Sweden’s Foreign Minister, Carl Bildt, is visiting Israel this week. Bildt is also planning to spend a night in Nablus (Sh’chem) in the Palestinian Authority. As readers may recall, Nablus has been a major base for Hamas-linked terrorists who carried out attacks against Israelis, including lethal shooting attacks. As Bildt has supported Hamas positions in the past, this is wholly consistent for him.
This official visit was pushed off for nearly a year and a half, as Bildt was originally scheduled to visit in September of 2009. This visit was cancelled due to what Sweden termed a “timing” problem. As Haaretz reported, “a source at the Foreign Ministry said that the real reason was concern in Stockholm that the Swedish minister would receive an icy welcome in Jerusalem.”
The reason for Bildt’s anticipated poor reception was the publication of the notorious “blood libel” article which ran in Sweden’s major tabloid Aftonbladet in August 2009. As Haaretz reported, Aftonbladet’s “journalist” claimed that “IDF troops shot and killed Palestinians and then harvested their organs” in order to sell the organs for transplant. The entire article was an anti-Semitic, anti-Israel smear which also fictitiously claimed that organs from corpses were suitable for transplant.
But for Bildt and the Swedish government, the available fig leaf used was “freedom of the press”. This is the same fig leaf which has been claimed in repressive Arab regimes to defend blatantly anti-Semitic press and television. This comparison works since Sweden, also has a state-sponsored press, which, as we have shown in a number of posts, censors and edits reporting to fit the perceptions of the political and media elites.
At time of the incident the Swedish government was justly criticized in Israel for its hypocrisy. Failing to show up and hear the criticism was a cowardly tactic on the part of the Swedish Foreign Ministry. Now that Bildt is finally here, it’s time for Sweden to be taken to task, and instead of one item fading into memory, that list has grown.
Since the publication of Aftonbladet’s blood libel Sweden has:
1. Failed to address the threat of anti-Semitic hate crime in Sweden, especially in Malmö
2. Continued to fund terror-supporting NGOs
3. Allowed Bildt to attend the inauguration of Iranian dictator Ahmedinajad, who put a bloody end to charges of fraudulent voting
4. Accepted that Bildt worked against sanctions targeting Iran’s nuclear program
5. Failed to chastise Bildt for greeting the “Ship to Gaza Flotilla” participants with a heroes’ welcome after they cruised with jihadists trying to help Hamas get a gun-running port; despite a “humanitarian” label the Flotilla delivered virtually no aid for Gazans.
Mr. Netanyahu, it is up to you to tell Mr. Bildt that Swedish hypocrisy—claiming to promote peace while aiding extremists—is intolerable. Bildt chooses to sleep safely in a nest of terrorists while Hamas continues to fire rockets and missiles at Israelis in southern Israel. Maybe Bildt should spend a night in Sderot or Beersheba instead of Nablus.
The bottom line: it’s time for Bildt and Sweden to face reality.
By Chanah Shapira
Image credit: Tundra Tabloids