Sweden, a pioneer of political correctness
Arkia has to stop flying to Stockholm because the Swedish capital’s international airport now refuses to allow Israeli methods of security inspections dictated by the Shin Bet security service … Thus, Stockholm’s airport joined those in Malmo, Sweden and in Copenhagen in refusing to allow Israeli security inspections, which involve ethnic and personal profiling, extensive questioning and selective inspections based on the perceived degree of risk to security.
Arkia, the only Israeli airline flying to Sweden, had to move its operations to Malmo and Stockholm this year after Denmark refused to permit Israeli security procedures at its airports last summer. Arkia elected to fly passengers to Sweden and take them by land to Denmark. Now this avenue is closed.
This could very well spread to other European countries:
“It seems from the international media that additional European countries waving the flag of civil rights and equality will refuse the Israeli security demands, which I’ve warned would happen,” said Arkia CEO Gadi Tepper. Arkia and other Israeli airlines would face serious difficulty if much of Europe is blocked to them, he said.
So Sweden, as usual a pioneer in politically correct insanity — this is the country that has invented a new pronoun equivalent to “he-she” to promote gender equality — finds the idea of profiling and asking intrusive questions so repugnant that they would prefer passengers on Israeli planes to accept an increased probability of getting blown to bits.
But that’s not just because they are anti-Israel. They are equally prepared to let themselves get blown to bits in various ways for the sake of political correctness. According to a 2006 cable from the US Embassy in Stockholmreleased by Wikileaks, Sweden granted 873,040 residence permits to immigrants between 1980 and 2004. The dispatch, apparently by interim chargé d’affaires Stephen Noble, includes this:
¶2. (SBU) According to a report by the National Council for Crime Prevention published in December 2005, immigrants or individuals with at least one immigrant parent perpetrated about 45 percent of all crimes during the period 1997-2001. In regard to the most serious felonies — murder, manslaughter, assault and rape — the percentage was even higher.
¶3. (SBU) A National Council press release about the report focused on other findings showing immigrants are often wrongly suspected of crimes — possibly in deference to the politically sensitive nature of the crime statistics. The Council report cites failed government integration strategy as partly responsible for the over-representation of immigrants in criminal activity.
The situation is worse today. More than 14% of the population of Sweden is foreign-born. About 5% are Muslims from the Middle East and North Africa, as well as the former Yugoslavia. Most recent immigrants (since 1990) have been Muslim asylum seekers.
The Swedish government knows there is a problem. The approach to solving it, however has been — what else is new? — politically correct:
The diversity policy [as opposed to encouraging assimilation] that was introduced in the 1990s did not result in any obvious improvements. Thus, the government set up a commission in 2001 to investigate migrant communities’ access to power and influence.
In 2003, however, two members of the commission’s scientific committee publicly criticized the commission, claiming it discriminated against its non-Swedish members. The government discontinued the commission and set up a new commission to investigate integration in relation to structural discrimination.
The new commission consists of two researchers and a secretariat, but above all, it has been in a position to engage a large number of independent researchers for specific studies and tasks. Most of the researchers are young post-docs in sociology, economics, anthropology, and political science; a large share are of immigrant background. One of the critics, University of Uppsala ethnic studies professor Masoud Kamali (born in Iran), was appointed chair of the new commission.
This new commission has clearly adopted a post-colonial theoretical perspective. In its report released in 2005, it proposed introducing affirmative action on a broad scale to counteract structural discrimination. Affirmative action, the commission stated, should not only apply to ethnic or migrant minorities but also to other social categories. The commission even proposed that categories of people in a low socioeconomic position (including native Swedes) should enjoy the benefits of affirmative action.
However, the commission has not been able to pinpoint the causes of structural discrimination. All the main trade unions and the employers’ association have jointly repudiated the policy proposal. Members of the non-socialist opposition parties, who on the whole are more favorably inclined to labor migration, have criticized the government for encouraging the production of ideological discourse rather than seriously determining the facts, analyzing the problems, and developing feasible strategies to deal with the shortcomings. [all emphasis mine]
Some have suggested that the Swedish government has put the fox in charge of the henhouse. Meanwhile, there has been a very large increase in crime, including violent crime. There has also been a spurt of antisemitism against the tiny Jewish population (20,000) — both of the Muslim variety and the left-wing “anti-Zionist” type — which has gone entirely out of control in some places, like Malmö.
It’s ironic that Sweden had a highly restrictive immigration policy before and immediately after WWII, so very few Jews found refuge there. Today, political asylum is easy to get. I’m sorry that Israelis will find it hard to visit Sweden now, at least on Israeli aircraft. But one wonders why they should want to.