Letter from Rabbis Abraham Cooper and Marvin Hier from the Jewish Simon Wiesenthal Center to Iceland's Radio & TV Director Páll Magnússon demanding stop for broadcast of 400 year old Christian Easter Hymn - Quotes from: Hymns of the Passion by Hállgrimur Pétursson
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Balder Blog
Rabbi Marvin Hier
Founder and Dean
Rabbi Abraham Cooper
Asociale Dean

February 23, 2012

Mr. Pall Magnusson,
General Director Efstaleiti 1
Reykjavik, Iceland

Dear Mr. Magnusson:

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is a leading Jewish Human Rights NGO dedicated to learning the lessons of the Nazi Holocaust and promoting tolerance and mutual respect and understanding. On behalf of our 400,000 constituent families, I am writing to you about a matter of deep distress to our community.

As you know, since 1944, the entire Hymns of the Passion by Hallgrimur Petursson have been broadcast by the State Broadcasting Service to the people in Iceland. We understand that one hymn is read each day for the 9-week period of Lent, and that it is considered a major honor to be asked to read one of these hymns over the air. Many of Iceland's most distinguished citizens, including the late President, Mrs. Vigdis Finnbogadottir, have accepted the invitation with pride.
While we deeply respect the Christian faith and faithful, we feel we must express our shock over the many blatantly anti-Semitic references that pervade Petursson's Hymns. There are over 50 references to Jews, all of them negative, most of which reinforce hateful notions about Jews that laid the theological groundwork for 20 centuries of anti-Semitic hatred and persecution.

It is inconceivable that such intolerance be expressed anywhere, but even more so over the airwaves of a modem democratic nation. The fact that such anti-Semitic references are read by some of the nation's most distinguished citizens over the air serves to only reinforce hateful notions about Jews and poison new generations of impressionable young people with onerous stereotypes of Jewish cunning, treachery, and of course, the toxic charge of deicide.

We are attaching a list of the anti-Semitic references included in Petursson's Hymns. Out of a sense of deep respect, but profound urging, we ask you and other officials of the State Broadcasting Service to once and for all, eliminate them from the airwaves of the RUV. The people of Iceland and the Jewish people deserve better.


Rabbi Abraham Cooper
Associate Dean

Cc: Ambassador Gudmundur Arni, Washington, DC


International Headquarters
1399 South Roxbury Drive, Los Angeles, California 90035-1709 t) 310.553.9036 f) 310.553.8007 www.wiesenthal.com

Quotes from: Hymns of the Passion

From the Simon Wiesenthal Center's letter to Pall Magnusson - Director of Icelands Radio & TV


Page 20  

The Jews arrive in the Garden

*Note: (Those who come to take Jesus are the Romans, yet the title implies it is the Jews. There is no mention ever made of the Romans)
Images and text in right hand
column added by website

Hallgrímur Pétursson (1614-1674)
Priest and Poet
is regarded as Iceland's greatest religious poet, best known for his Hymns of the Passion. First published in 1666, the Hymns of the Passion have been translated into many other languages, including Latin and Chinese.

For centuries Icelanders have read the Hymns of the Passion, along with the Bible, for inspiration and spiritual comfort.

During Lent the Hymns are still read today in all major churches in Iceland. More

Passiu Salmar - Hymns of the Passion


King's Torah - Torat Ha'melech

Dear Mr. Cooper and Mr. Hier,

Shall we make this a counting competition about how much genocidal hatred is to be found in each of these books, one of which is not 400 - but only a few years old?

Start here:

Haaretz July 29, 2010 - Book condoning murder has another rabbi in hot water

Counterpunch 2 august 2010 - Israeli Rabbi Preaches "Slaughter" of Gentile Babies

Jerusalem Post 18 oktober 2010 - Yosef - Gentiles exist only to serve Jews

National Journal - The Complete Guide to Killing Non-Jews

Jerusalem Post 1 november 2009 - Jewish terrorist Yaakov Teitel arrested for alleged series of hate crimes

Page 26  

Judas' Kiss and Christ's Arrest

It was the Jews who bound thee, They clung like cords around thee
Page 34  

Christ's address to the Jews

But not a ray of Heaven's love could pierce their self-willed blindness
Page 64  

The Soldiers mock Christ

Never an unknown man deride
Though he appear undignified.
Canst tell the butt of thine abuse
Better than did these foolish Jews?
Page 69  

The Priest's Conference

Early the Jews decided Thee,
Saviour, to convict
And in their zeal misguided
Death's penalty inflict.
Page 83  

The Jews' First Charge before Pilate

To enter that defiled abode
They deemed a desecration
To shed the guiltless captive's blood,
They hailed with acclamation.
The Jewish elders now present
A threefold accusation,
And charge the Saviour with intent
To lead astray the nation.
Page 86  

Christ's Confession before Pilate

Hatred it was that led the Jews
The blessed Master to accuse;
To save me from the Jewish
Or remedy my captive flight
Page 91  

The Jews Second Charge before Pilate

The Jews impeached Him still
Of all and every ill
Page 100  

The Demand for Crucifixion

The Jewish leaders all decide
That Jesus must be crucified
The Prince of Life their prey must be
The murd'rer set at liberty
Page 111-112  

Christ led from the Judgment Hall

The Jewish crowd replied
"Away with Him!" they shouted,
Their enmity undoubted
"He must be crucified!"
The righteous law of Moses
The Jews here misapplied,
Which their deceit exposes,
Their hatred and their pride.
Page 120-121  

Pilate and the Jews

"Away with Him!" incensed they cried,
"This culprit must be crucified!"
The Governor rightly called Thee king
The Jews Thee to the cross would bring.
Page 125  

Pilate's Unjust Judgment

Upon themselves and on their seed
The burden of their dreadful deed
The Jews assumed in thoughtless rage.
It dogs their steps from age to age

Page 132  

Christ bears His cross

And on the Gentiles God will pour
The boundless riches of His grace.
What the Jew foolishly forswore
He makes of us -- a chosen race.
Page 149-151  

The Superscription on the Cross

That all might know its meaning.
The Jews its truth would not admit,
lts message contravening.
"It must not stand!"
Was their demand,

Such honor would the Jews deny
To Jesus, Whom they hated.
Page 203  

The Burial of Christ

Fearing the Jews harsh enmity
Page 248  

The Guard on Watch

That Christ was risen the Jews denied.
The evidence they sought to hide.
But God's great wisdom could defeat
Their plan to cheat
And soon laid bare their vile deceit.


Fornleifur 24 februar 2012 - Wiesenthal Centre Cooper's letter to Pall Magnusson (pdf - English)

Margrét Eggertsdóttir, a professor with the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies, told RÚV that she believes there is no anti-Semitism in the hymns, and that Hallgrímur was "telling the story in his own way."
Reykjavik Grapevine 24 februar 2012 - Hymns Of The Passion Called Anti-Semitic


Pall Magnusson answers the Wiesenthal Center; We keep broadcasting as usual!
The Reykjavik Grapevine 2 marts 2012 - State Broadcasting Responds To Simon Wiesenthal Institute (Paul Fontaine)

Balder Blog 3 marts 2012 - Islandske Påskesalmer: Radio-Tv-direktør Pall Magnusson nægter at bøje sig for Wiesenthalcenterets krav 

Balder Blog 27 februar 2012 - Jøder vil forbyde Islandsk Salme - Wiesenthal-Centerets brev til radio-tv-direktør Páll Magnússon

Balder Blog 26 februar 2012 - Simon Wiesenthal Center kræver 400 år gammel ‘antisemitisk’ Islandsk Påskesalme censureret (Sammenhørende med denne artikel)

Denne recente artikel handler om det samme: Studieværten bebrejder Jøder anti-kristen propaganda.
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