On Wednesday, the Swedish government hosted an “international forum on Holocaust remembrance and combating anti-Semitism” in the city of Malmo, which has in recent years been the site of numerous anti-Semitic attacks and incidents. While Stockholm—along with other European governments that took part in the conference—should be applauded for shining a spotlight on hatred of Jews, writes Gerald Steinberg, it ought to combine its well-meaning statements with action. That means, above all, ceasing to fund anti-Semitism.
[M]any of the participating governments, including the Swedish hosts, are complicit in systematic efforts to demonize Israel, . . . . which is the main component of 21st-century anti-Semitism. [These] campaigns are led by powerful non-governmental organizations (NGOs) claiming to promote agendas based on human rights and international law. . . . European governments, together, allocate on the order of 100 million euros annually to [NGOs who focus] year after year on demonizing one country—Israel.
With such large budgets and almost no oversight, NGOs are easy vehicles for political manipulation. They also have direct access to media platforms and government officials who either sympathize with their ideological agendas or see them as unbiased sources of expertise. The publications and statements that demonize Israel are quoted and echoed without fact-checking by ministers, members of parliament, and journalists, greatly amplifying their influence.
Sweden is among the most active supporters of the NGO purveyors of hate and anti-Zionist invective. Some groups supported by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) are members of a network closely linked to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which is included in the lists of terror organizations by Israel, the U.S., Canada, and the European Union.