Op-Ed: Why Does Scandinavia Hate Jews?
Giulio MeottiThe writer, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio, writes a twice-weekly column for Arutz Sheva. He is the author of the book "A New Shoah", that researched the personal stories of Israel's terror victims, published by Encounter. His writing has appeared in publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, Frontpage and Commentary. He is at work on a book about the Vatican and Israel.
During the Second World War, the German universities banned many famous Jewish intellectuals such as T.W. Adorno and Albert Einstein. Now, three universities in Norway turned down the Jewish lawyer and author Alan Dershowitz, who had offered free lectures on Israel and international law.
Jews in Norway are just 0.003 percent of the total population, but Oslo is a bulwark of global anti-Semitism and Israel- slandering. What is the root of the Nordic hatred? Norway is the paradise of political correctness, multiculturalism and anti-war feelings. It's the country that, according to the Global Peace Index, for years has topped the list of the most “peaceful” places in the world. Oslo is, after all, the capital of the "Israeli-Palestinian Peace Accord".
But last year, the Norwegian government divested from two Israeli economic giants who work in Judea and Samaria. Norway’s sovereign wealth fund (that administers the oil profits) divested from the Israeli company Elbit, because it has worked on the Israeli fence that blocked the suicide bombers.
The author of the global literary phenomenon “Sophie’s World”, the national hero Jostein Gaarder, wished for the disappearance of Israel.
For years, anti-Semitic cartoons featured in the largest Norwegian newspapers. In the daily Dagbladet, the former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert appeared as the leader of a Nazi death camp.
Socialist leader Kristin Halvorsen is leading the campaigns to boycott Israel.
The state owned TV NRK has announced that it will screen the movie “Tears over Gaza”. The film’s director, Vibeke Løkkeberg, said in an interview, “I cannot see any difference between the Israeli warfare in Gaza and the massacres Qaddafi is conducting against Libyan insurgents”.
The hatred against Israel is spreading also in Sweden, another Scandinavian utopia, the ultra-secularized, ultra-liberal and anti-nationalistic beacon (the Danes are detested there as “chauvinists”), proud of its “lack of prejudice”.
Sweden handled its Soviet neighbour with kid gloves, despite the lack of civil rights there. This is the country that the Guardian described as “the greatest success the world has known”. Anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are the dark side of the “folkhemmet”, which in Swedish means “the house of all the people”. It’s the multicultural ideology on which Stockholm has built its model of integration.
Sweden is a country that liked to call herself a “moral superpower” and where the welfare state pays for equipment for women who decide to change gender.
Sweden not only ranked among the world’s handful of richest countries, but also provided the world’s most lavish welfare state. It married solidarity to prosperity. But in the suburbs of the largest cities there are now “intifada against the police”.
Malmö, Sweden’s third largest city, the capital of the prosperous province of Scania, has 270.000 inhabitants. But the city has a population that is almost 40 percent foreign and the Jews are leaving the city.
The Israeli national team of Taekwondo was forced to cancel its trip to Sweden due to “security reasons”.
If the burgeoning of anti-Semitism in Norway has a long tradition, in the twentieth century Sweden was one of the most welcoming lands to Jews. Many Jews took refuge in Sweden fleeing the Third Reich and almost all the Danish Jews found a safe haven in Sweden.
Now the slandering of the Jews and Israel is part of the national consensus. The Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet has even suggested that Israeli soldiers are transplanting organs from dead Palestinians.
In the Swedish streets we hear again “Jävla jude”, whch means “damn Jew”. Meanwhile, the most famous Swedish writer, Henning Mankell, who spends much of his time working to fight AIDS and illiteracy in Mozambique, sailed to Gaza aboard the ship of Turkish terrorists.
Have a look at Europe, many Europeans say: we have eradicated wars, dangerous nationalism and religion. We created a peaceful European Union. We do not wage war; we negotiate. We are the moral continent. We all want to make the world a better place. But anti-Semitism is spreading all over Europe again as a virus does.
Call it the “Scandinavization” of Europe. The old liberal utopia lies in a tragic, horrendous coma.