The Swedish government today denounced a “campaign of misinformation” after a video released on Tuesday and making the rounds online, in which the Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristerson appears to fall into one slip of the tonguein which he appeared to defend Israel’s right to commit genocide.

“Videos are circulating with inaccurate translations and distortions of the comments made by the Swedish prime minister during a public rally in Gothenburg,” Civil Defense Minister Karl-Oskar Bolin said in a post on X.

“The goal is obvious: to tarnish Sweden’s image abroad and further polarize and divide,” Bolin added.

The videos were from a meeting that took place on Tuesday in the city of Gothenburg.

Referred to in the war between Israel and Hamas, Christerson wanting to say that “Sweden and the EU are united in the fact that Israel has the right to self-defense, within the framework of international law,” made a sardam: Instead of using the word that means defense (“forsvar ” in Swedish), he initially said “folk” before promptly correcting it.

In Swedish, the word for international law is ‘folkratt’ and for genocide ‘folkmord’. Both words begin with “folk”, meaning people or nation.

Some of the meeting participants understood that Christerson was going to say “folkmord”, meaning genocide, and some of those present then shouted: “Does Israel have the right to genocide?”

The atmosphere then became tense, with some shouting and interrupting the Swedish prime minister.

Christerson himself denounced in a Facebook post the following day the presence at the meeting of “political saboteurs” who appeared to be there only to express “their anger at the political position of Sweden and the EU on the war in the Middle East”.

Sweden’s foreign minister, Tobias Billström, told X that the country sees “hostile actors trying to falsely twist the words of our prime minister.”

“Don’t contribute to this. What he said was that Sweden and the EU strongly support Israel’s right to self-defense,” Billstrom said.

Bolin estimated that this episode was fueled by actors involved in an earlier “disinformation campaign” in 2022 that Swedish social services “kidnapped Muslim children” and placed them in Christian homes, which the authorities denied.

GS