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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Swedish media's demonization of Israel

It never ceases to amaze me how countries in distant parts of the world find it necessary to demonize the small bastion of democracy that exists as a Jewish state in the Middle East. If the poor refugees of the Sudan, who are cut off from the rest of the world, are able to realize the truth about Israel, why can't the wealthy media moguls of Sweden?

At Gates of Vienna, the Baron does a thorough takedown of the Swedish media through a Swedish-speaking reader who leads him on a journey of one anti-Israel statement after another. This is beyond media bias. As another blog that has linked this article put it, "How do you say Der Stuermer [pictured above. CiJ] in Swedish?"

According to the Baron, much of the blame for the Swedish media's demonization of Israel may be assigned to Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå (The Newspapers’ Telegram Agency), which is Sweden's only news agency:
Let us first take a look at their Middle East-correspondent, whose name is Stefan Hjertén.

In an Expressen article from January 13 in 2006, signed by Peter Löfgren, the author tells us about an interview in Ordfront (a Swedish socialist magazine) he participated in. According to him, one of the questions asked was: “How do you consider your role as Middle East-correspondent? TT’s correspondent [Hjertén] considers himself to be a Palestinian activist, do you?” [emphasis added].
Sounds like some of the 'Palestinians' that other media outlets (like the BBC) use, doesn't he? But Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå goes beyond mere demonization of Israel and steps over the imaginary line dividing anti-Semitism from 'just' being anti-Israel.
On the 29th of Mars, 2005, TT received criticism from the DN editor Peter Wolodarski, due to TT’s dispatch on the chess player Bobby Fischer, notorious for his anti-Semitism and America-hatred [I couldn’t find an internet version]:
TT usually publishes edited dispatches from the international news agencies. There is nothing wrong with that.

But on the other day, TT released a re-writing of an AFP dispatch on the former chess master Bobby Fischer, which is so remarkable that it requires an explanation.

Fischer is notorious for his hatred towards America and his anti-Semitism. For instance, on September 11th, 2001, he said on a Philippine radio station that the attack on the US was ‘fantastic news’ and that he hoped for ‘the military to take over the country, which should have closed every synagogue and arrest every Jew.

Fischer also has said that the US is controlled by ‘filthy, crook-nosed, circumcised Jewish swine’.

Entirely correctly, AFP states that Fischer has slandered his old fans with his militant anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism.

But when TT is translates the dispatch into Swedish, the former chess master suddenly is not questioned for his Jew-hatred. No, Swedish readers instead get to learn that ‘Fischer, himself a Jew on the mother’s side, has been noted for his critical position towards Israel’. What does TT mean?
I don't want to quote the entire article here but I do want to suggest that you read the whole thing. On my flight from London to Tel Aviv last Monday, there was someone who had spent the Sabbath in Stockholm. After reading this blog post I have to wonder why any Israeli Jew (or for that matter any Jew) would want to support Sweden's economy by spending time there. If you want to travel to Scandinavia, go to Denmark. From this vantage point, at least, they seem a lot more hospitable.


At 3:36 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Sweden, while "neutral" was a prime industrial partner of Nazi Germany.


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