Every year, the state-owned, Swedish Television (SVT) chooses an official announcer for their Christmas TV-schedule: a “julvärd”. On the afternoon of Christmas Eve, in between the traditional food and Christmas gifts, the Swedes get together in front of the TV and watch new and old programs. It’s been a tradition since 1959 and in a secular country like Sweden, this is as close to sacred as you get.
This year The-Untouchable-Can-Do-No-Wrong-Ms-Dirawi: Swedish Television’s favorite anti-Semite (who will host the local Swedish version of Eurovision in 2016, “Melodifestivalen” as well) will be the person bringing the Christmas spirit into all Swedes living rooms. Maybe choosing a Muslim as a host for this Christian holiday fits perfectly into the multicultural and oh, so politically correct Sweden: but an anti-Semite? Yes, you heard that right. Gina Dirawi has been caught with her hand in the anti-Semitic cookie jar more than once, and got away with it just as many times.
Swedish-Palestinian Gina Dirawi, born in Sundsvall in 1990, started as a blogger, and then went on to star in several public service events and shows.
In 2010, she made her first public faux pas, when comparing Israel to Hitler: “The Israeli government does the same thing as Hitler did to its people but with other means. They are racists, they oppress, and kill people who are not like them!” When she was hired to host Eurovision, Melodifestivalen, in Sweden in 2011, this blog entrance magically disappeared from cyber space, and her words were defended by the project manager for the show, Thomas Hall: “It is an unfortunate headline that she no longer stands by.” How fitting that her beliefs also magically disappeared, just in time for her public service gig.
Also this blog entrance magically disappeared, and Gina went on Twitter to say that she had no idea who the author was. Some random guy at an event had apparently given her the book and told her to read it. Yes, poor 21-year old Gina, was so young and naive she just didn’t know better. So young and naive, she failed to look at the book’s back cover to see what it was all about: “Israel is today, according to Lasse, the greatest threat to world peace and Zionism is the greatest threat to humanity.” Poor, naive, innocent little Gina. Petter Braggée, program manager for SVT in Malmö, was quick to defend her by saying: “She has a personal blog, and as long as what she writes isn’t in conflict with our democratic and principal values, we have no opinion about it.”
And it continues. In the summer of 2015, now having her own show on SVT called “Gina’s World”, she decided to travel to Israel to meet young female soldiers in the IDF. The whole point of the show and of the trip, was for poor Gina to come to terms with how Israel “had murdered a large part of her family.” In the program she goes on to tell the female soldiers how “her family was butchered by the Israeli army.” Not once do we get to see the other side: whether one of the Israeli girls has family or friends that have been killed in a war or in a terrorist attack. Not once do we get to see proof of the supposed slaughter of Gina’s family, or proof that her “grandparents were expelled from Palestine and were forced to grow up in Lebanese ghettos.” The entire half-hour show is about Gina and how hard it is for her to meet the horrible murderous IDF. That she, to her surprise, discovers that the soldiers are humans after all, does not take away the bitter taste of the one-sided, biased sob-story of the glorified Gina. And all this on SVT, financed by Swedish taxpayers.
Of course, these are just the publicly known “blunders” by Ms Dirawi. Her, not so distant, past has been scrubbed squeaky clean. Thanks to saved screen shots of deleted posts, some of her stupidity and anti-Semitism can still been seen here and here. For instance, on the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 27, 2010, she wrote a blog with the title “A Memorial Day For All”, where she suggested that this day should be for everyone including “all Palestinians murdered by the Zionists in Israel”.
Isn’t she lovely, SVT’s favorite, Ms Dirawi? Such a perfect poster girl for the new Sweden.
Of course, if you do or say anything even remotely racist or islamophobic in this humanitarian super-power, and God forbid you’re a public figure, you’re automatically shunned for life by Swedish society. Unless of course the racism involves Jews – then you automatically get a free get-out-of-jail-card, no questions asked. In Sweden 2015, you can basically do and say whatever you want, as long as it doesn’t involve immigrants in general, and Muslims in particular.
But Gina Dirawi is special. Unlike others, who have been fired for mixing their private views with their professional roles, she is untouchable. Holy. A goddamn saint. Trust me, if she had been Jewish and had said something that racist about Muslims, she would have been fired so fast her head would have been spinning. But now, no one cares. Everything is forgiven, excused and then rewarded by giving her one of the most wanted spots on TV – as a host for Christmas and as a host for Eurovision, watched by millions around the globe.
There’s something rotten in a society where this can happen. There’s something deeply and morally wrong when this is happening in a country that so proudly declares itself free of racism. There’s something truly sick with a society, where a person can be an anti-Semite and then be rewarded for it, and any critique against her is silenced.
Of course, in a country where the foreign minister Margot Wallström, blames the Paris terror attacks on Israel, and where the Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Mehmet Kaplan, is an Islamist, one probably shouldn’t be surprised.
Whoops, you did it again Sweden. Shame on you.
(Originally posted on my blog at The Times of Israel, December 21, 2015)