him by Ha'aretz, that blame for the holocaust is somehow attributable to people of jewish faith. (Just writing this sentence is nauseating.) It follows, that he does not consider people of jewish faith or ethnicity responsible for Ausschwitz. Never has. Never will. Contrary to the disingenuous claim insinuated by Ha'aretz.

In fact, we're dealing with a preposterous misrepresentation of his Rank-Discordance and Rank-Disequilibrium Theory [] which (to put it very simply) maps the distribution of economic, cultural, political and military power among ethnic minorities and ethnic majority nations in any given society or state and thereby allows to predict the potential of violent conflict exploding along such ethnic lines. Depending on which social position an ascriptive collective actor occupies in a given society, one can predict quite accurately what can and may cause massive category violence in that given society.

And here comes the Peace-Research factor: In!order!to!PREVENT!it! Not in order to ascribe "responsibility" or "blame" or any such retrograde thing. Factor in Atimia or Revenge or Revanche or Racism and fear of all of the above and conflictual social interaction begins to make sense, say for Cote D'Ivoire in recent years or Germany before WWII. That is all he is saying: Be sensitive to Social Positions and Identity in Social Structure [] if you want to prevent massive category direct violence.

That's all! Never in his life did he talk "responsibility" -as you phrase it- of jewish people "for the horrors unleashed by a madman". A sickenning fallacy this Ofer Adaret has put out there now for the non sociologically trained to be galvanized by. Mr. Adaret could simply have inquired a little more. But he did not. Galtung is guided in his life and work by an ethic of "homo res sacra homini" and is a meticulous sociologist before all. The Ha'aretz should have checked the readily available trackrecord [] before unleashing all hell. THAT! would have been proper journalism.

Dear Hsfass, was this helpful in any way?

Hsfass in reply to SiVisPacemParaPacem

Even after your explanations, I feel that Dr. Galtung and many others are too ready to judge Jews and Israel in more negative terms and with different measuring tools than other nations or peoples. Should that be labeled anti-semitic? I am not sure, but it is a phenomenon that is without merit.

Florian Savoy in reply to Hsfass

How so? Quite honestly, as far as I can tell from every single piece of work I have read by Prof. Galtung, he cares more about the nonviolent outcome of a conflict than about judging the actors involved. Peace Studies as conceptualized by him were never intended to pick and chose sides and loyalties. It is all about not pointing the finger to specific actors but to the interactive contradiction.

Hsfass Florian Savoy

That is what he should be doing instead of launching ridiculous notions

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