Sweden and Israel – Opinion

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On Sunday, November 5, I was honored to address the think tank Perspective on Israel outside the Swedish Parliament in Stockholm.

Sweden is the country that gave the world Johan August Strindberg, Alfred Nobel, beloved children’s author Astrid Lindgren, IKEA, Volvo and much, much more.

But Sweden is a whole lot more besides.

For instance, Sweden is probably the only Western, nominally democratic country that is currently engaged in multiple wars, all financed by an extremist government that freely uses Swedish tax revenues to further its political agenda at home and abroad.

The Swedish government’s first war is against Israel. The day after it took office in 2014, the government announced its recognition of something called “Palestine,” with absolutely no strings attached.

No demands for a stop to the Palestinian Authority’s antisemitism, genocidal violence against Jews, indoctrination of vulnerable young Arab children, and abuse of sporting, educational and cultural contexts to vilify the Jewish State of Israel.

Sweden could have stopped all this by conditioning its financial and diplomatic aid on an end to such activities. Instead, the Swedish government actively chose not to impose any such conditions on the use of Swedish tax revenues.

The Swedish government’s second war is against all measures that have any chance of bringing about coexistence or peace for Israel. Sweden actively supports efforts to encourage Palestinian Arab intransigence, including massive funding of educational and cultural activities that condemn new generations of Arab children to an upbringing steeped in hatred and racism.

The Freedom Theatre is just one way in which Sweden ensures that future generations of Arab children remain firmly stuck in the moral morass of antisemitism, hatred, violence and rejection of peaceful coexistence.

The Swedish government’s third war is against its own Jewish citizens and their indelible links to their families in Israel.

This can be seen perhaps most clearly in the actions of former Swedish housing minister Mehmet Kaplan, who announced his first policy decision back in autumn 2014 as – I quote – the “liberation of Jerusalem.” The Jewish city of Jerusalem – all of Jerusalem, was to be liberated from Jews, by Muslims. As the official foreign policy of the Swedish government. On its first day in power.

What can we do about all this? Answer: we can build up enough steam in the court of public opinion to bring down the Swedish government by taking it to court. The European Court of Human Rights.

On account of its repeated efforts to sabotage peace, condemn future generations of Muslims and Jews to continued violence, and divert tax revenues in order to pursue these policies.

It is a moral imperative that Sweden’s war against Israel – fought with Swedish tax revenues, in diplomatic missions, on theater stages, in public schools – be stopped. Because that war is inextricably linked with its other two wars – against peace and against its own citizens.

Probably the best way of getting this legal process off the ground is by prefacing it with a public hearing into Foreign Minister Margot Wallström and her single- minded obsession with vilifying Israel.

Islamist-inspired antisemitism in Sweden is spiraling out of control, including public calls in some mosques to – I quote – “kill the Jews wherever they are found.”

This kind of rabid antisemitism from a sizable Islamist minority has been routinely ignored as just “the jargon of that culture,” while identical antisemitic sentiments uttered by a tiny, idiotic neo-Nazi minority have attracted loud government condemnation. The discrepancy in responses is remarkable. Yet despite Sweden’s ongoing domestic social implosion, the only consistent government policy does not even relate to domestic issues but to a foreign one – namely criticism of Israel.

The motor behind this support for Islamist antisemitism both domestically in Sweden and overseas against Israel is Foreign Minister Wallström. She drives the Swedish government obsession with demonizing the State of Israel – because it is a state for Jews. She was instrumental in recognizing a Palestinian “state” without demanding any concessions on the part of this new-found state – such as a stop to indoctrination, violence and antisemitism.

And she has been instrumental in driving a consistently anti-Israel agenda in various UN and other international forums, including side-lining Jewish history in documented historical and religious sites such as Hebron and Jerusalem, instead recognizing these as exclusively “Palestinian” heritage sites.

Sweden’s active support for anti-Israel activity is not merely limited to the diplomatic arena. For instance, in 2016 alone Sweden gave more than $60 million to UNRWA. UNRWA schools have been used as staging grounds for Hamas attack tunnels into Israeli territory. As recently as Monday 30, October 2017, one such tunnel was blown up, inside Israel, by the IDF. Yet Sweden continues to increase its funding to UNRWA.

Wallström has gone on record as blaming the Islamist Paris terrorist attacks on – I quote again – “Palestinian despair.”

Nobody else in the world made such a ridiculous claim – not even the Palestinian terrorist organizations themselves. In a rare 2016 debate in parliament the Swedish government claimed that discussing Sweden’s contribution to PA racism and violence only served to – I quote again – “pour oil on the fire, further polarizing the issue.” In other words, concealing Sweden’s funding of PA terrorism is desirable government policy, because openly discussing Swedish government funding of terrorism would promote the terrorism that Sweden… is funding. This is logic-defying absurdity.

Wallström routinely refers to Israeli police responses to armed terrorist attacks as – quote – “extrajudicial killings.” However, she never refers to British, French or Belgian police responses to armed terrorist attacks as extrajudicial killings. This antagonistic wording is reserved for the Jewish state’s measures to protect itself.

Negatively singling out Jews in this way is more commonly defined by the term “antisemitism” – in fact it’s part of the official UN definition of antisemitism.

Sweden provides direct aid to the PA to the tune of $100m. annually, in addition to several hundred million dollars through a variety of other channels such as the SIDA overseas aid agency, various UN bodies and so on. The PA’s annual salary and lifetime pension budget for convicted terrorists and mass murderers is $350m. One such mass-murderer is Sbarro pizzeria bomber Ahlam Tamimi. She aided the bomber in his mission, which killed 15 civilians, including eight children.

Tamimi has expressed disappointment that her mission did not kill more children – and after her release from Israeli prison she was rewarded with her own show on state-run PA TV. Sweden funds the PA.

All this speaks of an unnatural obsession against the Jewish state. A public hearing in Stockholm to put Wallström in the dock would be a useful start to what must come after – removal of the extremist Swedish government from power by legal means.

For the sake of taxpaying Swedes, for the sake of current and future generations of Palestinian Arab children who deserve to be lifted out of the hatred that Swedish tax revenues finance, and for the sake of current and future generations of Israelis who pay the price in blood for the hatred, racism and violence that the Swedish government funds on a massive scale.

This is not a call for murmurs of assent, it is a call for action. There are lives at stake here. Lives that can be saved if Wallström and her extremist Swedish government can be forced to publicly account for their dealings. Not least their massive abuse of public funds to promote anti-Israel terrorism.

The author is former vice-chair of the Sweden-Israel Friendship Association, has written three political thrillers about Sweden and Israel, and blogs at JPost.com on issues relating to the two countries, in particular Sweden’s discriminatory treatment of Israel.




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