While Making Declarations about the Dangers of Anti-Semitism, Sweden Funds Israel-Bashing and Palestinian Terror

Oct. 15 2021

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.

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Anti-Semitism, Europe and Israel, NGO, Sweden


When It Comes to Peace with Israel, Many Saudis Have Religious Concerns

Sept. 22 2023

While roughly a third of Saudis are willing to cooperate with the Jewish state in matters of technology and commerce, far fewer are willing to allow Israeli teams to compete within the kingdom—let alone support diplomatic normalization. These are just a few results of a recent, detailed, and professional opinion survey—a rarity in Saudi Arabia—that has much bearing on current negotiations involving Washington, Jerusalem, and Riyadh. David Pollock notes some others:

When asked about possible factors “in considering whether or not Saudi Arabia should establish official relations with Israel,” the Saudi public opts first for an Islamic—rather than a specifically Saudi—agenda: almost half (46 percent) say it would be “important” to obtain “new Israeli guarantees of Muslim rights at al-Aqsa Mosque and al-Haram al-Sharif [i.e., the Temple Mount] in Jerusalem.” Prioritizing this issue is significantly more popular than any other option offered. . . .

This popular focus on religion is in line with responses to other controversial questions in the survey. Exactly the same percentage, for example, feel “strongly” that “our country should cut off all relations with any other country where anybody hurts the Quran.”

By comparison, Palestinian aspirations come in second place in Saudi popular perceptions of a deal with Israel. Thirty-six percent of the Saudi public say it would be “important” to obtain “new steps toward political rights and better economic opportunities for the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.” Far behind these drivers in popular attitudes, surprisingly, are hypothetical American contributions to a Saudi-Israel deal—even though these have reportedly been under heavy discussion at the official level in recent months.

Therefore, based on this analysis of these new survey findings, all three governments involved in a possible trilateral U.S.-Saudi-Israel deal would be well advised to pay at least as much attention to its religious dimension as to its political, security, and economic ones.

Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Islam, Israel-Arab relations, Saudi Arabia, Temple Mount