You know, in Israel. Just like I said I would be. I wrote to you two years ago, you may remember. And I told you about the people who built the state of Israel; the survivors of the Holocaust, the Jews expelled from the Arab world and Iran, and who were robbed of all of their possessions, the Ethiopian Jews who walked through the deserts of death, the Soviet Jews who fled from the anti-Semitism and all the other Jews who have moved here to live together with the Jews who have lived here for generations.
Madam Foreign Minister, now I am one of them – I, the son of a survivor from the Holocaust. I, who have lived all my life in Sweden and have served the country as a soldier, as an ambulance nurse, as a therapist and above all as, a lecturer of the Holocaust and its consequences. I have left a Sweden that is no longer the country I have known my whole life. Sweden, a country that has changed further over the years since I wrote to you – and the change is not for the better.
Madam Foreign Minister, I’m leaving Sweden where violence, gangs fight for territory, power and “respect”, shootings, rape and especially gang rapes have become the norm – my Sweden which is now a country where anti-Semitism is dramatically increasing even further, a country whose government suffers from at severe case of megalomania and believes itself to be morally superior to any other country in the entire world.
Madam Foreign Minister: You are well known here. You are known as the foreign minister who believes that Israel was responsible for the terrorist attacks in Paris and the foreign minister who accuses Israel of extrajudicial executions. Have you ever thought about the fact that of the 160 000 asylum seekers who arrived in Sweden in 2015 from the Middle East, not a single one came from Israel? Two million Arabs live here in Israel, but they don’t leave Israel – why should they? But do you understand why that is? Did you ever stop to think about it when you used your power and connections and flirt unabashedly with dictatorships in order to get the support you needed to get your seat at the UN Security Council? What you have in common is the joint hatred against Israel and against the Jews.
Madam Foreign Minister: The security council is a part of a UN that no longer does what it should. A UN that long ago forfeited its right to call itself the world conscience and where the the dictatorships of the world have taken over. A UN where the numbers of resolutions against Israel far exceeds the resolutions for example, against Syria and Iran. Countries from which many of the 160 000 asylum seekers arrived in 2015. But you don’t see this, you don’t want to see this, now that you finally have the position you have been yearning for – never mind the cost – and actually have the opportunity to use your influence for the good. We know what is more important to the UN.
Madam Foreign Minister, since I last wrote to you Sweden has adapted to hearing people screaming in the streets that “Jews are the offspring of monkeys and pigs” and “shoot the Jews”. Without ramification. Petrol bombs have been thrown against my synagogue and against the chapel in Malmö. The Jewish community center pays 53% of its budget, based on their members’ fees, on its own security. But you don’t want to see this, you did not want to hear the warning signs, you who habitually will blame Israel like you always do – my Israel – to be the cause of all evil in the world. And then you wonder why the Swedish Jews leave. In the Jewish Chronicle you claim not to understand why Jews want to leave to Sweden in order to move to a life “behind walls”.
But Mrs Foreign Minister, if the interview was made on the Jewish community’s premises, you had to cross the high fences, the walls and security controls in order to enter. The fences and walls that make the Jews safe in Sweden. There are plenty of people in Sweden who want to kill us. So what is the fundamental difference between the fences and walls of Jewish institutions in Sweden and fences and walls against those who want to kill and hurt people in Israel? Who can we trust? Not those who are aiding and abetting. Not those who make hollow promises. Not those who lay the blame on the victims and coddle and defend the perpetrators. The history of experience has taught us that we can only trust ourselves against those who want to kill us.
Madam Foreign Minister, don’t you see that the country of Sweden is slowly but surely is imploding? Countries do not collapse due to poor economy. Countries collapse by the lack of morale and by that, the loss of hope for those who live there.
Madam Foreign Minister, now that we celebrate Pesach we celebrate our people’s exodus from Egypt and the journey to Israel thousands of years ago. We left like a people and we were still a people when we arrived home, to Israel. “I was once a slave but now I am free.” We have a duty to help those who are not free. I have the same obligation to myself. I made the same journey. It took longer than I could have foreseen, but now I’m here. I felt more and more and inhibited, incarcerated and unsafe in Sweden. There was a longing in me and I could not shake the feeling. I was waiting for the right time, but it never came – so I created the opportunity instead – and now I’m here – in Israel. During Pesach. The Feast of Liberation. In Israel, the country where I feel safer than I ever did in Sweden.
Madam Foreign Minister, I’m finally here, with my people, and I am part of it. If I were religious – which I think I am and especially in this case – I could say that I had the same longing as my people had when we left Egypt.
Mrs Foreign Minister, if my wife and I succeed in establishing ourselves here and when, or if, Israel welcomes you back here, you are welcome to our home. I will show you the real Israel – with its pros and cons – the Israel you do not know. Whatever you think, Madam Foreign Minister – Gam Zeh Yavor – this will pass too – and you will too, and we will live on, just as in we have done for 4000 years, and we will continue to celebrate the feast of Peasch, for freedom for generations after generation – and now in a free country. The country of the Jews. Our country.
Margot Wallström – “LeShana Haba’a Biroshalayim” – to next year in Jerusalem – the ancient Jewish city, the indivisible capital of Israel.
Are you coming?