Random Thoughts Re: Israel & Palestine

The Middle East doesn’t really concern me all that much. To me, it’s a collection of more or less totalitarian states with stone-age morals. If it hadn’t been for the oil they have that we need, we could pleasantly forget all about them and let them take their time advancing into the 21st century with the rest of us. I rarely, barely ever, touch the subject on this blog or in real life. It simply doesn’t interest me.

Swedes in general are quite different, however. Everyone has a strong opinion on the subject, it seems, and the vast majority of them are pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel. Now, Swedes in general don’t know much about massacres of Christians in Sudan or Nigeria, Indonesia or Iraq. They don’t really care, either. It’s long puzzled me why that is, why it is this one conflict that makes Swedes so aflame with “righteous” anger. I mean, I’ve long ago accepted that I’m not mainstream and that I barely understand, let alone share, “common” Swedish values, so it’s taken quite some puzzling before I arrived at the answer.

I think it is a combination of three things all part of the Swedish identity, an identity infused with the tenants of socialism (as per usual). The first is the remnant views of Nazism, an ideology which was extremely strong in Sweden. Thus the hatred of Israel from the extreme right. Secondly, we have the fact that Israel has managed to build an economically successful state where their neighbors haven’t, thus creating hatred from the left. After all, a lefty can’t see a fat man without thinking he got that way by stealing from the skinny man beside him. And finally, we have the burning jealousy and lingering hatred of America, which is Israel’s biggest ally.

Anti-semitism, socialist envy, and anti-American hatred. T’hose are the perfect ingredients for the soup known as Swedish Middle East Sentiments.

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~ by Escaping Perdition on August 21, 2009.

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