Sweden’s Cycle of Anti-Semitism

Dec. 14 2018

Last year, three Arab men threw Molotov cocktails at a synagogue in the Swedish city of Gothenburg. While a court initially sentenced one of the perpetrators, a Palestinian born in Gaza, to two years in prison followed by deportation, a higher court recently overturned the deportation on the grounds that his record of anti-Semitism might make him a target of persecution by the Israeli government. This is but one example of a systemic, threefold problem, writes Manfred Gerstenfeld: Muslim immigrants attack Jews, leftist politicians refuse to do anything while fomenting hatred of Israel, and far-right parties, some of which are hostile to Jews, gain popularity:

[A]nti-Semitism in Sweden is not limited to Muslims and neo-Nazis. A recent scandal concerns the highly reputable hospital of Karolinska University, [which] annually awards the Nobel Prize in medicine. The Simon Wiesenthal Center wrote a complaint to the hospital’s dean when it became known that open anti-Semitism among the hospital’s senior physicians had been ignored by management for almost a year. There were also anti-Semitic comments posted on Facebook. . . .

[Sweden’s numerous] problems with immigrants have given rise to the growth of a right-wing populist party, the Sweden Democrats. In the September 2017 elections they received 17 percent of the vote, an unprecedented level of support. This party promotes the banning of nonmedical circumcision. While this measure is aimed primarily against Muslims, who vastly outnumber Jews [in the country], it introduces a new element into Swedish anti-Semitism

Sweden has also long led Western Europe in anti-Israelism. The country’s best-known postwar prime minister, the Social Democrat Olof Palme, was one of the very few leaders of a democratic country to compare Israel’s acts to those of the Nazis. The current foreign minister, Margot Wallstrom, also a Social Democrat, has asked for an investigation into the killing of terrorists by Israel. She hasn’t made any such request from other democratic countries where terrorists have been killed after attacks. . . .

Sweden urgently needs to appoint a national anti-Semitism commissioner. Such a person might point out the anti-Semitic threats coming regularly from neo-Nazis and Muslims, the flaws of the police and justice system, and other failures of the authorities to deal with anti-Semitism. But Stockholm is highly unlikely to appoint such a person, [since it] would not welcome the revelations that would result.

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More about: Anti-Semitism, European Islam, European Jewry, Politics & Current Affairs, Sweden

By Arresting Foreigners and Detaining Ships, Iran Reverts to Its Favorite Method of Diplomacy

July 23 2019

On Friday, Iranian naval vessels seized an oil tanker flying the British flag, along with its crew. Taking foreigners hostage has long been a preferred tactic of the Islamic Republic, as Bobby Ghosh writes:

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More about: Emmanuel Macron, France, Iran, United Kingdom