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Kim Milrell
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A love letter to Israelis

Op-ed: Pro-Israel blogger tries to counter Sweden’s new national sport – bashing Jewish state

Kim Milrell
Published: 03.20.12, 15:13 / Israel Opinion

Whenever I visit Israel, people ask me: “Why do Swedes hate us so much?”

Let me take this opportunity to try to explain a thing or two.

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In Sweden, where people know basically nothing about Israel, they seem to believe they know everything. The little they really do know they get from the media, and let me tell you that it’s not a pretty picture being painted there.

 

The way the Swedish media cover Israel is as depressing as the conflict between Israel and the Arabs itself. In fact, I wonder if I’ve ever read an article, in any way related to your country, that didn’t bring up the problems in the region. It’s as if Israel does not exist without the Palestinians or the conflict.

 

In Sweden, Israel can never win. Whatever the story may be, the media always find a way to turn things around and in the end, in one way or another, they manage to blame Israel.

 


אזעקה באשדוד. התמונות שלא תראו בשבדיה   (צילום: EPA)

Air raid siren sounds in Ashdod (Photo: EPA)

 

The never-ending rocket attacks from Gaza are for some reason always kept in the dark. That is, until Israel strikes back. That is when we get the twisted headlines, such as ”Israel’s airstrikes on Gaza” and, if we’re lucky, we might find a line or two briefly mentioning the terrorists in the Gaza strip somewhere at the very end of the articles.

 

Whenever a major terrorist attack takes place we do get the reports and we see the pictures, but the everyday suffering of Israelis and of the children in bomb shelters are yet to be portrayed in Sweden’s newspapers.

 

Reading any news related to Israel, the writer always grasps the opportunity to trash the Jewish state. For instance, while reading an article in a Swedish animal rights group’s newsletter, about the great improvement of animal rights in Israel, the writer also noted that while Israel is not known for its engagement for human rights, at least the animals are treated well. Needless to say, the article was most likely written by someone who never visited your country, someone who just read the headlines for years – in other words, the average Swede.

 


הם לא שונאים, הם פשוט לא יודעים. קים מילרל

Fighting ignorance. Kim Milrell 

 

Decades of propaganda

Swedish mainstream media very rarely features reports about science, technology or anything great that comes out of Israel, and the Swedes are often eager to boycott Israeli fruit (for some reason the fruit is a very sore spot). Yet they are of course happy to use Israeli computer software, communications technology and medical equipment… They probably didn’t even know they were supporting Israel when purchasing these things, because nobody let them know they were Israeli.

 

Slamming and bashing Israel may be the new national sport in Sweden, at least in the media, but I still don’t believe that Swedes in general hate Israelis, Jews or the Jewish state – I believe that they simply do not know better. And how can they know if no one tells them?

 

That is why I am a pro-Israel blogger, and trust me: it’s not easy. In fact, it’s almost a full-time job. Thankfully every year another blogger, tired of the endless twists and turns in the media, seems to pop up, willing to spread another picture of the Jewish state.

 

Nothing upsets the average Swede more than talking about Israel in a positive way – decades of anti-Israel propaganda has slowly brainwashed the Swedish people.

 

I am doing all I can to wake my countrymen up from the horrible nightmare that is torturing them. It is my strong belief that one day they will thank me for not being a silent observer.

 

Until then, please don’t judge them too harshly.

 

Read this article in Hebrew

 

Pro-Israel bloggers are welcome to send emails to opinions@y-i.co.il .

 

Kim Milrell , a Swedish blogger and web designer, recently published in his blog photos of the rocket-stricken Israeli home front not published by Swedish media

 

 

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