Swedish media: the writing’s on the wall

Welcome to the world of the Swedish mainstream press, led by Swedish state-run TV broadcaster SVT and the printed media’s Pravda-esque disseminator of propaganda, TT. A world in which absurd reversal of chronology is routine, delivered with religious fervour and unquestioned – provided the target is Israel.

The Hamas rocket bombardment of Gaza started after Israel assassinated self-professed mass-murderer Ahmed Jabari, leader of the Hamas army. That’s according to SVT and TT. The fighting did NOT start when Hamas first rained hundreds of missiles down on Israeli civilians. As always with SVT and TT, the fighting started when the Jew hit back.

Anyone with access to a newspaper, radio, TV or PC can see there is something fundamentally wrong with their chronology. One might question the motivation behind absurd stories whose timelines are patently obviously wrong and where the facts can be easily ascertained by anyone with a PC and access to Google. Just why do SVT and TT persist in forgery of fact and reversal of chronology when it comes to the Jewish state?

Wilful blindness

SVT consistently refrains from reporting when hundreds of missiles are fired from Gaza onto civilian targets in southern Israel, only breaking the story when Israel eventually returns fire. The banner headline at SVT then reads “Israel pounds Gaza”. This is not a one-off event, it is a consistent pattern.

On Sunday 11 November, SVT’s teletext news page had three banner headlines one after the other:

  • Israel pounds Gaza
  • Israel fires on Syria
  • Israel threatens economic sanctions against PA (for statehood bid)

Although Hamas rockets had already been slamming into Israeli homes for 48 hours, not a single mention was made on SVT of Hamas aggression or Israeli civilians under bombardment during those 48 hours. No mention of Gaza terrorists first blowing up a vehicle inside Israel, or the huge tunnel from Gaza under the border fence into Israel, or the fact that four soldiers were seriously injured by fire from Gaza. No mention that Syrian tanks had illegally entered the demilitarised zone separating Syria from Israel, contravening the binding agreement between the two countries. No mention that Syrians had twice fired mortar shells into Israel, one of which damaged an Israeli home, and fired at and hit an Israeli army vehicle. No mention that the PA is contravening signed agreements requiring them to negotiate instead of taking unilateral action.

Increasing irrelevance

For Swedes, SVT and TT are today largely irrelevant. Sweden is a highly online society and news is increasingly provided by the electronic media, blogs, Facebook and Twitter. SVT and TT are increasingly impotent to spread their poison, but that is not the real issue. The real issue is: Why do they persist?

To answer this question, one need only consider the following: despite the trite statements, there is no “humanitarian catastrophe” in Gaza. Quite the opposite – any society that can routinely manufacture thousands of rockets (13,500 fired so far into Israel), feed the engineers who make the rockets and feed the terrorists who fire the rockets, can scarcely claim to be suffering a humanitarian crisis. What they are suffering is an inability to freely expand their armaments industry.

Swedish funding of terrorism

That’s elementary logic. Yet Sweden continues to be the largest per capita contributor to Palestinian Arab “welfare” in the world. “Welfare” that encourages the continued abdication of financial responsibility for civic welfare by the Palestinian Arab Hamas government in Gaza (there’s a second Palestinian Arab Fatah government in the Jewish provinces of Judea & Samaria, aka the West Bank following Jordan’s illegal occupation of the west bank of the River Jordan in 1948, and a third Palestinian Arab government in Amman, the capital of Transjordan, later Jordan, where 70 percent of the population is Palestinian Arab). This funding permits unrestricted continuation of the Palestinian Arab armaments industry with no responsibility for job creation, industrial infrastructure, power supply, hospitals, roads and so on. Instead, responsibility for these essentials is forced onto overseas contributors. That’s you and me, via our income tax paid to central government. We are not asked if we want our hard-earned tax revenues to be diverted from domestic essentials to a Gaza whose regime is thus free to use their own freed-up revenues to fund terrorism in Israel.

In Sweden these issues are never debated in the mainstream media. The traditional monopoly of the ‘Big Two’, SVT and TT, blocks all possibility of public debate – part of their contribution to the pan-Arab war on the Jewish state. But although they are becoming increasingly irrelevant, that still does not stop SVT and TT from disseminating raw propaganda.

Unhealthy obsession

There is a reason for their obsession. It is part and parcel of their inability to discuss anything to do with Islam and Islamism or indeed to distinguish between the two: the first a religion, the second a violent political movement whose aim is world domination and whose tools for achieving this are unrelenting violence. In the mindset of the traditionally rabid left-wing Swedish media, the Iranian regime has got it right: the USA is the “big Satan”, and all US allies are by default “little Satans”. It is a childish, simplistic and unprofessional approach to a very serious situation, where political goals rank way above professional principle.

The general perception in Sweden is that it is important to read what SVT and TT publish about Middle East events. For exactly the same reason that Soviet citizens always turned to Pravda during the Communist era: to identify what not to believe. If it’s there, it isn’t true.

With their backs to the wall, their importance dwindling in an increasingly online world, Sweden’s mainstream media are faced with two choices: report the news that is globally available at the touch of a button via any number of accurate online sources, or continue as they have in the past, in the blind hope that somehow everything will go their way. It won’t – Swedish journalists are being laid off with alarming, but entirely predictable, frequency.

The writing’s on the wall. All of Sweden can read it, except for Sweden’s journalists – the very people whose profession is supposed to be all about writing.

Ironic when you think about it.

Today, Thursday 15 November 2012, more than 12 hours after three Israeli civilians were killed by Hamas rockets in Kiryat Malachi and news outlets from Beijing to Moscow, from Canberra to London, carried the news, Sweden’s SVT flatly refused to report it on its teletext site. But it did have four pages devoted to vilifying Israel. It is hard to believe it, but SVT is a publicly funded news organisation with a public charter.

The question therefore is: at what stage does it become relevant to take SVT to court to test the waters on Sweden’s libel legislation and public charter commitment?


About the Author
Served as deputy chair of the West Sweden branch of the Sweden-Israel Friendship Association. Written three political thrillers about Sweden-Israel-Gaza in The Hart Trilogy: "Bridges Going Nowhere" (2014), "The Threat Beneath" (2015) and "From the Shadows" (2016), where the action switches seamlessly between Samaria, Gaza, Israel, Sweden and Iran. Work has started on a fourth book, "Picture Imperfect".