Swedish anti-Semitism revealed

Five percent of Swedes are anti-Semitic, according to a report published on Tuesday.

‘Anti-Semitic attitudes and perceptions’, a joint project between the National Council for Crime Prevention and the Forum for Living History, was based on the responses of around 3,000 Swedes aged 16 to 75.

The results, which appeared in Dagens Nyheter, showed that 26% believe that there is a ‘Jewish influence’ over the world’s economy, and 15% consider that influence to be ‘too great’. It also emerged that 14% believe that Jews use the Holocaust for political or economic ends.

One out of four of those questioned said they were negative towards the idea of a Jewish prime minister.

“What has long been a problem is the fact that antisemitism has in many ways been denied or trivialised, or that the problem has been seen as peculiar to marginal right wing groups,” said historian Henrik Bachner, one of the report’s authors, to Swedish Radio.

“What we now see, clearer than ever, is that that is absolutely not the case – rather it’s partly general prejudice.”

Heléne Lööw at the Forum for Living History said she was surprised by the survey’s results.

“Yes, I am – to see that these notions of Jewish power and Jewish conspiracy theories are so widespread.”

According to Heléne Lööw the antisemitic feelings were displayed across the political spectrum. From an occupational point of view, labourers, the self-employer and farmers tend to be most negative, she said.

Where people live in Sweden appears to make little difference to their attitude.

The results showed that the well-educated show less prejudice than those with less education, with more than 70% of graduates distancing themselves from anti-Semitic statements compared to 47% among the less-educated.

The research was based on a postal survey carried out between March and May last year. It did not indicate whether antisemitism is increasing or decreasing in Sweden.

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