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SWC: Swedish Christian Art Exhibition Depicting Jews As Rats Should Be Canceled

Urges Authorities to Investigate Whether Government Grants Being Use to Spread Hate

March 15, 2012

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading Jewish Human Rights NGO called for the canceling of a Swedish Christian Art exhibition that depicts Israelis as gun-toting rats devouring the "Holey [sic] Land" and urged authorities to investigate if government funds are being used to legitimize anti-Jewish hatred.

"Animalization (depicting humans as animals) of Jews was perfected by the Nazi propaganda machine, an all-too effective way to dehumanize Jewish citizens in the eyes of their German neighbors. The propaganda of the 1930s set the stage for the murder of 6 million Jews in the 1940s. Since then, Soviet and Arab and Muslim anti-Jewish propaganda used the very same method. Now it has surfaced in 2012 Sweden," charged Rabbi Abraham Cooper Associate Dean of the Wiesenthal Center.

"It should come as no surprise that far right extremists should celebrate this art exhibit as, ‘Swedish painters understands Jews to be violent noxious animals’
http://www.nationell.nu/2012/03/15/svenska-konstnarer-uppfattar-judar-som-valdsamma-skadedjur/, but the real question is what do Swedes who are not racists think?”
“We note that the sponsoring organization provides educational assistance for ‘church and Society.’ Is mainstreaming anti-Semitism now part of their mandate?”

We call on all Swedes, whatever their political views to denounce this hate masquerading as art and join in demanding an investigation as to whether government grants directly or indirectly are being used for this presentation by ‘The educational association BILDA for church and society’ the sponsoring agency of this exhibition," Cooper concluded.

BILDA reported that in 2010, over 70% of their income came from grants.

For more information, please contact the Center's Public Relations Department, 310-553-9036, join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter page or mobile device.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).