Posts Tagged ‘media’

Swedish state TV censorship working perfectly, thanks for asking

Monday, June 24th, 2013

On Sunday night Palestinian-Arab terrorists fired six (6) rockets against civilian targets in southern Israel. The random selection of the targets was intended to spread terror: schools, homes, business, hospitals and streets.

On Swedish state-run TV, SVT, this wanton act of terrorism merited not a single mention. Not one word.

Not long ago, however, the same SVT carried detailed reports on how “Palestinian children are arrested every day by Israeli soldiers” and “UN report says Palestinians are increasingly poor”.

So it would appear there are still journalists at SVT, they are still publicly financed by Swedish taxpayers. It’s merely the selection process that determines which news is allowed to be reported to the paying public.

Selection. A word that that has an immensely negative resonance in the mind of any thinking advocate of democracy.

But apparently not in the case of SVT journalists.

Who, it should be repeated, are financed by the Swedish public.

Welcome to the new Sweden. Nazism as a state apparatus is gone. Communism as a state apparatus has shrunk steadily with the advent of free information and the digital world. But censorship as a propaganda tool wielded by a state-financed apparatus lives on in good Nazi and communist spirit.

In Sweden.

How Sweden became anti-Israel

Wednesday, December 21st, 2005

1. Sociological background
Before WW2, Sweden was one of the poorest, most backward countries in W. Europe. The moneyed elite told the population what to think and do.
After WW2, things changed dramatically in terms of national welfare, but the moneyed elite were replaced by a series of dogmatic left-leaning Social Democratic governments. The concept of looking after an entire nation “from the cradle to the grave” was minted specifically for Sweden.
Result: with the autocratic moneyed elite now replaced by autocratic father-figures in the PM’s office, the populace was conditioned never to worry, never to think. The man in the street was looked after in every respect – kindergarten, health-care, education, job, social welfare, housing, pension, political views. This worked fine as long as the nation’s politics favoured Israel, which it did.

2. Political evolution
Olof Palme changed the attitude to Israel. Reason: Swedish criticism of the USA because of Vietnam. In the mindset of Swedes used to following a strong leader and conditioned for generations never to question leadership figures, the equation was simple: we hate the USA – the USA supports Israel = we hate Israel. At the time that Sweden was supporting Vietnam, it was also supporting regimes in Cuba, the Soviet Union and elsewhere – all anathema to the USA. Anyone linked to the USA – like Israel – was conversely also anathema to Sweden.

3. Lebanon
At the end of the 1970s, Israel was riding on a crest of popularity in Sweden. The Lebanon war didn’t change anything in the minds of the Swedes in itself, but it opened the door to highly vocal input from a minority who over the previous 10-15 years had been quietly taking over one key area in Sweden – the media.

4. National penchant for sad tales – love of the underdog
At the time of the Lebanon war, Sweden was also opening its doors to asylum-seekers from many countries. Most had nothing to do with the Middle East, but the Swedish psyche was now being constantly assaulted with images of political travesties in Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Tibet, Assam, China, the Soviet Union and its satellite states. The Swedish mindset was by now a fertile ground for anyone with a sad tale. The slickly related Palestinian narrative fitted right in. By now, Swedes were no longer reasoning – anyone who was perceived as an underdog received automatic and enthusiastic support. The Palestinian cause was embraced by a population conditioned by the media and the governing elite to do what it had always done – see things in black & white.

5. Pro-Israeli self-delusion
Pro-Israel activity had almost totally collapsed by 1981. Simply because the pro-Israel camp had grown smug, lazy, convinced of its invincibility, convinced nothing could shake the support it enjoyed. It rarely bothered to put its case in the media.

6. The rise of the left-wing media
When the Palestinian narrative of Sabra and Shatila broke, the pro-Israel camp had already disbanded, its champions had already been out of the debate for some time, and the field was left open to a coalition of pro-Palestinians and left-wing Swedes. By now, the media was firmly a left-wing breeding ground. With the automatic blockade on neutral or pro-Israeli articles from about 1984 onwards, Swedes rarely had an opportunity to hear the other side. Swedish pro-Israel action was in disarray. Some of its fiercest proponents had moved abroad – many to Israel – and many had simply become disillusioned with what was seen as a hopeless fight against impossible odds.

7. Rising anti-Semitism powered the modern pro-Israel effort
The situation didn’t improve until halfway through the second intifada, when Swedish anti-Israel sentiment became increasingly expressed as open anti-Semitism. This gave new impetus to pro-Jewish and pro-Israel individuals and organisations to take up the fight once again, stimulating and supporting a strongly pro-active effort on the part of Swedes who supported Israel as a democracy and Sweden’s Jews as a natural part of the demographic scene.

8. TT – the monopoly on news
There is one very tangible reason why Sweden continues to be anti-Israel today: TT. The majority of its shares are in the hands of left-wing newspapers, and its reporters have a virtual monopoly on all ME-related news published in Sweden. What TT doesn’t want to say simply doesn’t get said, end of story.

9. Lesson for the future
The anti-Israel lobby is learning quickly from its mistakes. We will probably never see another media onslaught against Israel being tainted with anti-Semitism. Not because this isn’t a major driving force behind much of the Swedish anti-Israel sentiment – it largely is – but because they have learned that this (1) galvanised the pro-Israel effort against them, and (2) it galvanised a strong and public stance against anti-Semitism by the Swedish government and the country’s citizens. The anti-Israel lobby had made the mistake of using the two weapons together, and the result was that in response, the fight against anti-Semitism also focused attention on the fight against anti-Israel propaganda. The pro-Palestinian lobby will not repeat this mistake again.
So if you’re in the Israel advocacy business, don’t wait for the anti-Semitic card to be played again. It won’t. Instead there will be a massive, very slick, very cohesive drive focusing solely on the “illegitimacy” of Israel. It will be mounted within the next 2 to 3 years.

10. Gaza
At the time of writing (December 2005) the withdrawal from Gaza has created a real, lasting problem for the anti-Israel lobby. They are recovering, however, and the thrust of the new campaign which is in its infancy is the illegitimacy of Israel in the first place.

Anti-Jewish sentiment spreads in Swedish schools

Monday, April 15th, 2002
The following case-history highlights creeping anti-Jewish sentiment in Swedish society.

On the 11th of September 2001, four civilian aircraft were deliberately crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon headquarters in the USA.

The shock of this event prompted many head teachers in Sweden to advise their staff to take time from scheduled school classes to discuss this event with students. School students of all ages were arriving at school not knowing, not understanding, looking for guidance and reassurance from the adults in their lives.

My thirteen year old daughter’s teacher came into the class and announced that the lesson would be spent discussing the previous day’s events.

The teacher started by explaining that these were terrorist actions, that they were terrible events, and that many civilians had undoubtedly died – the figures in those first hours were very uncertain. She then went on to explain, by way of background, that although actions of this sort are terrible, it is nonetheless important to understand the justifiable anger of the Arab and Muslim world against everything American (it was already at this early stage clear that the aircraft had been hijacked by people with an Arab connection). This justifiable anger stemmed from general Arab and Muslim hatred of the Americans because, a few decades previously, the Americans had given the Jews the land that had previously belonged to the Palestinians, so that the Jews could build their own country of Israel. The Arab and Muslim world (continued the teacher) did not accept this outside interference by the Americans, which explained their hatred of everything American and probably prompted the previous day’s terror action.

My daughter returned home in a state of shock. When I later phoned the teacher to discuss the issue, she denied saying anything of the sort and accused my daughter of lying. I replied that I was prepared to attend a meeting with the entire class at which all students would be given free opportunity to confirm or deny my daughter’s version. The teacher declined to participate. I pointed out that any further attempt to indoctrinate the children would prompt me to make a formal complaint to the Swedish Ministry of Education, and I left it at that.

It is now about 7 months later, mid-April 2002, the political and security situation in Israel and the West Bank/Gaza Strip is very precarious. In Sweden, the media attitude towards Israel is extremely offensive, openly biased towards the Palestinian cause. The media’s and the public’s distinction between Israeli and Jew is becoming increasingly clouded. Jewish institutions like the synagogue and school, and individuals going about their lives, have been targeted in a variety of ways, including bomb threats, beatings and vandalisation. There is an increasingly aggressive public stance towards everything Israeli, and to a growing extent everything Jewish.

On Sunday the 7th of April, a large pro-Palestinian demonstration is held in the city centre. My by now 14 year old daughter is walking home with her best friend – a classmate from the class in which the above explanation of the Twin Towers action was given by the teacher. The friend says that she thinks the demonstrators are absolutely right, that “the country should be given back to the Palestinians since it was the Americans who gave you Jews the country in the first place”. My daughter is stunned. She wants to explain to her friend how she sees Israel’s rights and entitlements on this issue, she wants to explain that there are two sides to every dispute, that there is scope for both sides to come to an agreement if only the violence would stop. Perhaps most importantly, she wants to explain the distinction between Israelis and Jews. Her friend fends off her explanations with virtually the same words that the teacher had delivered all those months ago – they seem to have made a strong impression. The friend then leaves, having heard nothing and denying my daughter the opportunity to explain anything.

My daughter is extremely upset. The day before, she had attended Shabbat services in the synagogue – guarded by armed police patrols on foot and in squad cars – and the day after is Holocaust Remembrance Day. Her grandmother was her family’s only survivor from Ravensbruck and Auschwitz, weighing 40 kilos when the camp was liberated and she was granted a new lease of life in Sweden. My daughter wants to explain all this and much more to her best friend. Instead, she can do nothing but watch her friend walk away.

My wife now writes to our daughter’s class teacher (not the same teacher as the one above) and sketches the background to these distressing events, taking care not to mention names. My wife asks permission to come to the class or to ask someone from the Jewish Community’s staff unit to come to the class and help put both the political and – in particular – the religious/social aspects into a more accurate perspective. She states that she does not in any way wish to influence the students’ opinions in any direction, only to give them balanced facts so that they can draw their own conclusions – whatever those conclusions may be. She also wants to talk about the importance of respect, of listening to one another’s opinions before deciding whether to accept or reject them. The class teacher declines to deal with the request, although this is her home class, and she instead passes the note on to the school management – the headmaster.

One day later, my wife gets a single-sentence reply: “Your request has been denied.” No explanation, no justification.

This is Sweden, the year is 2002.

My wife and I – and our daughter – feel this is a frightening sign of the creeping anti-Jewish sentiments that are becoming increasingly widespread throughout Swedish society. When these sentiments spread throughout the school system – when teachers express themselves as above and their students repeat their words virtually verbatim 7 months later – and there is no forum for discussion or balanced presentation of facts, we feel that the situation needs to be illuminated.

I’m not sure we can blame the school, however. The press in Sweden are blatantly anti-Israel, letters to the editor with a pro-Israel stance are virtually always refused, there is no forum in the public media where Jews with a moderate profile or Jews who support Israel can be heard, although there is always editorial space for Jews who are critical of Israel. Anti-Jewish activity is concealed behind ostensibly anti-Israeli opinions. The media do not support the position of the country’s Jews, nor of Israel, they refuse to point out the difference between Jew and Israeli, and they will not accept Jewish input that explains any of the above.

The school takes its cue and follows suit.