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A Letter From a Swedish Friend On the Blood Libel

“Well, it is blood libel isn't it? Of the most horrendous sort. It is also odd. Aftonbladet is a tabloid owned by the Social Democrats (I can't quite remember how, via a union perhaps, or trust). They have usually been quite pro-Israel. And traditionally in Sweden, while there was a huge degree of racialist nonsense in the interwar period, it was not directed towards the (800-odd) Jews. I know because I read the literature for an academic article I wrote. Rather it was directed towards the rural Lumpenproletariat and the so-called tattare, travellers or tinkerers, with some Roma ancestry.

“The Jewish population now is, I seem to remember, some 15,000. (Yiddish is one of five official minority languages.) Sweden has a uniquely high proportion of Holocaust survivors among its community, since many people stayed after coming on the white busses. It is a middle-class, integrated, fairly secular and much respected group. It has not been ‘topped up’ by Russian Jews (as in Germany), but there was a last wave of refugees in 1968 when the last Jews of Poland were driven out of their Red homeland.

“I wonder if this new and horrifying tone has anything to do with the ‘new Swedes’ (our very large recent immigrant population, which is heavily Muslim)? As they in turn reach positions of trust / responsibility in society, are they perhaps importing values? Radio Islam in Stockholm is one, long anti-Semitic rant, constantly in court for incit[ement] to racial hatred, and there were riots in Malmö when the Israel [tennis] team played [the Swedes]. Those riots, which I saw on television, were not by ‘old’ ethnic Swedes. 

“As for the Swedish official response, ham-fisted wouldn't you say, and idiotic!!”