In what may be seen as a 180-degree change of course, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has suggested that the rise of anti-Semitism to do has to do with mass immigration from the Middle East.
Sputnik News (h/t Sara S) In an interview with national broadcaster SVT, Löfven lamented the rise of anti-Semitic sentiment across Sweden, which he party ascribed to the Holocaust falling into oblivion. However, he also stressed the influx from the Middle East as one of the reasons.
“It is also so, that we have got people who come from other countries where it is part of the state propaganda to not only be against Israel’s politics but Israel as a country. We clearly stand for Israel’s right to live in security,” Löfven stressed. “And there, in these countries in the Middle East region, children may learn what to believe already at school. So it’s our job to make sure that no, in Sweden you don’t do that. It is not acceptable at all”, Löfven said.
A report by the Living History Forum indicated that Anti-Semitism is more prevalent among Swedish Muslims than the rest of the population in 2017, with researcher Henrik Bachner calling it a “blind spot in Swedish research”. Mass immigration from predominantly Muslim countries has been a key feature of the Social Democrat governments under Löfven. Fredrik Sieradzki at the Jewish Information Centre in Malmö described this dynamic as Sweden “importing a conflict originating in the Middle East”.
While anti-Semitism in Sweden was historically associated with right-wing extremism, a 2013 study cited by Paulina Neuding of The New York Times revealed that 51 percent of anti-Semitic incidents in Sweden were connected with Muslim extremists. One in four were perpetrated by left-wing extremists and only 5 percent were carried out by right-wing extremists.
Back in 2016, the prime minister of Sweden, Stefan Löfven, says that immigrants are not to blame for the massive crime increase that has happened to his country.