Tag Archives: Sweden

Sweden Tries New Approach With Immigrants

An ongoing issue in assisting immigrants to become integrated within a new society is improving their ability to become proficient in a new langauge. Those who quckly grasp a new language in their adopted country are more likely to secure a job and become a participant in the local community. The Swedish Minister of Integration, Nyamko Saburi, announced a new plan to speed up language acquistiion. Immigrants who agree to enroll in government sponsored language programs will receive a cash bonus as an incentive to learn.

Some will decry giving money to immigrants in order to expedite their grasp of the nation’s language, but in the long run it saves milions of dollars since people with jobs will not spend up on welfare rolls nor will they need the support of private charity groups. Speak first, get a job second, and thirdly, become a member of the new community.

Is Sweden An Anti-Semitic Country?

An article in the Jerusalem Post by Abraham Cooper and Harold Brackman argues the Swedish city of Malmo’s decision to hold the Davis Cup tennis match between Israel and Sweden behind closed doors was a blatant example of anti-semitism. They charge not allowing spectators to watch the match reflects bias and has “echoes in Nazi Europe’s anti-semitism.” They argue claiming security reasons was simply a ploy to hide the real truth that Israeli players were being “stigmatized. None of this is about sports. It’s about Jews.” Naturally, the Malmo city government argues they were concerned about the possibility of violence and noted protestors numbered over 6,000 and had there been spectators the result might have led to violence and injuries.

One can disagree with the decision not to allow spectators without getting into charges of anti-semitism. It is rather obvious if one follows demonstrations concerning abuse of human rights in Europe that more attention is paid to Israel than to any other nation in the world. Ironically, as the crowd gathered to protest the presence of Israel, the president of Sudan was expelling aid agencies from Darfur. The death of 300,000 people in Darfur apparently does not concern people in Sweden who want to protest against oppression.

We suspect the protest in Sweden and other such demonstrations reflect a latent anti-semitism that in no way can be compared to Nazi Germany. To compare these forms of protest with the horrors of Nazism is an insult to those who died in the Holocaust. The Swedish protestors know not what they do in terms of the hypocrisy in focusing on Israel and ignoring horrors in Congo, Uganda, Zimbabwe and elsewhere.

Swedes Demonstrate Selective Outrage

Thousands of Swedish demonstrators protested against allowing their national tennis team to compete with athletes from Israel. The match held in Malmo witnessed demonstrators protesting what they viewed at Israeli brutality in the invasion of Gaza and urged that any matches be cancelled with a government they considered to violate democratic principles. They were able to have the match played behind closed doors which pleased those in charge of the demonstration.

The Israel invasion of Gaza was a response at of all proportion to the issue of rockets hitting their nation. But, over 6,000 rockets from Gaza did hit Israel, certainly not a minor issue. This writer would like to know why these demonstrators against oppression remain silent when 300,000 have been killed in Darfur and thousands of women raped. Why do these demonstrators against oppression get upset at the 60,000 killed in Uganda or the thousands now dead in Zimbabwe. Of course, if they really were interested in fighting oppression they would be shouting in fury at the death of FIVE MILLION PEOPLE IN CONGO. This writer welcomes a response to my questions by those who only believe Israel is the main culprit in the world. Their “selective anger against oppression” is the ultimate in hypocrisy.

Israel has blundered and made terrible mistakes in its policy toward Palestinians, but it still remains THE ONLY NATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST WHICH ALLOWS MUSLIMS FREEDOM OF SPEECH, PRESS AND ELECTION TO PUBLIC OFFICE.

P.S. The Israelis pulled an upset against Sweden in the David Cup

Does Downloading Hurt The Record Industry?

Record industry lawyers are involved in a case dealing with whether or not downloading of music winds up damaging the profitability of record manufacturers. Roger Wallis, of the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) argued there was no justification to record industry claims that increased file sharing resulted in a decrease in music sales. “There are so many other factors which can affect album sales and the research shows that many downloaders actually consume more culture than others.” He believes the music industry is against file sharing because it destroys their current business model as people spend more money on concert sales and less buying records. “There is nothing to indicate that people who download music would run out and buy records if file sharing disappeared, that’s ridiculous.” He cited evidence that while record sales are down, music industry income as a whole is up and artists are making more money.”

Record industry lawyers argued Wallis lacked academic qualifications that made him an expert on this topic. They are asking that the Pirate Bay should be considered a search engine and whether or not the site should then be held responsible for the contents of its search results.

Most probably we are living through one of those paradigm shifts in which the old feels oppressed as the new emerges. If the past is any model, the old eventually will find a way to become part of the new.

Is Gender Based Abortion Morally Legal?

A woman in Sweden who was mother of two girls asked the doctors to tell her the gender of the fetus and when she was told it was a girl the woman had an abortion. Several months later she came to the medical facility and once again was pregnant. Once again she asked the gender of the fetus and was told it was a girl. She then proceeded to have an abortion. In both cases the fetus was found to be perfectly normal and there was no medical reason to abort its birth. A Swedish doctor has asked for clarification as to the legal and moral obligations doctors must confront when they believe a woman is aborting the baby due to a desire to have a specific gender birth.

This is an interesting test case for people of the medical profession. Do they have a right to interfere with a woman who wants boy or girl babies and is willing to abort for those reasons? An interesting moral dilemma.

Is It Anti-Jewish To Protest Israel Actions?

Alaa Kullab, writing in the Swedish newspaper, The Local, challenges a recent article which argued that Swedish protests against Israel actions in Gaza were simply a manifestation of anti-Semitism. He points out that those who protest against Iran are not being anti-Muslim but merely expressing concern regarding abuses of human rights or those who protest against any form of political oppression are telling the world what they do not like about a specific government’s actions and this has nothing to do with religion. He quotes the words of Richard Falk, a Jew, who argues Israel’s treatment of the people of Gaza is “a Holocaust in the making” as an example of someone who is angry at the Israel government and not at Jews. Mr. Kullab points out that Israel has violated the Geneva Convention in the West Bank where people are being mistreated.

The arguments of Mr. Kullab can not be challenged because the examples cited are clear violations of human rights on the part of the Israel government. Protesting against Israel actions are justified, but there is another question to be posed. Why has there been no open protest in Sweden about the death of five million people in the Congo, surely a real example not of a “Holocaust in the making” but of a Holocaust? Why have there been no protests against the brutality in Zimbabwe which has left thousands dead? Why no protest against the death, not of 1,300, but of over 60,000 in Uganda where brutality runs rampant?

There is NO “Holocaust in the making” in Gaza. To compare Israel actions in Gaza with the Holocaust violates any sense of decency and human behavior. I protest Israel actions in Gaza but I consistently protest about actions in Zimbabwe or Uganda or the Congo. The real question to pose is– why when there are more brutal events occurring in the world such as Darfur, do people in Sweden single out Israel actions and ignore the more brutal forms of oppression? Perhaps, Mr. Kullab can answer that question?

Anti-Semitism Rises In Sweden

Many people in Sweden are opposed to Israel policies towards Palestinians and justifiably express concerns regarding the brutal attack on Gaza which resulted in the death of over a thousand Gazans. But,, Swedish politicians have resorted to far fetched comparisons between what is happening in Gaza and the Holocaust including making comparisons between the situation facing Palestinians and what the lives of Jews in Europe under Nazi domination. THERE IS NO HOLOCAUST IN GAZA. There is no Israel government plan to kill each and every Palestinian–the Nazi plan aimed at killing every single Jew, no exceptions.

Europeans forget that Israel EVACUATED Gaza and left it under Palestinian control. The government of President Abbas took control of the area and supplies were allowed to enter. Hamas took over Gaza and CANCELLED all agreements with Israel and vowed to exterminate Israel. Since gaining control Hamas has launched thousands of rockets into Israel and fortunately most have not resulted in death to anyone. I hate to tell Swedish or European opponents of Israel, but Jews in Europe lacked any arms to fight Germans.

I oppose Israel policy toward Palestinians and toward Gaza. I oppose them because as one who has worked in Holocaust education for over thirty years, the study of the Holocaust compels me to oppose any form of oppression. Israel is NOT Nazi Germany. Israel is led by those who resort to fear and hysteria for political reasons and, in many cases, due to bigotry and hatred toward Palestinians. But, I also understand, Palestinians have turned down every effort of Israel peace advocates for a resolution of the conflict. Arafat was an incompetent, corrupt bumbler.

Perhaps, Swedish and Europeans who are infuriated at Israel and protest and demand sanctions can explain why they never protest the death of FIVE MILLION PEOPLE IN THE CONGO?? Why no protests about the death of 200,000 in DARFUR! The bottom line is that most Europeans who protest exhibit latent anti-semitism. When Hamas stole goods from UN warehouses there was silence on the protest market.

I want restoration of the West Bank to Palestinians. I want equal rights for all Israeli Arabs and an end to discrimination. I also want Arab nations to recognize the existence of Israel and work together with Jews to ensure peace and prosperity to the region. Israel has committed many blunders and the fact that Palestinians have also blundered DOES NOT EXCUSE ISRAEL ACTIONS IN GAZA, BUT IT EXPLAINS THEM.

Cease anti-semitism and work with those in Israel who seek peace.

Racism, Swedish Style

Sweden historically was a land of few diverse cultures, but in recent years due to heavy immigration from many parts of the world, the nation is changing, However, the idea of dark skinned people in a land most of the world regarded as filled with blond, blue eye men and women, the appearance of a black skinned man or woman upsets some of the older or ignorant generation. During some recent disturbances in the city of Malmo, Swedish police were caught on their own video recording as making insulting remarks concerning people being confronted. Police were captured saying expressions such as “blattejaviar” an ethnic slur which translates roughly into “damn colored people” or “damned immigrants.” The tapes were played at a trial of a young man who was arrested by the police. Words could be heard saying, “you little ape son of a bitch. Should I make him sterile when I catch him” and a responding voice exclaimed: “Yeah, he’s going to get beat so well that he won’t be able to stand on his own legs.”

Leadership of the police are upset at the comments, and reportedly at least one of the police officers expressed an apology, but the damage was done. What next is the question?

Sweden Accused Of Laxity On War Criminals

Amnesty International issued a blasting report on failure of the Swedish government to take an active stand on issues of war crimes that occurred outside its own borders. Although Sweden is renowned for its own liberal laws and fight against war crimes, it will not adjust its laws to take into account what happens elsewhere in the world. Amnesty International wants Sweden to extend provisions under the international legal principle of universal jurisdiction, which permits states to charge and prosecute for serious crimes regardless of where they were committed. The report claims “up to 1,500 war criminals freely roam the streets of Sweden.”

The principle of universal jurisdiction is a controversial idea and many nations refuse to accept the concept that international bodies can exert jurisdiction on crimes that happened anywhere in the world. In the absence of such an approach to law, war criminals can always find a save haven to escape prosecution.

Are Hamas And Israel Guilty Of War Crimes?

If supporters of Hamas are asked about Israeli behavior in Gaza, the response is they were guilty of war crimes, if supporters of the current Israel government are asked about Hamas behavior they charge its leaders with war crimes. Urban Ahlin, of the Swedish parliament, charges both Hamas and Israel committed war crimes during recent fighting in Gaza. He emphasized both groups during the fighting committed acts which fall under the definition of war crimes. Ahlin also called for an end to the isolation of Gaza and removal of road blocks in order to ensure the inhabitants of that area finally secure proper supplies for daily life. He admitted Israel had a right to hit back when subjected to rocket attacks, but added, “the isolation policy is neither morally or politically defensible.”

On the other hand, Birgitta Ohisson, another MP, described Israel as vulnerable and said it had a right to defend itself against rocket attacks. “Never forget that Hamas always chooses bombs before peace.” The world views the situation in Gaza as one in which all parties violate which ever law they desire in the name of security, and blame the other for deaths of civilians.

The attitude in more and more nations of the world is a fatigue with war and violence in the Palestine-Israel conflict, and a strong desire that both sides sit down and negotiate. If the issue is war crimes, both have committed them with the result innocent civilians invariably suffer.