A 17-year-old Swedish high school student attempted to give a pro-Israel speech in front of her classmates but was shut down by teachers who said it would be met with negative reactions.
Anna, a student at a major high school in Gothenburg, wanted to give a speech on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from the perspective of the Israeli side of the conflict and immediately started to get negative comments from classmates, SVT reports.
According to the 17-year-old, after teachers noticed the comments they called her to a meeting and asked her to change the subject of her speech to not upset other members of the class.
“Okay if you keep the speech you know how they will react. If they start to react like this before you even give the speech,” one of the teachers told the teen according to the Swedish media report.
Education lecturer Christer Mattsson slammed the school for pressuring the teen to keep quiet about the subject saying, “You have to say what you think and think about what you want in school. As long as it does not conflict with the law and as long as the intention is not to offend anyone.”
“The risk is obvious that the students do not learn how to handle conflicts, but rather learn how to silence beliefs that are not comfortable,” Mattsson added.
Swedish Cultural Figures Demand Israel Eurovision Boycott https://t.co/Z6rqqwECFQ
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 3, 2019
Swedish relations and attitudes toward Israel have been somewhat rocky in recent years, with Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom being slammed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over comments the Swedish official made in 2015.
Israel accused Wallstrom of saying that Israel endorsed unlawful killings, a statement which Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven denied was the country’s view.
More recently, the Swedish government ruled out following the United States in moving their Israeli embassy to Jerusalem, despite requests from conservative politicians.
Israel is not popular among many professional artists and musicians in Sweden either. A group of 171 artists, musicians and other “cultural workers” demanded Sweden boycott this year’s Eurovision song contest due to the fact it is being held in Israel.