The Swedish Arts Council is sponsoring and distributing a new book which presents Israel as a racist entity comparable to apartheid South Africa.
The council, a government body, has allocated $8,985 toward publishing and distributing “The bride is beautiful but she is married to another man – Zionism – an ideology at the end of the road?”, the council told JTA this week. The decision was made last month.
The book by Ingmar Karlsson, a retired senior Swedish diplomat, states: “The fundamental difference between South African and Zionist colonialism is the former wanted land and people while the latter only wanted land.”
Published earlier this year, the book also states that in Israel – where Arabic is an official state language – “Hebrew has a special status, with no consideration” for Arabic as “the area’s original language.”
A committee of the council selected the book out of 1,600 applications for its “high quality in terms of content, from both a technical and editorial viewpoint” and “the reliability of the facts,” among other considerations, Maria Agren of the council wrote in an email to JTA.
The book contains a quote attributed to Theodor Herzl which the Stockholm-based Swedish Israel Information Center claims is a forgery: “It is essential that the sufferings of Jews become worse. This will assist in the realization of our plans. I have an excellent idea. I shall induce anti-Semites to liquidate Jewish wealth.”
Lisa Abramowicz, the center’s secretary general, has said the book reminded her of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
Contacted by phone by JTA, Karlsson declined to comment to these claims. Last month, in a letter to the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet, he said the quote appeared on True Torah Jews – an anti-Semitic website which describes actions by Adolf Hitler as a “direct response to the declaration of war on Germany by the worldwide Jewish leadership.”