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Thu Mar 5, 2015, 01:51 AM

Rising Anti-Semitism Challenges Sweden's Proud And Tolerant Self-Image

When a militant extremist stormed into a kosher supermarket in Paris shortly after cartoonists were massacred at the Charlie Hebdo publication, Swedish media described it as a hostage situation at a food store.

There was no mention of an anti-Semitic motive.

Now, the discourse has come full circle, with a full-throttle discussion in media about the magnitude and roots of anti-Semitism in Sweden, which prides itself as a beacon of tolerance and open doors.

“Sweden has awoken from its fairy tale dream” of being a racism-free society, said Willy Silberstein, president of the Swedish Committee Against Antisemitism, SKMA.

Swedes see their country as a refuge from the world’s conflicts and oppression; they’ve accepted large numbers of refugees from Somalia, Iraq and now Syria. About 15 percent of the population was born abroad, and in just a few decades the homogeneous land of blondes has turned into a multiculturally vibrant society.

But the attacks in Paris triggered a debate that flooded op-ed pages with a crash course in the history and origins of anti-Semitism in Europe and the Middle East.

The defining moment was when a TV reporter, who is not Jewish, put on a yarmulke and a hidden camera and walked around Muslim neighborhoods in Malmo, Sweden’s third-largest city. Viewers of the popular show Uppdrag Granskning were shocked to see the reporter being insulted and threatened.

more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/04/sweden-anti-semitism_n_6804218.html

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