How do we remember the Holocaust in Sweden?
On January 27, the Swedes remembered the Holocaust and you have to wonder how much of the Holocaust we really remember and what we learned from it. The Holocaust is often linked to Germany and the Second World War. However, we talk less about the ideas that lay behind the Holocaust. The European anti-Semitism and all its myths about Jews were the ideas that managed to dehumanize the Jews and allow an imaginable event as the Holocaust to happen. We have completely forgotten this in Sweden.
The greater part of anti-Semitism in the Arab world today, and especially the Palestinian territories, is in no way linked to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the events that shaped the Middle East after World War II. The anti-Semitism in the Middle East today is pure plagiarism of the classic European anti-Semitism. If we really remembered the Holocaust we would understand this.
An anti-Semitic myth that has been reproduced in the Palestinian territories and among pro-Palestinian Europeans is that the Jews are to blame for Jesus' death. After being a Jew as long as people can remember, Jesus has suddenly become a "Palestinian”. Mahmoud Abbas said in his Christmas speech that Jesus was a "Palestinian messenger" while the representatives of the Church of Sweden criticize people who call Jesus a Jew, and remind them that Jesus was a "Palestinian Jew". That Jesus suddenly becomes a symbol of the Palestinians is a historical falsification that is related to the anti-Semitic myth that Jews killed Jesus.
Another European anti-Semitic myth that has been reproduced in the Arab world and among pro-Palestinian circles is that Jews use blood when they bake the Passover bread. The first time such a myth was spread was in England in 1144 Anno Domini. When Israel's former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon died the spokesman of the mosque in the Swedish city of Örebro wrote in social media that Sharon used the Palestinian children's blood to make black pudding. A modern version of this anti-Semitic myth was spread in Swedens biggest newspaper, Aftonbladet, where the “journalist” Donald Boström tried to convince people that the Israeli soldiers were murdering "young Palestinian men" in order to steal their organs.
Another one of the classics of European anti-Semitism, "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion", which is a product of the Okhrana, Czar Nicholas II's secret police, was used in Palestinian school books until international protests forced the Palestinian Authority to remove this content. But still, one can read about the "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" in the Hamas charter, while the book is referenced and quoted by Palestinian academics.
Criticism of the fact that old European anti-Semitic myths are reused by different Palestinian organizations and Swedish pro-Palestinian organizations, are almost nonexistent. Many people in Sweden have forgotten the Holocaust when they refuse to criticize these anti-Semitic myths when they are used by Palestinians and European pro-Palestinian organizations. When people in Sweden remain passive in the face of this anti-Semitism, they accept the same anti-Semitism that justified centuries of persecution of Jews in Europe, culminating in the Holocaust.
These anti-Semitic thought patterns that seem to have made a journey from Europe to the Middle East, and now through the Swedish Palestinian movement is spreading in some Swedish parties, made people to come to the conclusion that Jews had to be exterminated. If we do not fight this anti-Semitism among Palestinians so will future generations of Palestinians come to the same conclusion. Already we have organizations like Hamas that is using the same terminology as the Nazis did.
When Nazi flags began to fly in cities controlled by the Palestinians or when Hitler became a role model among Palestinian youths, one would have thought that some anti-racism organizations in Sweden would raise their eyebrows. But there is absolutely no criticism of anti-Semitism in the Arab world and the Palestinian territories from the anti-racism organizations or from the Left in Sweden.
Now one should not assume that people in the Arab world are limiting themselves to the classical anti-Semitic myths. They are constantly updating the hate against the Jews with the latest anti-Semitic conspiracy theories as well. One of the recent anti-Semitic myths, that Jews were behind the 9/11 attacks in the U.S. was echoed by a Fatah representative in a Lebanese TV-channel. This anti-Semitic myth that originated from the United States is also supported in Sweden by "anti-racist” organizations such as Ibn Rushd and Afroswedish Association, both supported by the Swedish tax-payers money.
This passive behaviour toward serious anti-Semitism among Palestinians and their "friends" in Sweden, is based on the strange idea that there will be peace, if the Palestinians hate Jews as much as possible. But when anti-Semitism is growing so dramatically among Palestinians, there will not be peace.
Making classical European anti-Semitism to a part of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been an active choice, that some Palestinian organizations and politicians made. Cyprus has been occupied by Turkey since 1974 but has not embraced racist caricatures of the Turk, which there are plenty of. Despite the fact that Turkey tries to obliterate the Cypriot identity in the areas they are occupying Cypriot organizations have refused to make use of racist myths about Turks.
The Holocaust was a result of the anti-Semitism in Europe. How this anti-Semitism was manifested is well documented. Now it happens again and we stand and watch passively, again. Just as the Nazis were apologized in Sweden, because of various reasons, during most of the Second World War, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas is also apologized because of various reasons. Let's be honest. Many people in Sweden have forgotten the Holocaust. Otherwise they would not passively watch while Palestinian politicians are preparing the ideology of a new Holocaust with the support of Swedish aid money. Arabic media is spreading the same anti-Semitic myths that caused the Holocaust and a lot of people in Sweden close their eyes and mumble something about Israeli occupation.
History repeats itself. Just as it is unpopular today in Sweden to criticize the Palestinian anti-Semitism, it was unpopular in the 1930s and early 1940s to criticize Nazism. While it is popular today to be a friend of Palestine, it was popular to be a friend of Germany, in Sweden, when Hitler was in power. During World War II the Swedish government confiscated newspapers that criticized the Nazis. Today people are attacked in the street if they show solidarity with the Israeli democracy, while there are examples of leaders for the Palestinian movement in Sweden, quoting Hitler.
What is it the Swedes really remember about the Holocaust? What have they learned? On January 27, people say that they remember the Holocaust, while the ideas behind the Holocaust become stronger and stronger in Sweden and much of the Muslim world. Holocaust Remembrance Day is not just about remembering a historical event, but it's about not letting that event happen again. Today we are allowing it to happen again while taxpayer-funded organizations in Sweden are spreading the ideas of a future Holocaust.
Nima Gholam Ali Pour
Representative Perspektiv på Israel(PPI)
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