Concluding reflections

The results of the present study show that antisemitic attitudes and ideas are comparatively prevalent in some sections of the Swedish population, and associated more with certain political opinions than with others. As we have seen, this applies among others to older age groups, sections of the population born in or outside Europe or with Muslim affiliation, and groups that sympathise with the Sweden Democrats. However, it does not follow that the prevalence of antisemitic attitudes and beliefs in the Swedish population can be reduced to these categories. Far from it; the results show that antisemitic attitudes and models of thought, while varying in prevalence and scope according to the form they take, are found in different segments of the population, including in the majority population, in groups with different or no religious affiliation, or various shades of political opinion.

For example, when it comes to party preferences, traditional and Holocaust related antisemitic notions are less prevalent in groups who sympathise with the left or the centre than among those who sympathise with the parties of the right. The pattern is slightly different for antisemitism related to Israel; such opinions, for example, are somewhat less prevalent in groups that sympathise with the Left Party or Feminist Initiative, the Green Party, but also the Christian Democrats. The results regarding attitudes among party sympathisers should not, for obvious reasons, be confused with the question of possible problems regarding antisemitism in political parties or specific political contexts, but they do underscore the point that antisemitism in the form of attitudes and ideas cannot – should not – be described as a problem limited to the political extremes or to this or that political camp.

Authors
Henrik Bachner, PhD and Pieter Bevelander, Professor.

 


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