June 14, 2012
Remove guest tweeter, head of Swedish Jewish community says
The president of Sweden’s Jewish communities said the country’s tourism agency should replace this week’s guest operator of the national Twitter account.
The operator, Sonja Abrahamsson, during her stint on @Sweden has caused a stir with some references she made about Jews. She offered a crude comment about how to identify Jewish men and said it was difficult to tell Jews apart from non-Jews.
“This woman’s tweets are more stupid than anti-Semitic,” Lena Posner-Korosi, president of the Council of Swedish Jewish Communities, told JTA on Thursday. “What is disconcerting is that VisitSweden has not terminated Abrahamsson’s stint even after her silly remarks. Letting Abrahamsson tweet for all of us will not make Sweden appear more attractive.”
Abrahammson, 27, is a guest tweeter for VisitSweden, a government-owned corporation; the guests change every week. The corporation hopes to make Sweden more attractive abroad by having ordinary Swedes write short messages on Twitter.
An employee of VisitSweden said Thursday that no one from the corporation was available for comment on the matter.
Abrahammson’s tweets on Jews began Tuesday when she discussed how to identify a Jewish male. She then wrote, “In nazi German they even had to sew stars on their sleeves. If they didn’t, they could never now who was a jew and who was not a jew.”
“Once I asked a co-worker what a jew is. He was ‘part jew,’ whatever that means. He’s like ‘uuuuh … jews are.. uh.. well educated..?” she wrote and mentioned that she grew up in a place with no Jews. Abrahamsson then apologized if her words were seen as offensive and said she didn’t understand why people hated Jews.
Tommy Sollen, social media manager at VisitSweden, told The Wall Street Journal that the tourism agency would not interrupt Abrahamsson’s stint as national tweeter.