H&M Is at It Again: New Scarf Closely Resembles Jewish Prayer Shawl

What’s up with the Swedes? They’ve tried to prohibit kosher meat. They’ve banned then rescinded the ban on circumcision. They were first in line to recognize the “State of Palestine” even though no negotiated settlement between Israelis and Palestinians had been reached.
And now, as if those shameful actions were not enough, the Swedish foreign minister, Margot Wallström, has called for an investigation of Israeli reactions to Palestinian knife attacks upon Israelis to see if ensuing Palestinian deaths that result from reactions to the attackers are actually “extra legal” executions.

Is this kind of muddled thinking the product of eating too much herring? Do brains freeze when people live so close to the Arctic Circle? Has Swedish acquavite become contaminated? Or is it the ugly history of Sweden’s deep alliance with the Nazi movement in the 40’s and after that continues to color Sweden’s politics?

Yes, boys and girls, Sweden had its own fascist movement in those days which had a cooperative alliance with Hitler’s Nazis. Because Norway, led by the collaborator Quisling, and Finland, which was officially a German ally (albeit for their own nationalist reasons) usually receive the brunt of criticism on this score, Sweden’s involvement in National Socialism gets short shrift. But in its own way Liberal Sweden has a right wing streak much wider than usually supposed. It seems in recent years this facet of Swedish politics, never wholly absent, has risen again to the surface.

The land of Olof Palme, Henrik Ibsen, Dag Hammarskjold and Ingmar Bergman is also the land of Sven Hedin (writer), Ingvar Kamprad (IKEA founder) and Walther Sommerlath (Queen Silvia’s father), all members of Nazi groups. Unlike other nations, Sweden never went through any de-Nazification process. Well, turning over rocks to see what squiggles out from under is always interesting and almost as often disheartening. —Rabbi Kerry Baker

Read referenced article: http://www.haaretz.com/jewish/news/1.696107

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