Why am I not surprised by the anti-Jewish protest held last week in the town of Helsingborg in southern Sweden? I wrote "anti-Jewish" and not "anti-Israel" because the main slogans that were shouted there—such as "the Jews are offspring of apes and pigs"—have nothing to do with the Middle East. This is blatant anti-Semitism of the ugliest kind.
So why am I not surprised? Because in this Scandinavian country, with a prime minister like Stefan Löfven, and a foreign minister like Margot Wallström, anti-Semitic displays, all the more so anti-Israel, are not supposed to "knock us off our feet."
Sweden was the first country to recognize "Palestine," it contributes great sums of money to the Palestinian Authority, and its government is hostile towards Israel. Wallström herself makes no effort to hide the fact she loathes us. Two small reminders: In November 2015 she tied the ISIS terror attacks in Paris to "Palestinian desperation," and shortly after that—at the height of the wave of terrorism—she called for an investigation into allegations Israel carries out "extrajudicial killings" of Palestinians.
Even though one should not generalize—obviously, not all Swedes are anti-Semites or Israel haters—there is another reason why I'm not surprised by the anti-Semitic displays in Sweden.
During World War II, for a long time, the "neutral" Sweden refused to take in some 7,700 Jews from Denmark, which had been conquered by Hitler's forces, and save them from being sent to extermination camps. It was only after great efforts by influential figures that Sweden finally agreed, near the end of 1943, to take in Denmark's Jews.
Denmark was the only conquered country in which almost all of its citizens, including King Christian and the royal family, sought to aid Jews and hide them. After receiving the okay from Sweden, they smuggled some 7,200 Jews and some 700 of their non-Jewish relatives to the neighboring country in an organized operation that lasted for three weeks in ships, motorboats, and smaller boats. Some 500 Jews who were unable to escape—mostly the elderly and invalid—were caught and sent to the Theresienstadt concentration camp in German-occupied Czechoslovakia.
Sweden may have eventually agreed to take in the Jews of Denmark, but it's worth mentioning that it supported Hitler's Third Reich, providing it with iron for its war industry, among other things. Many of the citizens of the "neutral" Sweden also wanted to see Germany win the war. So is it any wonder some of their descendants remained unequivocal anti-Semites?
Another factor that undoubtedly affects the level of anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiments in Sweden is the massive, ever-growing Muslim population in the country, whose positions on Jews in general and Israel in particular are no secret.
It's enough to mention that Gothenburg, the second largest city in the country, has been used for years as one of ISIS' largest recruitment centers in Europe, while in Malmö, the third largest city, some 40 percent of the population is Muslim, and they essentially "control" the city.
I've visited Sweden many times. Several years ago, locals I've spoken to told me they were worried about the "invasion" of their country. "We have no idea how we're going to overcome this problem," they told me. And, indeed, they have yet to overcome it.