Monday, January 31, 2011

Carl Bildt’s Barking Hypocrisy

An exemplar of the same “do as I say, not as I do” principle is Sweden’s foreign minister, Carl Bildt (Moderate Party).  We have already shown that Bildt criticizes Israel for humanitarian abuses—such as building homes for Jews in the nation’s capital. Yet Bildt is closely linked to Swedish oil company Lundin. Lundin’s operations in Sudan were greatly aided by the local government’s massacre of inconvenient rebel forces operating near drill sites. 
As readers may recall, Sweden is the host country for the WikiLeaks database, and also plays host to pirate websites for the downloading of copyrighted materials.  Sweden does this in the name of freedom of the press and information. Hypocritically, Sweden’s monolithic TT wire service routinely edits out facts that contradict left-wing positions as we wrote here.
In keeping with the general spirit of hypocrisy, Sweden had no problem hosting Wikileaks’ servers—but Bildt refuses to respond about how he and fellow moderate Tobias Billström were characterized in Wikileaks material. In the Wikileaks cables of April 2009 Bildt was summed up by American diplomatic personnel as, “Carl Bildt: Medium Size Dog with Big Dog Attitude”.
The dispatch explains the big-for britches attitude further:
-“He is widely respected in Sweden as an elder statesman…But he…has limited political skills (often seen as a haughty member of the nobility, not the image which Reinfeldt and the new Moderates seek to project).”
On the Iranian front, Bildt is the only EU foreign minister to oppose sanctions against Iran. While the leftist media position is that sanctions have a detrimental effect on Iranian citizens, (i.e. human rights issues) the cables give the assessment that:
-“For economic reasons, Sweden is generally skeptical about the effectiveness of sanctions and in particular with Iran, where Ericsson and Volvo Trucks, among other Swedish companies, have significant exports [italics mine].”
Of course in public, Bildt offers cryptic meaninglessness, as in this statement he gave to an al-Arabia journalist regarding Swedish negotiating policy vis-à-vis Iran:
-“I think that what has been demonstrated, if we didn’t know it before, is that the supreme authority in Iran is the supreme leader, to which extent that has implications for the way in which we conduct talks remains to be seen. But that is an obvious fact.”
To which the reasonable response would be…Whatever.
Bildt also expressed his opinions on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process:
 -“He has focused his public remarks on humanitarian issues, urging that the Gaza border crossings be opened immediately. POL Director Lyrvall [Bildt’s flunky, Björn Lyrvall, Director-General for Political Affairs] recently stressed to us that the international community cannot ignore Hamas; ‘Fatah-only elections would mean the end of the Palestinian state.’"
Followers of this blog know that border crossings are controlled by Israel for one reason and one reason only: the prevention of arms smuggling. Nonetheless, Gaza manages to receive arms and other goods via tunnels under its other closed border with Egypt.  This is in addition to the tons of aid trucked in regularly by Israel. There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza, except for the crisis of living under Hamas totalitarianism.
As far as the elections statement goes, it would be more accurate to say “Hamas-inclusive elections will mean the end of a Fatah state”, including Hamas’ execution of over one hundred Fatah members. Guess that does make Hamas hard to ignore—for the Gaza public. Sweden seems to overlook these “details”.
The final icing on the hypocrisy cake is that while crying humanitarian abuse against Israel, as far back as 2007, Bildt and Billström were (and still are) trying to limit actual humanitarian refugees from reaching or staying in Sweden. This was proved in the recent deportation of Iraqi Christians back to terror conditions for Christians in Iraq.  
Mr. Bildt may have a superior opinion of himself, but it’s certainly not deserved.
By Chanah Shapira

Friday, January 28, 2011

Wiesenthal Center to Visit Malmö?

On December 14th of last year, the Simon Wiesenthal Center issued a travel warning for Jews visiting Sweden due to the “harassment of Jewish citizens in the southern city of Malmö”. Now it appears that representatives of the Wiesenthal Center will pay a visit to the city—which has the justly-deserved reputation as the anti-Semitism capital of Europe. This is largely due to the provocative statements and failed policies of Malmö’s mayor, Ilmar Reepalu (Social Democrat).
A recent online issue of Sydsvenskan featured an article with the headline “Reepalu gets Wiesenthal visit” which discussed the possibility that representatives from the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem might pay a visit to Malmö.
As a response to the travel warning, Mayor Reepalu wrote a letter to the Wiesenthal Center stating that the city in fact is dealing with the problem, and cited the initiation of a dialogue forum as the solution to the ongoing hate crime directed against Malmö’s Jewish citizens. So far, the forum has produced no results. The letter also contained an invitation to Malmö for ”further discussions” which preferably would be held on the 22nd-23rd of December or the 3rd of January.
Adam Cooper from the Wiesenthal Center has commented to local radio in Malmö that the invitation was of too short notice but that a visit might be relevant in the near future. He also noted that Reepalu has been a part of the problem, but Cooper sees is as a positive sign if Reepalu will be willing to be part of the solution.
According to the Malmö communities’ chief of staff, Julia Janiec, a meeting is currently being scheduled.
We can only hope that Reepalu will drop his anti-Israel, anti-Zionist rhetoric in order to find real solutions to the local problem of anti-Semitic hate crime in Malmö.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day commemorating the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest of the Nazi death and concentration camps, on January 27th, 1945.
Sweden received Jewish refugees both during and after the Holocaust and many of the children and grandchildren of these survivors live and prosper in the country today. Ceremonies are to be held all over Sweden with an official ceremony taking place in Raoul Wallenberg Park in Stockholm.
While the 27th of January is marked to honor the memory of victims of the atrocities perpetrated during WWII, Henrik Bachner reminds the Swedish public that anti-Semitism still flourishes in Sweden today.  
Bachner describes a number of worrying trends current in anti-Semitism denial.  There is firstly a tendency to believe that since WWII ended, there is no more anti-Semitism; this denial has become louder as actual anti-Semitic incidents continue to increase worldwide, including, of course, in Sweden.  In addition, there is a parallel theory that Islamophobia has replaced anti-Semitism as “the new hatred”. Bachner notes that protests against Islamophobia tend to obscure widespread prejudice, not only against Jews, but against other groups as well. Ignored prejudices include racism against blacks of all religious groups, and hatred of the Roma (Gypsy) population, whose members were also murdered by the Nazi regime.
However, as we have seen in posts on this blog, the main targets of hate crime in Sweden are Jews. Bachner quotes worldwide statistics for hate crimes and anti-Semitic attitudes that show that indeed, Jews are many more times likely to be victims of hate crime than Muslims. At the same time there is a regrettably wide perception that Jews exploit Holocaust memory—presumably for undeserved sympathy.  These attitudes only foster increased anti-Semitism, and allow it to grow unchecked.
Please take a moment today to honor the memory of Holocaust victims, both Jews and non-Jews. We remember also the brave non-Jews, such as Raoul Wallenberg, who fought against the Nazi evil by saving Jewish lives, often risking their own lives to do so.
While we remember the horrendous scale of the Holocaust, we strive to remember those murdered not as numbers of people, but as individuals, families and communities of vibrant Jewish life. The loss of Jewish life diminished all of us in the Jewish world, and was a loss of humanity for the whole world.  
Pictured: Raoul Wallenberg, Swedish diplomat and hero who rescued of thousands of Hungarian Jews during the Holocaust
By Sara and Chanah Shapira

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

“Peace Activist” Per Gahrton Stokes Hatred—with Swedish Government Funding

There are times when this writer wonders where all the irrational Israel-hatred in Swedish society comes from. Then, one of the members of Sweden's extreme left publishes an op-ed at the debate site Newsmill, and suddenly, one remembers.

Long ago, Per Gahrton took part in the founding of the Swedish Green Party. He is also a founding member of the Palestine Solidarity Association – a pretty name, and one which carries certain implications. For example, one might expect that an organization named the Palestine Solidarity Association would be mainly about solidarity with the Palestinian peoplesomething they are in great need of, what with the ever-escalating crackdowns by the Hamas on the individual and collective freedom of the people of Gaza. This, however, is not the case. Rather, they spend the substantial funds they receive from the Swedish government on anti-Israeli hate-mongering and calls for boycotts.

Gahrton himself is by no means an exception. When Al-Jazeera released questionable documents claiming that the Palestinians had agreed to large concessions in exchange for peace, he immediately decided to ignore the statement by Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat refuting the documents’ authenticity. Gahrton also ignored PA leader Mahmoud Abbas’ logical explanation that the purported documents show a clear reversal of the two sides’ positions—as the Israelis are the ones who offered the concessions listed—and the Palestinians rejected these proposals. If the PA actually had offered the concessions alleged in the PaliLeaks papers, the Israelis would have accepted, as these were the Israeli terms. Yet Gahrton claims that the Palestinians tried desperately for peace, but were thwarted by Israel.

Instead of offering “solidarity”, Gahrton wrote a Newsmill op-ed which began with the usual false accusations of Israeli apartheid and comparisons with South Africa, and ended with a prophecy of Israeli mass murder of Palestinians. So Gahrton managed to tell some of the popular horror-story fictions that circulate among anti-Israel activists and terrorists, while ignoring human rights abuses committed by Palestinians against Palestinians.

 In between allegations, Gahrton called for a boycott of Israeli goods and told a heavily fictionalized version of Israel's modern history. He also complained that the rest of the world does nothing in response to Israeli crimes, while screaming blue murder if, at any time, a Palestinian uses his (violent) “right to resist the occupation. The last of these statements, in translation, means that we of the Western world should look on in silence the next time a representative of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad attacks Israelis, and then condemn the Israeli response. Inexcusably, this is often the case in the leftwing-dominated media.

There is much this writer can accept in the interest of the debate, but defending the unprovoked, wilful killing of civilians as a "right to resist" is crossing a moral event horizon; it is the same as renouncing one's claim on being human. This is a line Gahrton and his fellow fanatical crusaders of the Swedish far left crossed long ago. Unfortunately, the Palestine Solidarity Organization still receives massive amounts of taxpayers money to carry out their campaigns. Let us therefore hope that the Swedish government soon wakes up, and finally sees Gahrton, for what he is: a pathetic, bitter little man, whose only driving force is hatred.

Note: Gahrton's op-ed (written in Swedish) can be found here.

By Adam Eberhag

Monday, January 24, 2011

Swedish Fantasies Exclude Immigrants

The Local is currently running a section with articles from the Sweden Institute (SI), promoting life in Sweden. What is the SI? Their website explains that the SI is a “strategic communication” organization, which promotes Sweden. SI has a government-provided budget of approximately SEK 225 million (about $33.9 million); its board is appointed by the government and “comprises the Director-General and representatives of various public sectors.”  This is the Swedish government’s promo (or propaganda) organization.
So, as a non-Swede looking in from the outside, I took a look at the official government depiction of life in Sweden to get an idea of what life is “really” like in Sweden.

In the article  entitled “Swedish society — democracy, equality and tolerance”, the authors describe “average family life” in Sweden, where its citizens have “one of the highest standards of living in the world” and Sweden is “a role model for many other countries.”

Here we are introduced to the "Swedish Model”—not a blonde girl eating gravlax, but an imaginary “Swedish family, the Johanssons: Anna Maria, 42, Lars Erik, 39, Simon, 15, and Emma, 12.”  The “Johanssons” are “based on statistical averages for Sweden from 2006 as reported by Statistics Sweden as well as other facts.”  In a statistical innovation, Anna has a younger husband because “women live longer”. Wondering where else this would go, as it was based on 5-year-old stats and “other facts”, I read on.

-“The Johanssons live in the small city of Växjö (280 miles, or 450 kilometers, south-west of Stockholm) in a house…They have chosen to live in Växjö mainly because of the city's focus on sustainability and its proximity to nature.”

Växjö, “the greenest city in Europe”, has a very small-town Swedish image, but even in Växjö, the population is now 14% foreign-born.  However, these foreigners appear neither as the Johanssons’ neighbors in the SI article, nor did I find any pictures of them on the Växjö municipal website.
But there’s more to the lush lifestyle of the Johanssons than life in idyllic Växjö:
-“The Johanssons also have a summer house in the country, along with half of the 35 to 44-year-olds. Their silver-colored Volvo takes them to and from the summer house.”

Very nice! Anna has a younger husband, two kids, a summer home, and they also have a Volvo in a tasteful color! Actually, Sara tells me, the Johanssons are to some extent representative of a certain segment of the Swedish population. But, as I mentioned before, the article uses old statistics of 1.9 children per couple instead of the 2010 estimate of 1.67. The article also admits that most 39-year-old Swedish men are not married, and in fact, Sweden has the highest rate of single households in the world.

So with a declining native birth rate, and the predominating single lifestyle, are the Johanssons really a good picture of the demographic average Swede? Admittedly, it is less of a selling point to show Muslim immigrants in Rosengård or Rinkeby.  But perhaps it would be more truthful to show how the majority of the Swedish population lives—not in small-town Växjö, apparently without any immigrants in sight, but in cities like Stockholm, Goteborg, and Malmö.

SI’s marketing of the imaginary “Johansson family” clearly doesn't take into consideration the immigrant ghettos of Stockholm and Malmö, Sweden's largest and third largest city respectively. Here, the “average Johanssons” are refugees and economic migrants from all over the world who crowd together in poor living conditions. Sweden’s Social Democratic immigration policies have failed to integrate these new immigrants and bring them up to the Swedish “Johansson” norms.

As a result, the average native Swede lives with the economic reality of an unassimilated Muslim immigrant population. Taxes paid by average Swedes go not only to pay for generous maternity and paternity leave and other social benefits, but also to support the burgeoning numbers of those largely unemployed poor immigrants. 

Another result of the Swedish government’s poor immigration policies is the ongoing unrest in immigrant communities—which often targets the Jewish citizens of these cities.  

It seems the government’s fantasy marketers at SI are so thrilled with the Johanssons that they just can’t see what’s really happening next door.

By Chanah Shapira

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sweden Deports Christian Refugees Back to Terror in Iraq

The UNHCR is concerned about potential human rights violations as Sweden continues to deport Iraqi Christians back to areas where anti-Christian violence is becoming more and more prevalent. Attacks against Christians include the recent shooting attack  at the Our Lady of Salvation Cathedral in Baghdad on October 31st ,which left at least 58 dead and many more injured. 

These attacks on Christians are not new—bombs planted in six Iraqi churches
left 14 dead in 2004; another wave of anti-Christian violence broke out in 2008. That wave of terror resulted in the flight of more than 2,000 families from their homes in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.
Swedish Migration Minister Tobias Billström (Moderate Party) dismissed the ethical problem of Sweden’s ongoing deportation of Iraqi Christians back into zones where they are potential targets. Sweden’s English-language daily, the Local, ran a story  which was a verbatim copy of an AFP report , but with Billström’s rejection of UNHCR and Amnesty International protests inserted:
-“This is nothing new. These are things that Amnesty has said on several occasions. It’s important to remember that we have a system in Sweden based on the rule of law which involves authorities and courts hearing every individual case.”
Notice that Billström does not refute the substance of the claim, nor does he explain the reason for the deportations. He simply refutes Amnesty's claims by effectively saying "we’ve heard this before"—as if that makes it irrelevant. Claiming that these decisions are made according to the rule of law does not explain sending refugees back to face potential terror attacks. On Swedish Radio (SR) today, references were made to these forced returns as “death flights”. Interviewed Iraqis about to board the plane stated that
- “this is probably our last flight...ever” 
In a related story, the Local also reports that the authorities arrested 70 apparently peaceful demonstrators. Scanning the talkbacks, it’s apparent that many of the Swedish commenters failed to realize that these are Christian refugees; the U.N. quote in the article makes only a vague reference to the persecution against ethnic and religious minorities:
-“In a separate statement Tuesday, the U.N. refugee agency, UNHCR, said it was ‘very concerned’ about reports suggesting Sweden is sending 25 Iraqis back to Baghdad on Wednesday. It said some of them ‘belong to religious and ethnic groups targeted by violence in Iraq.’"
It seems that the case is not being made that Christians are suffering persecution at the hands of Muslim terrorists.  Is this misplaced “political correctness”?
Another Swedish press report notes that Sweden is coming under international criticism for the expulsions. The Council of Europe Chairman, Mevlüt Cavusoglu, has harshly criticized Swedish immigration policy, in line with Amnesty’s repeated concerns:

-"This was not the first time Sweden has forcibly returned refugees to Iraq."
The UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), is stepping gingerly over the issue of Sweden’s likely failure to comply with the 1951 Refugee Convention. The UNHCR spokesperson Melissa Fleming issued a statement that: "these forced expulsions [come] simultaneously with five of our offices [reporting] a significant increase of Iraqi Christians fleeing Baghdad and Mosul."
In an ironic twist, the Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet reported that deportees were told that their petitions for continued asylum were denied because of the “improved security situation in Iraq." Actually, thousands of Iraqi Christians have fled in recent months following the shooting attack in Baghdad. Most of the Iraqis interviewed in Sweden today stated that they will have to flee as soon as they get back to Iraq.
Regarding the recent deportees UNHCR’s Fleming stated:
-“They, and others slated for return, appear to have profiles that would warrant protection under the 1951 Refugee Convention or the European Union’s Qualification Directive. We are troubled that our advice, including on the situation of minorities in Iraq, is not sufficiently taken into account by Sweden when reviewing negative decisions that were made in 2008 and 2009.  We believe that the recent deterioration in the situation of minorities in Iraq has not been adequately taken into account.”
Numerous failed asylum seekers are being returned to the same dangerous cities they fled due to the clear and present dangers they faced—and now will face again. How does this fit in with Sweden’s so-called humanitarian, multi-cultural policy? On the one hand, Sweden has allowed immigrants to enter the country without valid identity papers, and SÅPO has stated that they are monitoring 200 potential or operative terrorists. What would be the reason that these individuals are allowed to remain in Sweden, but Christians under threat are expelled?

Back in November 2010, Time magazine ran a story titled “Why Iraqi Christians Are Running Scared — in Sweden”.  According to the article there is widespread panic among refugees.” An Iraqi living in Sweden tells his story:

-"’There are hundreds of Iraqis here who are not legal who have simply disappeared,’ says an Iraqi engineer in Stockholm, a Catholic, who fled Baghdad in 2004 with his family after Islamic militants ordered them to leave their home, or be killed. ‘The refugees are hiding in churches or basements, working illegal jobs, trying to survive, transferring from place to place.’"
For a long time, what happened in Sweden, stayed in Sweden. Now international agencies and organizations are looking at Sweden’s actions, and the international media is putting Sweden under a magnifying glass. Sweden’s hypocrisy is also characterized by its governmental funding for Palestinian pro-jihadist NGOs, while at the same time claiming to be “humanitarian”. It’s time for Migration Minister Billström to explain why the Swedish government is pursuing clearly “inhumanitarian” policies that aid terrorists and put real refugees back in harm’s way.
By Chanah Shapira

Monday, January 17, 2011

Sweden be aware: Mainstream Egyptian Cleric Justifies World-Wide Offensive Jihad

In an article published today, Barry Rubin  comments on the recent ruling by Egyptian cleric, Dr. Imad Mustafa, of al-Azhar University, which Rubin describes as “the world’s most important Islamic university.” Al-Azhar was the setting for US President Obama’s Cairo address to the Muslim world. The university was selected for its significance in the mainstream Muslim world. President Obama noted in his speech that “For over a thousand years, Al-Azhar has stood as a beacon of Islamic learning.”
Mustafa had previously supported the defensive Islamic doctrine of Muslim obligation to fight attacking infidels—albeit with flexible interpretation of what constitutes an attack. The change in position shifts towards the radical Islamist right, taking a position closer to al Qaeda, as Mustafa accepts the same obligation of offensive jihad as the terror group.
Mustafa states:
-“Two schools [of Islamic jurisprudence] have ruled that offensive jihad is permissible in order to secure Islam’s border, to extend God’s religion to people in cases where the governments do not allow it…and to remove every religion but Islam from the Arabian peninsula.

As Rubin notes,
- “This means that it is permissible to wage jihad against a country if anything ‘necessary’ to Islam according to (hard-line) clerics’ interpretations is blocked (polygamy, child marriage, special privileges at work places, building mosques anywhere, permitting the wearing of head scarves or burkas).”

The result? Rubin explains:
-“In practice, according to this doctrine, then, any non-Muslim can be attacked anywhere…radical groups now have mainstream support for their most extreme, aggressive behavior. ... If this viewpoint continues to spread, along with the growing al-Qaida type doctrine of the Muslim Brotherhood, it could be a historical turning point that will greatly intensify revolutionary Islamist terrorism and attacks on the West.”
Will this be picked up by Western media? Often we have seen that Muslim immigrant violence is described in the press as solely a function of disassociation from the host country generated by failed immigration policies. While better integration policy could have a positive effect, mainstream respected Muslim clerics advocating attacks on the West will certainly escalate the pace of Islamist radicalization among European Muslims.
For a country like Sweden, failure to take account of these external influences would be a dire mistake.  Until the attempted bombing in Stockholm the SÄPO assessment was that Sweden might serve as a base for terrorists, but a left-leaning welfare state which backs terror-supporting NGOs would itself be exempt from attacks. What Swedish authorities have failed to register is that having terrorists in Sweden means terror in Sweden.
The current news means that things will probably get even worse. Rubin predicts that this decision will be a “turning point” for Islamist terror in the West—but don’t expect that the mainstream media will report this story.

By: Chanah Shapira

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Henning Mankell & the Fiction of “Understandable” Terror

Today’s item is a bit stale—it cropped up over the holiday season, following the suicide bombing in Stockholm. But even when it was new, it was rotten. Sweden’s renowned mystery author and cruising protest tourist, Henning Mankell, penned an op-ed for the UK’s Guardian newspaper in which paragraph after paragraph simply reeks of anti-Western loathing and misplaced sympathy for would-be and actual murderers.
Here’s an example of Henning’s moldy but purple prose, as with all of his usual hysteria, he compares the Stockholm bomber to the September 11th attack:
-“This is the first suicide bomber in Scandinavia and I am surprised that so many are – surprised. It reminds me of when the passenger jets crashed into the towers in New York. I never understood the surprise that followed. Wasn't this exactly what we had expected?”
Wow! Westerners were just begging to have 3,000 people murdered! We deserved it!
And why? Henning explains it was:
-“A situation where the extreme, the desperate and the furious attacked the western world that for so long had humiliated Muslim countries. An attack that would be understandable but nevertheless wrong and worthy of condemnation.”
Oh the humiliation! Yes, when OPEC decides to cut the supply or ratchet up the price of oil so that Westerners have to line up to put gas in their cars, or can barely afford the commute to work, and the rising price of consumer goods, that’s humiliating for the oil states. That’s why Saudis were the ones piloting those airplanes right at the people in the Twin Towers.
Yes, when Osama bin Laden, the offspring of one of Saudi Arabia’s wealthiest families, got good and humiliated from knowing his country was able to hold the industrialized world hostage by adjusting the oil supply, he understandably had to take his anger out on the Americans.  And, according to Henning, this was “wrong”. Not heinous, murderous, or even an atrocity, simply “wrong”.
Of course, anti-Islamic feeling following 9/11 was “more a question of covering up the fact that those in charge of security had not made the correct assessment of different threats.” In other words, “Islamophobia” is a convenience dreamed up by the West to rationalize security failures. This is pure invention, but recognizable as a literary device—the hysteron proteron, “in which the natural or rational order of its terms is reversed.”
And how do the Swedes fit into this? Well, apparently Sweden is stuck with collective guilt, as the result of an individual exercising free speech, as Henning explains:
-“Many Swedish people do not fully realise what this extremism can lead to. There have been warnings. The Swedish artist Lars Vilks, for example, has ridiculed Islam and the Prophet in some of his work.”
Here it is unclear which extremism is being discussed, the Islamist terror, or Wilks’ irreverent cartoons.  
According to Henning, while Westerners have been guilty abusers, Sweden’s Muslims have admirably “condemned” or “reacted strongly” to the attempted mass bombing in Stockholm. If only they would make a little more effort and mount large government-supported street protests, everything would be okay.
It just shows that all Henning knows how to write is fiction.
What Henning and his ilk refuse to see is that the Islamist world isn’t just angry about Lars Wilks’ cartoons, or the NATO incursion into Afghanistan. Being nicer won’t make a difference and neither will street protests. The Islamists have a mission to overcome the infidel, and jihad is the way.  And for immigrants who don’t work and may not even speak Swedish, jihad could be the hottest occupation out there.
But since Henning is such a drama queen, and he feels that his own protest career is so significant, for him protest is the way to solve the problem of terror in Sweden.  Despite Henning’s egoistic and fiction-based suggestions, hard problems demands real solutions.
Stick to mysteries, Henning.
 By: Chanah Shapira

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Queen Silvia of Sweden—Opponent of Democratic Freedoms?

On November 28, 2010, the Swedish program “Kalla Fakta” (Cold Facts) on TV4 broadcasted a documentary about the Swedish Queen’s late father, Walter Sommerlath (1901-1990), and his Nazi past. The factual program raised some inconvenient truths—which the queen is now trying to suppress.
Queen Silvia’s father was a German national, who worked in the steel industry in Brazil in the 1920’s. There were many German expatriates in Brazil, and Sommerlath and his brother affiliated themselves with the German Nazi party in 1934. The Sommerlaths joined the National Socialists’ foreign division (NSDAP/AS) in Brazil. In 1938 Sommerlath returned to Germany where he was able, with the help of the National Social Democrats (Nazis), to expropriate a metal factory in Berlin from its rightful Jewish owner, Efim Wechsler. The factory was soon turned into an integral part of the war industry, producing tank parts and anti-aircraft guns for the German army.
Therefore, Queen Silvia’s father was, in fact, an active Nazi sympathizer who made his fortune by acquiring a factory owned by a Jew, Efim Wechsler. Wechsler, having had his property taken away from him by extortion, and left penniless by further Nazis taxes, was then destitute and forced to flee Germany.  
Perhaps this was new information for Queen Silvia, who has commented previously that “her father’s involvement in Nazism was neither politically active or as a soldier”.  In fact she claimedthat her father’s factory produced toy trains and hair dryers and civil defense items .
Yet, according to Swedish author Åsa Lindborg, the documentary has raised little attention in Sweden. It seems to be a common assumption in Swedish media and society that “it is inappropriate to follow-up the Queen in this manner”. 
Even more inappropriate—for free press advocates—is that  Queen Silvia decided to write a protest letter to Jan Scherman , the producer of the documentary on TV4. In her complaint she questioned the investigation and essentially also questions allowing freedom of speech.  As Lindblom remarks, this “should cause a stir in any healthy democracy”.
Jan Scherman himself comments in an interview with Aftonbladet that he is both surprised at and critical of Queen Silvia’s signed letter, which he received privately in an anonymous envelope. He states:
- The Queen can of course write what she wants to whomever she wants. The problem is that “Kalla Fakta” had been trying to reach her for a long time and she did not want to comment on the new leads”.
He continues:

- “Is this a way for the Queen to try avoiding having her opinions reach the public? I think this awakens something unpleasant and alarming. I see that the royal family chooses openness when they want  and not when they are being investigated.”
TV4 points out that, having returned to Brazil in 1947, Sommerlath never went through a de-Nazification process, and never compensated the [original Jewish] owner for any losses he concurred as result of the sale of his property back in 1939”.

One of the main tasks of the royal family is to promote Sweden, and the values it stands for in a positive manner. No one is blaming the Queen for by her father’s past, and no one should. Nonetheless, as an official representative of a liberal democracy, the queen has no business opposing freedom of expression. It is time that Silvia—as well as Sweden—takes a serious look at the past.
Only by using our freedom of speech to investigate and learn from the past, can we avoid losing all our freedoms in the future.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sweden Legitimates Iranian Genocidal Regime

In an interview that ran in today’s Jerusalem Post, Dr. Diana Gregor discusses European Union compliance with Iranian sanctions. Gregor is an Austrian journalist and researcher whose work focuses on Iran’s relations with Europe as well as Iran’s terrorist endeavors in the Middle East. She is currently associated with Realite-EU, a think tank and press information resource “concerned with the growing threat of Iran and extremism in Europe and the Middle East.”

When asked if the EU has a unified position on Iranian nuclear development, Gregor replied this is not the case and that there are contradicting positions among EU nations regarding sanctions. “
Some are pushing for Iran sanctions and their proper implementation, and others are advocating against restrictions.”
In enumerating the “driving forces behind a ‘slack’ position toward EU sanctions against Iran” Gregor tops her list with Sweden: 

-“Sweden has distinguished itself as one of the EU nations most opposed to sanctions against Iran and has constantly worked to weaken the sanctions put into effect by the international community. After the new round of sanctions was agreed upon in June 2010, Sweden called for decreasing the severity of EU sanctions. Swedish firms are involved in Iran’s energy sector with private companies selling equipment and spare parts to Iran’s oil industry. Sweden’s ambassador was among the few Western diplomats who attended [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad’s inauguration in June 2009.”

It should be noted that at the time Sweden held the position of the presidency of the EU, and could have made a strong statement for human rights by refusing to attend.
Of course the ambassador who attended the Ahmedinejad inauguration was taking instructions from the head of Sweden’s Foreign Ministry, Carl Bildt. (This is the same Bildt who ran to the airport to greet the Flotilla “protest tourists” after they successfully got themselves arrested in Israel while attempting to help deliver Turkish jihadists and a relatively small cargo of mostly useless and used aid and medical supplies to Gaza.)

Surprisingly, even Swedish parliamentarian Urban Ahlin, a member of the Social Democrats, condemned the decision to send a representative to the inauguration:
-"This was an excellent opportunity for Sweden, as current holder of the EU presidency, to show solidarity with the people who have been fighting for free and fair elections in Iran, and that chance was wasted,"
Yet Bildt defended the decision to send the ambassador to the inauguration in New Age fashion, stating "It is clearly better to be present than to be absent." A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry expanded on the rationale for the decision claiming that:
"Participation in an official ceremony [the Ahmadinejad inauguration] does not mean that we support this government or its actions. As the [EU] presidency, it's important to keep open our channels of communication.”
This is really an interesting take on diplomacy. In this mindset, if a regime is responsible for election fraud, murdering political protesters, threatening genocide against Israel, and developing nuclear capabilities while denying access to UN inspectors, the correct policy is to give them full legitimacy in the diplomatic sphere. Pathetically Sweden isn’t the only entity with this policy:
In April 2010, Iran won a four-year-seat on the UN Commission on the Status of Women, a UN body, which promotes gender equality. In Iran, women are subject to some of the worst human rights abuses across the globe. They are required to be covered from head to toe in public and may be beaten for dressing in an ‘immodest’ manner.”
It is likely that Sweden is one of the non-“spiteful” states to be invited to a nuclear inspection show which Iran will put on soon for the international community. As Iran’s Press TV reported on Thursday:

-“Spiteful states, including the US and certain European countries, will never be invited to Iran to inspect the country's nuclear facilities,”
This was stated by Avaz Heidarpour, a member of the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission of the Iranian Parliament, who also noted that:

-“The decision would also disgrace certain countries, including the US, France and Britain, [and] stated that only those countries would be invited to Iran that have reflected “correct” reports on the nuclear case. If these countries show their sincerity in their reports and avoid issuing false and political reports, we will definitely invite them as well,” he said.
Isn’t it interesting that the Iranians won’t meet with nations which hold positions Iran disagrees with? That instead they must be “disgraced”? Yet Sweden’s Foreign Minister Bildt feels that the supreme principle is “communication”. It seems that while Sweden is interested in talking, it’s less interested in what’s being said.
The prediction here is that Sweden will participate in the bogus inspection tour in Iran in the near future. While Bildt maintains an interest in talking, one of the many taboo topics which will not be discussed is Iranian aspirations to commit genocide against the Jewish state. And that makes Bildt a phony humanitarian, and a real racist.
What the Swedish government fails to notice is that engagement and disengagement from diplomatic discourse are the mechanism used by the Iranian regime for buying time.

By: Chanah Shapira

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Foreign Radical Islamists Issue Death Threat against Swedish Kurd

The Tundra Tabloids blog picks up a recent report by the Swedish English-language daily the Local covering another case of Islamists attempting to impose their version of justice in Europe. In this case, the Islamist “justice” is represented by a fatwa death threat directed against a Swedish Kurdish poet by Islamists in northern Iraq.
The fatwa was issued in response to a work penned by the Swedish-Kurdish poet, who filed a complaint with police authorities. The poem, supporting the cause of women's rights, was published in the Kurdish region of Iraq as the Local reports.
The Tundra Tabloids quotes:
-“A mullah criticized the poem at a Friday prayer in Iraq and prayed to Allah for revenge through the death of the poet, according to a video on YouTube. The threat was made by telephone. Police in Värmland have remained silent regarding the threatened Kurdish poet.”
The Kurdish poet wishes to remain anonymous, and the police are not releasing the identity of the poet, and will not disclose details of their investigation. It seems the poet has not requested police protection; this cannot be verified as the authorities will not comment regarding whether or not they are providing protective surveillance in this case.

The case has been reviewed by the Swedish chapter of International PEN, a world-wide association of writers who are concerned about freedom of speech issues. PEN members are working against the increased number of threats against writers as well as intellectuals around the world.  On their website PEN states:
“International PEN brings together writers, journalists, poets – all those using the written word to promote ideas – in the common belief that it is through this sharing that bridges of understanding can be built between peoples...The freedom to express ideas without fear of attack, arrest or other persecution – has been at the heart of International PEN's work since it was formed in 1921.”
This is a far cry from those who call for a fatwa to silence opinions. In fact, PEN members are in contact with several writers who currently are living in exile in Sweden under death threats similar to that of the Swedish-Kurdish poet.
As readers of this blog know, the most famous outspoken artist against Islam in Sweden is Lars Vilks; he lives under constant police protection and on many occasions has been the target of personal and property attacks and threats. It is unconscionable that anyone who has been granted residence or citizenship in Sweden should threaten the life and well-being of any Swedish citizen who is expressing himself in accord with the freedom of speech—a cornerstone of Western democracy.

It is an even greater offense that parties outside Sweden should dictate vigilante death sentences which they assume will be carried out by followers on location in Sweden.  This is a key issue in cases of “home-grown” terrorism—that citizens are following the orders of foreign agents.  Anyone who obeys this fatwa can only be described as a traitor to Sweden, and the ideals of democratic society. 

By: Sara and Chanah Shapira

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Hamas Contradicts Swedish-backed NGO’s Anti-Israeli Claims

In an op-ed article published this week, Anne Herzberg, legal advisor to NGO Monitor points out that recently Hamas released its own casualty statistics for the Gaza War of December 2008- January 2009. These figures are nearly identical to the Israeli government statistics cited on the number of military vs. civilian casualties:
-“According to the data gathered by the Research Department of the Israel Defense Intelligence, there were 1166 names of Palestinians killed during Operation Cast Lead. 709 of them are identified as Hamas terror operatives, amongst them several from various other terror organizations.
Herzberg cites a November 2010 Al-Hayat interview of Hamas’ Interior Minister Fathi Hamad in which the Hamas minister “acknowledged that 600-700 Hamas members were killed in the Gaza fighting – more than double the number of combatants published by the NGOs’ and Richard Goldstone’s unreliable version of events.”

One of the main NGOs engaged in “lawfare” against the Israeli government and the Israel Defense Forces is the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR). Regular readers of this blog will not be surprised that PCHR is only one of a number of anti-Israeli, pro-terror NGOs which receive support from the Swedish government.  The PCHR’s  anti- Israel  propaganda report opens with this false claim in its lengthy title:
-“Confirmed figures reveal the true extent of the destruction inflicted upon the Gaza Strip; Israel’s offensive resulted in 1,417 dead, including 926 civilians, 255 police officers, and 236 fighters.”
Actually, nothing is “confirmed” about these figures. In addition to the inflated casualty figures, notice that the total number of “fighters” is about one-third of the actual number, and that “police officers” are not included as combatants, which is also inaccurate. (Perhaps the NGOs relied on the fact that many Hamas “fighters” were intentionally not in uniform—contradicting accepted rules of combat by failing to distinguish themselves from the civilian population—and thus were easily counted as “civilian” casualties.)
So-called “statistics” like these were used by NGOs such as PCHR to smear the Israeli military, which worked hard to minimize civilian casualties. The IDF actually made cell-phone calls and dropped leaflets to citizens in dangerous areas, warning citizens to vacate areas to be targeted in order to reduce civilian casualties. Conversely, Hamas urged or threatened citizens to remain in areas which the IDF had alerted, increasing the civilian death toll.
NGOs’ false statistical and other claims provided impetus for and the basis of results of the U.N.’s Goldstone Commission inquiry. Herzberg states:
-“NGOs issued dozens of publications purporting to document the number of Palestinian civilian casualties…To pursue their political objectives, NGOs often deliberately and grossly inflated the Palestinian count, mislabeling combatants as civilians or “children,” and made other false accusations.”
Herzberg points out a number of hypocrisies evident in the reports issued by NGOs such as PCHR. We note that these include failing to criticize Hamas for:
·       firing rockets continually at the Israeli civilian population,
·       recruiting and using underage minors as combatants,
·       failing to protect the Christian minority population in Gaza, and
·       severely restricting the rights of women.
PCHR’s report based on falsified information is still posted on its website, making it clear that there is more interest at PCHR in pursuing an agenda than in pursuing truth or justice. The question for the Swedish government is: Why are you shelling out taxpayer money for propaganda even Hamas contradicts?
Additional information is available on Swedish-supported, anti-Israeli NGOs . More info on the Gaza War  can be found here and here.