"Hatred of Jews still exists in parts of our society."
The Prime Minister of Sweden, Stefan Lofben, stated this sadly at an international forum on Holocaust remembrance and the fight against anti-Semitism held last week in Malmö.
The hat should be taken off his face, without a hint of cynicism.
Contrary to the accepted and disgusting intellectual fashion (which, unfortunately, also reached our foreign minister), he did not try to detach the Holocaust from its Jewish context.
Contrary to those who argue that one should learn from the Holocaust about racism, xenophobia and intolerance, Lufben is still willing to argue that the memory of the Holocaust also creates a special commitment to the Jewish people, and a struggle against those who try to harm it.
Things are not said in a vacuum. Sweden is facing a variety of anti-Semitism, but not only that: starting this March, a Swedish representative will fill the position of chair of the International Organization for Holocaust Remembrance, Research and Education (IHRA). Even those who claim that the Jews or the State of Israel inflate the "correct" data of the Holocaust, and even defined the claim that the Jewish people have no right to self-definition as anti-Semitism.
Lofven sought to turn the words into deeds, and here is the challenge that the State of Israel must face: Sweden has donated, through official government bodies, almost $ 20 million by 2020 to Palestinian and pro-Palestinian companies and organizations. The first thing Sweden needs to do, as a key player in the international donations and chair of the IHRA, is to come out as a buffer against the terminology of Abu Mazen and the Palestinians regarding Israeli "exaggeration" about the Holocaust and accusing Israel of "exploiting" the victims' position and empathy to cause "Nakba" The Palestinians have a responsibility to make it clear to the Palestinians that the international community has no more patience for Holocaust denial, and to prove that anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial are not rewarded with a generous handful of dollars.
But it does not end there. "The Holocaust did not take place on Swedish soil," Lufen stated in one of the posts he posted around the forum, "but when it comes to the history of the Holocaust, the guideline must be to stick to the facts and search independently for the truth." So it's worth telling the truth: Sweden has made good use of its neutral position in the war, and its place in the rescue of a respectable and important Jew - the miraculous rescue of Danish Jews, the "white buses" brought by survivors from all over Europe, and of course Raoul Wallenberg and his staff, sent by the Swedish Foreign Ministry. But your country, Lufen, has kept the Wehrmacht on its feet; It allowed Hitler's soldiers to use its trains on their way to conquer neighboring Norway; It continued to sell iron ore and other raw materials to the Nazis even after promising the Allies to stop doing so; So much so, that Churchill asked his commanders to prepare a plan for the conquest of northern Sweden. If only the British could cut off the Swedish supply chain to Germany, Churchill argued, the war would be shortened by two years.
This insistence on the truth is important not only to honor the memory of the Holocaust, but to convey to Lufen and the world an ever more important and topical message: there is no neutrality in the face of evil.
If you do not fight it - you are part of it.