I have many friends in Sweden. When I first saw rampant Jew hate in the press about Sweden I wrote to my friends asking how they could let such behavior pass without objection. I just wanted something done by decent people. Most said they abhored what they saw in the mainstream press.
According to Dr. Mikael Tossaveinen, head of the Scandinavian desk at Tel Aviv University’s Stephen Roth Institute for the research of anti-Semitism, the phenomenon is not unusually prevalent in Swedish society.
Research shows that some 5 percent of the population can be considered anti-Semitic, with another 20 percent harboring ambivalent attitudes.
“Most Swedes know next to nothing about anti-Semitism, and so it doesn’t surprise me that they don’t see the connection between the imagery and Nazi propaganda,” Tossaveinen said. “This becomes extra problematic when they come across anti-Israeli propaganda made in bad faith by people who are anti-Semites.”
He added that Swedes “don’t understand the racist message” and thus will spread the anti-Semitic art because they dislike Israel.
“Then they will be surprised when someone calls attention to the anti-Semitism and interpret that as silencing their criticism of Israel,” Tossaveinen said. “It’s quite tiresome and it happens remarkably often in Sweden.”