Swedish Lawmaker Decries Jewish Family’s ‘Control’ of Media

(JTA) – A Swedish watchdog on anti-Semitism accused a far-right lawmaker of spreading racist stereotypes of Jews in speaking against “control of media by any family or ethnic group.”

Anna Hagwall, a lawmaker for the Sweden Democrats party in the Riksdag, Sweden’s national legislative body, submitted a motion on Sept. 30 that proposes to condition state subsidies of media in Sweden on the plurality of entities that own the publications.

In a statement to the Aftonbladet daily, she named specifically the Bonnier Group — a privately held Swedish media group of dozens companies operating in 15 countries that was started and is still controlled by the Bonnier family, which has Jewish roots.

Opposing state funding for local publications owned by the group, Hagwall wrote in the email: “Let the small Bonnier newspapers in the provinces go under. No family, ethnic group or company should be allowed to control more than 5 percent of the media” market.

Her statement triggered rebuke within her own party and by the Swedish Committee Against Antisemitism.

“The anti-Semitic myths fueled by a member of the Swedish Parliament are frightening,” the committee’s chairperson, Svante Weyler, wrote in a statement published Thursday.

By “implying that an ethnic group controls the media, Hagwall indulged in anti-Semitic propaganda on the notion that Jews control the media,” Weyler added. “This type of attack against Bonnier has a long tradition that continues to this day, not least in right-wing propaganda.”

Mattias Karlsson, a leader of the Sweden Democrats, said in a statement Thursday that Hagwall’s actions “have damaged our confidence in her” and “will have consequences for her future activities in the party and its parliamentary work.”

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Swedish Lawmaker Decries Jewish Family’s ‘Control’ of Media

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close