Jews are not Swedes, populist right-wing lawmaker says

Bjorn Soder, who represents the Sweden Democrats party at the Riksdag, the Swedish parliament, claims he only meant that people have a right to have their own identity.

By JTA
June 23, 2018 20:48
1 minute read.
Björn Söder

Björn Söder. (photo credit: TWITTER)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

A lawmaker for a populist right-wing party in Sweden has been accused of racism after writing on Facebook that Jews and members of the Sami minority are not Swedes.

Bjorn Soder, who represents the Sweden Democrats party at the Riksdag, the Swedish parliament, maintains that in his post Sunday he never questioned minorities’ rights as Swedish citizens but merely stood up for their rights to preserve their distinct ethnic identities.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Soder on Facebook criticized Annie Loof, a Cabinet minister for the liberal Centre Party, who wrote on Twitter that her “Jewish friends are simply my Swedish friends: As a citizen of Sweden, you are Swedish, even whether you belong to one of our national minorities or not.”

Soder responded that Loof was “undermining” the status of those five minorities by downplaying their distinctive identities, as he described it.

“These groups have minority positions in Sweden precisely because they are not Swedes. Shame on you, Annie Loof, for your racist attitude,” he wrote.

Soder made similar statements in a 2014 interview with Dagens Nyheter. Lena Posner Korosi, who was then the president of the Jewish Council in Sweden, said that Soder’s reasoning was “reminiscent of 1930s Germany.”

Paulus Kuoljok, the president of the Sami Parliament Plenary Assembly — a publicly elected parliament and a state agency addressing the rights of that indigenous minority – called Soder’s Facebook post “provocative” and designed to win votes.



“They have shown their hostile stance for quite some time, so I’m not surprised,” he told Sveriges Television.

Sweden Democrats has several Jews in its ranks, including lawmakers. It has nonetheless been accused of espousing anti-Semitic views, which the party denies.

In October, a party lawmaker called for action against what she labeled the “control of media by any family or ethnic group,” citing a prominent publisher with Jewish roots.

Senior lawmaker Carina Herrstedt was widely criticized in the media for writing a racist joke in an email that was deemed offensive to gays, blacks, nuns, Roma and Jews. Finance spokesman Oscar Sjostedt was heard in a recording jokingly comparing Jews to sheep being killed in German abattoirs.

Related Content

August 15, 2018
Herzog to chair the Genesis Prize Selection Committee

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF