Sunday, October 4, 2015

Sweden: Film teaches students that pro-Israel Jews are "Bad Jews"

(Thanks to J from Sweden)

A film called Även de döda har ett namn (Even the dead has a name), is being shown to children in public schools of Gothenburg, Sweden. The film premiered this spring, and it was decided by the culture administration of Gothenburg that it would be a good idea to show this specific film for educating kids about the Israel/ Palestine conflict.

However, the film has been criticized for being anti-Semitic and there's a few good reasons to why. Even the dead has a name centers around pediatrician and Ship to Gaza activist Henry Ascher. The film has been called problematic because of the one-sided pro-Palestinian focus and unjust perspective, which, by the way, is very common in Swedish media.

The film talks about "bad Jews" vs. "good Jews". An actual quote by him from the documentary is:

"There's two kinds of Jews in the world. 'the Jews who say, "never again should this happen to us. And, the other type of Jews who say, never should this happen to anyone ever again".
This suggests that Jews "should have learned from the holocaust," and that Israel is repeating the crimes of Nazi Germany. A Jewish persons standpoint on the Israel/ Palestine conflict becomes a way to measure how "good of a Jew you are."

It's very common in Sweden that one doesn't recognize anti-semitism when it should be obvious. Terms like blood-libel aren't known to the common Swede, or even journalists (or politicians for that matter). Because of this, films like Even the dead has a name can be shown to children as public school education. When people lack knowledge on the subject, or don't care, it's easier to dismiss critique as censorship. And, that is how the decision makers, the chief cultural editor of Gothenburgs biggest newspaper and participants that were interviewed for the documentary, have reacted.

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