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Sweden Democrat wins anti-Semitism 'award'

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Sweden Democrat wins anti-Semitism 'award'
Söder wearing traditional Swedish garb. Photo: TT
09:16 CET+01:00
Comments by Sweden Democrat politician Björn Söder were offensive enough to be ranked among the ten most anti-Semitic remarks of 2014 by a leading US human rights group.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center is a global human rights organization, working with confronting anti-Semitism and shining a light on the Holocaust. 
 
The organization has released a new list of what it considers to be the "Ten worst anti-Semitic incidents" of last year, with Sweden's Björn Söder landing in sixth place.
 
Söder, who is a Deputy Speaker in the Swedish parliament said in a December interview with the Dagens Nyheter newspaper that he thinks "most people with a Jewish background who have become Swedes leave behind their Jewish identity". He added that it was important to differentiate between citizenship and nationhood.
 
The American organization figured the comments were offensive enough to be ranked among the world's worst anti-semitic comments of 2014. It also took a swing at Sweden's treatment of Jews in general.
 
"Swedish Jews have been targets of hate crimes from Muslim extremists, but authorities have rarely, if ever, taken action against the perpetrators," it wrote.
 
The organization has previously issued a travel advisory for Malmö, claiming that officials have "failed to protect their Jewish citizens" and that "leading political figures have often justified anti-Jewish sentiment because of the Israel-Palestinian conflict".
 
The number one place on the list went to a Belgian doctor who told the son of a Jewish woman that he should "send [his mother] to Gaza for a few hours, then she will get rid of the pain".
 
The nationalist, anti-immigration Sweden Democrats are the third largest political party in Sweden and won almost 13 percent of the vote in the last general election in September 2014.
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