So @sweden - the official Swedish twitter that switches 'Swedes' on a weekly basis and gives them free rein over the twitter channel made international news again today for comments @sweden made about Jews.
Apparently the current Sweden - Sonja, a twenty something mother of two - wondered about what a Jew actually is, how you tell someone is Jewish and what it really means in an exceedingly naive discussion that quickly blew up in her face.
What I like about it? I think Sonja's comments are not so off base for a lot of Swedes when it comes to Judaism. Here are some things I have heard Swedes say about Jews over the years:
My SFI teacher, to a Jewish student while we were having drinks at a bar "Oh, you are Jewish? I hate arabs too"
A lawyer I know "You cannot ignore the fact that when a Jew walks into a room, they carry a certain 'pondus' (a natural authority).
"Never trust a Dane or a Jew with your money," a former colleague.
"Don't be such a Jew" Some idiot trying to 'buy' a cigarette from me. They weren't my cigarettes, a friend left them on the table. I gave a randomly high price.
I have a lot of examples like this from people that I wouldn't consider 'anti-Semitic' or racist, but who really have maybe met one Jewish person in their lives. Combine this with a general dislike of the state of Israel, and you have a bit of insight into how, I think any way, many Swedes view Jews.
I am very happy @sweden made her bit of a public blunder. It is about time someone other than Ilmar Reepalu, the annoying Malmö mayor who walks a thin line of flirting with Muslim voters he for some reason seems to believe are highly anti-Semitic, and trying to insist that he never said anything like anything he is ever quoted as saying about the Jews.
I had actually planned to post a bit more about Reepalu in the future, but since @sweden piped up, had to start tackling the issue now.