Israel on Sweden's anti-Semitism
Speaker of Knesset Yuli Edelstein visited Stockholm last week. Edelstein is critical to how the Swedish government handles anti-Semitism.
“I haven’t heard the (Swedish) Prime Minister make any specifically strong statements,” he says. Edelstein is worried over the wave of xenophobia currently sweeping across Europe. “If you look at the election results in the European Parliament, then it ought to worry us, and make us feel ashamed.”
Edelstein used to be responsible for Israel’s diaspora issues and views himself as a “semi-official” representative of the Jewish communities in the world. His view is that anti-Semitism has increased in recent years, and he himself thinks it is a problem that should be taken more seriously by politicians. “It’s something we all ought to remember, and now I speak as a speaker of Knesset, as a Jew and as a son of a Holocaust survivor. It always begins with the Jews, but it never ends with the Jews.” Edelstein believes Sweden also needs to shape up. Though he has noted the Erik Ullenhag, Sweden’s Minister for Integration, has made statements about anti-Semitism, he wants to hear from Prime Minister Reinfeldt. Reinfeldt has not been available for a statement, but his press secretary Daniel Valiollahi does not share Edelstein’s views: “When President Obama was here, he visited the synagogue in Stockholm and Raoul Wallenberg’s efforts were put into focus,” he says.