Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Sweden: Former PM hints far-right is not a threat to Jews because they're "staunchly pro-Israel"

Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister of Sweden, recently wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post titled "Why anti-Semitism won’t flourish in Sweden"

Swedish politicians keep on saying that they take antisemitism seriously, but articles such as these show that they either don't understand the problem or don't care about it at all.

For example, Bildt claims that the ADL global survey of antisemitism shows antisemitism is barely a problem.  What he forgets to mention is that the ADL survey only checked on classic antisemitism.  

Moreover, according to a survey by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency, 60% of Swedish Jews think antisemitism is a big problem.  About half think hostility towards Jews in public places and in the media is a big problem.  40% of Jews have personally experienced antisemitic comments in social situations and in public areas.

Moreover, Bildt then claims that the far-right are now pro-Israel and that therefore Jews have no need to worry about them any more. 

In the article Bildt writes:
Sweden certainly has its share of far-right groups and political parties, and we have unfortunately seen the strengthening of them during the past decade or so. But like elsewhere, these groups have often turned staunchly pro-Israel, in the belief that an enemy of your enemy has to be your friend. And their enemy is clearly the Muslim world.

Bildt ends his article as follows:
Sweden’s problems are there, including anti-Semitism. But overall I am confident that if the Anti-Defamation League were to repeat its global poll measuring support for anti-Semitic views, it would come up with the same — or an even better — result for Sweden today.

I am sure that if the ADL repeats its survey, Sweden will come out squeaky clean.  I also know for a fact that Sweden is extremely antisemitic, with an antisemitism that mostly manifests itself as "anti-Zionism".   In fact, one of the only places in the world where Trump's recent "Jerusalem Declaration" was met with violence against Jews - was Sweden.  

If Sweden wants to ensure that antisemitism doesn't flourish in their country, it's time its leaders open their eyes to reality.   Denying the problem exists is not the way to deal with it.

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