Swedish leading Social democrats in rally with Hizbollah flags hat tip KGS, Tundra
Mona Sahlin, leader of the Social Democratic Party in Sweden, participated today in a rally where Hizbollah flags waved in the air and an Israeli flag was set to flames. Other participants in the demonstration were Jan Eliasson, former social democratic Minister of Foreign Affairs and former President of the United Nations General Assembly, and Wanja Lundby Wedin, chair of the Swedish Trade Union Confederation.
The rally was organized by the Gaza Solidarity Network, in which members of the extreme left work together with Muslim immigrant organisations. The demo started at Sergels Torg, in downtown Stockholm, and then paraded to the Israeli embassy where the flag-burning took place.
The demonstration that took place in Stockholm last week was only a small part of the anti-Israel sentiments, Sweden has felt for over a decade. According to the organisers of the demonstration, they had done "everything they could have done to prevent extremists from participating". It is not true. The main organisers were, as is read in the article, parties from the extreme left, which are boycotting Israel and often state anti-Semitic slogans. Hizballah and Hamas also participated, but only as supporters, not as organisers.
It is troublesome that the leading figures were there. But it can also be seen as a way to get Muslim votes. Mona Sahlin is losing rapidly in the polls and is seen as a weak leader. The Social Democrats are using these sentiments as a card in the political debate. Since Sweden is very anti-Israel, it works, but only in the short term and clearly leads to the radicalization of the party as a whole. The left party has made the Gaza issue their main issue and refuses to talk about anything else.
The government has been condemning Israel, but not as strong as is usual in Sweden. It has the opinion that the international body should handle this and put pressure on both sides.
Another news is that tomorrow, on the Day of Memorial for the Holocaust, a Swedish church chose not to hold a mass for the victims of the Holocaust, since "Israel committed war crimes and genocide in Gaza". There were hardly any protests at all. In the same city as the church is located, demonstrators called for "death to the Jews" with local politicians walking along with them.
During the Gaza offensive, the synagogue in Helsingborg, Sweden was firebombed twice. The Police refused to put it under guard, lacking resources and not seeing the threat as imminent. The Jewish community had to pay for protection, costing over 500 NIS an hour to a security company. No perpetrators have beeen caught to this day, although witnesses have seen young men running from the area at the moment of the attack. The men participated in a local demonstration against Israel previously the same day.
I would personally say, that Sweden today is one of the most anti-Semitic countries in Europe. You can get fired from your job if you are expressing pro-Israel opinions as well as being harassed or even beaten up in public. Wearing a kipa in the streets is wishing to die. The police tell Jewish people to hide their Star of Davids and the Jewish communities spend a lot of money on security.
We have a growing neo-Nazi movement and a Muslim population seeing the Hizballah and Hamas as heroes. The media have for several years written anti-Israel articles and published fake stories as correct ones, most notably the al-Dura fraud. Sweden is the largest donor of funds to the Palestinians and there is a complete lack of scrutiny to where these funds are going. In 2003 a study was made about this, reaching the conclusion that hundreds of millions of dollars had gone either to projects finished earlier, or to "other" recipients. Neither the government nor private investigators have scrutinized the projects even after these findings. The neo-Nazis are now regularly calling for the support of Hamas and are often seen waving Palestinian flags. Their enemy's enemy is, in their case, their friend and few people care.
*The writer is a co-worker at Take-A-Pen and has a Master's in Political Science. He has lived in Sweden for over 20 years.