He writes from his first-hand perspective of the situation in Malmö, the rise of Muslim anti-Semitism in the city and the unwillingness of the political establishment to deal with the issue.
In recent weeks, discussions about Malmö’s left-wing mayor Ilmar Reepalu and his controversial statements about Jews and Israel have caused anti-Semitic sentiment in the nation’s third-largest city to bubble to the surface. His extremist views, widely regarded as racist, are one part of the problem. Another, perhaps more important, aspect is that large sections of Sweden’s media and political establishment appear unwilling to acknowledge the nature of the problem.
Christian Democrat party leader Göran Hägglund (Minister for Health and Social Affairs in the governing centrist coalition) noted in a TV debate on March 7 that the rising tide of anti-Semitic threats in Malmö came from sections of the city’s Muslim population. That Hägglund mentioned Muslims by name may well have been an indiscreet slip of the tongue rather than a deliberate decision – he may have just injudiciously voiced what many Swedes feel but seldom put into words for reasons of political correctness. With one eye firmly fixed on the results of the latest pre-election polls, Social Democrat party leader Mona Sahlin, currently in opposition but according to various polls likely to win the national elections this September, calmly professed outrage and insisted that Hägglund apologise. Hägglund quickly changed the subject and avoided this issue during the rest of the debate, possibly because he too did not want to risk alienating the Muslim electorate.
Yet the recent spate of anti-Semitic hate crimes in Malmö is not attributed to a bunch of disaffected right-wing skinheads or uneducated yobs. Rather, it is a direct result of anti-Jewish feeling among sections of the city’s Muslim population. I know, because I live in Malmö and I am a Jew. I’ve experienced it at first hand and I know several of the victims of both physical attacks and verbal abuse. The perpetrators have one single factor in common: their roots in Muslim countries.
This is something that has to be recognised openly and debated in public if Sweden is to overcome this problem. Mona Sahlin and her party comrade Ilmar Reepalu refuse even to acknowledge the source of the problem. If Sweden does not recognise and label its substantial undercurrent of Muslim anti-Semitism, it stands no chance of overcoming it.
It is a matter of shielding elementary democratic values: if the powers that be feel it is important for Jews continue to live in Malmö instead of fleeing the city, as they are at present, then it is necessary to bring about a change of attitude among Malmö’s Muslim population. Sweden is by no means unique in hosting a large Muslim population with openly expressed antipathy towards Jews. Mein Kampf is a best-seller in many Muslim countries, and the Arabic-language media are rife with raw anti-Jewish propaganda. This has been thoroughly documented worldwide, not least by news site Memri TV which translates news items from Arabic TV channels. Last year the Kristelig Dagblad newspaper in Denmark reported on a survey among Danish Muslims who revealed widespread anti-Jewish sentiment.
In Sweden cases of openly expressed anti-Semitism are on the rise. A couple of years ago there was the documented case of a Stockholm mosque selling audio tapes in which Jews were referred to as pigs and apes. There are clips on YouTube showing a large group of young Muslim men in Malmö last year shouting Arabic slogans inciting the massacre of Jews. There are film clips showing how a peaceful pro-Israeli manifestation on January 25 last year was smashed by a wild Islamist mob shouting “Hitler! Hitler”, “Death to the Jews” and “Death to the Zionists”.
As the pro-Israeli demonstrators, many of them survivors of the Holocaust, were forced to flee for their lives, Muslim youths pursued them to continue their attacks. One of my friends told me how some of these youngsters pointed to her father and shouted “There’s a Jew!” My friend’s father, who speaks fluent Arabic, replied “Yes, I’m a Jew. So what?” They replied: “We’re going to kill you, you Jew!” During this exchange, one of the gang members threw a glass bottle that hit my friend.
These examples are just the tip of the iceberg, showing how widespread hatred of the Jews is among Sweden’s Muslim population – and how openly it is expressed in front of a remarkably silent media and political establishment, with some notable exceptions. It is strongly reminiscent of the open hatred with which Jews were regarded and treated in 1930s Germany.
For this very reason it is not at all surprising that the situation for us Jews in Malmö worsens steadily when political figures such as Social Democrats Sahlin and Reepalu ignore blatant Muslim anti-Semitism and try instead to portray the situation as some kind of general intolerance on the part of unidentified groups. The perpetrators are clearly identified. So too are their victims. Sahlin and Reepalu encourage anti-Semitism by refusing to openly state what everyone else sees and knows – the Muslim source of Sweden’s anti-Semitism.
Mona Sahlin expressed outrage when government minister Göran Hägglund did just that – clearly identified the source of Sweden’s anti-Semitism. Why? Is it because Sahlin remains totally ignorant of the situation despite the fact that she actually met with representatives of the Jewish community in Malmö? Because at that meeting, she must have been informed in no uncertain terms as to the precise source of Malmö’s anti-Semitism.
Or has Mona Sahlin simply made the same deliberate calculation as her party colleague, Malmö mayor Ilmar Reepalu, and decided not to offend the city’s and the nation’s Muslim population this election year? Sweden has about 18,000 Jews and about 400,000 Muslims. Whether Sahlin’s posture stems from cynical vote-catching or sheer ignorance is immaterial – either way the result is unworthy of someone who regards herself as a candidate for the highest office in this country.
My maternal and paternal grandparents were forced to flee the Nazis and lost their entire families in the Holocaust. In 1969 my parents fled Poland as a result of Polish anti-Semitism disguised as anti-Zionism. Today history appears to be repeating itself and like many other Jews in Malmö and elsewhere in this country, I am being forced to consider fleeing Sweden because Jews are regarded as legitimate targets by Muslim anti-Semites disguised as anti-Zionists.
It is time for Sweden to confront its problem, or see an accelerating demographic change take place. Ultimately at risk is this country’s democratic self-esteem.
The original article in Swedish was published on Newsmill:
Links in English:
Sweden, Israel and the Jews
Anti-Zionist party formed in Sweden
Ilmar Reepalu - wrong in every language
The unholy trinity
Links in Swedish:
Fred i Mellanöstern - Reepalu angriper Malmös judar
Fred i Mellanöstern - Ilmar Reepalu svävande om judeförföljelserna i Baltikum
IM - rödbrunt i Malmö
IM - Hopplös röd-grön Mellanösternpolitik
Jihad i Malmö - läs denna alltid lika intressanta blogg