Israel Is The World’s Jew

Tags: Antisemitism, Community, Diaspora, Israel Engagement

By Saskia Pantell, Vice Chair of the board of the Zionist Federation of Sweden

I’m not here today to talk about how wonderful Israel is in all its various ways through its inventions, innovations, development and environment. Nor how nice, loving, caring and welcoming every Israeli home is.

We who are here today, we already know this.

The problem is that the majority of people lack the knowledge, truth (through lack of fair media reporting) and facts about Israel.

Today we often hear, “One should be able to criticize Israel without being called an Antisemite”.

Sure of course, just like in any democratic state one should be able to do so; we Swedes criticizes our Government just as freely and openly as Israelis or Norwegians criticizes their Governments.

BUT – We see on a daily basis that most who use these words do not know where the line is. Criticism of Israel becomes Antisemitism when the State of Israel is demonized, measured by other standards and de-legitimized.

On my most recent trip to Israel, I attended the Conference on Antisemitism by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Continuously throughout the conference, I was asked – why Sweden’s Jews do not make Aliyah and move to Israel. Honestly, it was very hard to answer that question.

I’m an American, originally from New York. And I hope that one day Sweden’s Jews and Zionists will be able to wear Jewish and Israeli symbols openly and freely without the security like we have and need here today. And be free, as one can be in New York.

I am sure that we who are here today, would still be here today – no matter what ethnic group, minority or democratic nation we need to stand up for, to make Sweden and the world a better place.

So, how do we make the situation better?

The first thing we can do is to define and recognize the problem! And part of that is a lack of knowledge.

The second is to stand up and come up with a pro-active solution for today’s situation – for it is certainly not sustainable.

The third is knowledge. Knowledge about Zionism. Jewish self-governance is and should always be something obvious. Self-governance is a human right and isn’t it so, that we in Sweden believe in justice and human rights?

I also wish to extend a hand to all those who have questions and/or difficulty understanding Zionism. All of you are welcome to contact me as well as the Zionist Federation of Sweden!

We can measure a society’s freedom and tolerance level, just by looking at how many Jews exist within the society.

Today Israel is the world’s Jew.

Antizionism IS Antisemitism – this is not a question.

Now, lets make the situation better – Yalla Kadima!

This was a speech that was given by Saskia Pantell at Enough is Enough: A Manifestation for Israel where over 500 people attended. The event was held in Stockholm in June and was coordinated as a grassroots initiative by local young Jews who recognized the need to unite the community in support of Israel and against Antisemitism and Anti-Zionism trends in Sweden.

Today, one of the worst places for Jews in Scandinavia is Malmö, the most southern and 3rd largest city of Sweden, which is deemed to be the first Judenrein city of Europe - a city free of Jews.

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Tags: Antisemitism, Community, Diaspora, Israel Engagement