The article by Zvi Zameret was posted as an op-ed in the rightist Sheldon Adelson-sponsored paper Makor Rishon (‘First Source’), under the title, “Margot Wallström’s source of inspiration,” referring to the Swedish Foreign Minister. As it is in Hebrew, I shall try to make some mention of its salient contents, without translating the whole due to time constraints.
The matter was now brought to my attention via a tweet by journalist Barak Ravid (Haaretz) and via post of journalist David Sheen and forwarded by PS Arihant.
The article circles around the 1948 murder of Swedish Count Folke Bernadotte, UN special envoy, who was sent to mediate a resolution of the Palestinian issue in 1948, making recommendations for the withdrawal of Israeli forces and return of refugees – making him a target for elimination, executed by the Gang in Jerusalem in September 1948.
Zameret, the former director of pedagogy for the Israeli education ministry, seeks to set the focus on Bernadotte’s person, and a suggestion that he was an anti-Semite. He recalls an occurrence in 1984, when the author traveled to Copenhagen, and was “ordered” by his friend Cohen to meet with Dr. Johannes Holm, whom the author refers to as “the Danish Refugee Minister” during WW2. That is very strange, because from my search of him, I reached an article about Holm in precisely the relevant time, by the highly authoritative Danish newspaper Politiken, in which Holm is mentioned as the head of the Danish National Institute for Health Data and Disease Control.
In any case, Zameret tells that Cohen had read in a paper that Holm had written a book about the White Busses, where he claims that Count Bernadotte was an anti-Semite. The author tells how he met with Holm, and how the latter told him of a “regrettable incident” with Bernadotte from 1944: That the Count, who was vice chairman of the Swedish Red Cross, in his negotiation of the freeing of Scandinavian prisoners of Nazi Germany, “refused to include Jews within the exchange deal”.
Now I have not read the book, published in 1984, myself – but I have read a review which is written in very critical tone of Bernadotte, in the Flensborg Avis 18.6.2012, which refers to such an incident. And here it says that the issue concerned 400 Scandinavian Jews in Theresienstadt camp, and it was THE NAZIS who refused to allow the Jews to be transported together with other Scandinavians. Apparently, Bernadotte conceded unwillingly to this decree – and this was to be his cardinal sin according to the author and Cohen, marking him an anti-Semite.
Now Zameret tells of how upon return he met Cohen in Israel, when Cohen was visiting his sick wife, who was also a former Stern Gang member, in hospital at the eve of her death. He tells how Cohen did not say a word, only smiled, and how his wife Nehama responded: “Yehoshea, now it is clear that Bernadotte was an anti-Semite, the bullets that you shot him with were not [expended] in vain”.
The author continues with a long list of Bernadotte’s “chutzpah”, in his suggestions to resolve the situation by a withdrawal of Israeli forces, return of refugees and reinstatement of Jerusalem as a corpus separatum as intended by the UN Partition Plan of 1947. In Zameret’s account, Bernadotte’s chutzpah was his “annulation” of the partition plan, calling for a “confederate rule between Israel and Transjordan” involving an “economic, national and security treaty” (referring to Bernadotte’s June 1948 suggestion which he revised in September). Tarnishing Bernadotte for his ‘ignorance’, in having “no idea about the Arab dream and the Jewish mentality” the author claimed “both sides disliked him”. He chides him for working on the behest of the British and the American State Department, who “did not believe in the possibility of the existence of the State of Israel” and ends his McCarthyite tour de force by referring to the American Secretary of State as being influenced by Yehuda Leib Magnes, prominent Reform rabbi and President of Hebrew University who had met with American officials — Magnes himself was pleased with Bernadotte’s positions.
Finally the author arrives at the summation of all the above, with a eugenics-vein, aimed at the Swedish Foreign Minister, who has suggested that Israel’s killings of many Palestinian attackers were “extra-judicial executions” and has called for an investigation of these cases.
“What do the things I have mentioned indicate about Bernadotte? [They indicate] covert anti-Semitism, ignorance and arrogance, cooperation with senior elements in the country and interests that play a decisive role. Has anything changed in the Swedish DNA [my emphasis] in the decades following Bernadotte’s death? Nothing has changed. The Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström, with her characteristic covert anti-Semitism, with her arrogance, ignorance, and her interest-bound speculation regarding her future Muslim voters – she too seeks to fight the foundations of the State of Israel. I am convinced and certain that her intentions will smoulder, just as all of the undignified count’s intentions did.