Sweden’s Jews Threatened by Muslim Antisemitism
Earlier today, I exchanged an email with a French Jewish resident here in Florida seeking assistance to gain permanent resident status in the US, given his retirement here. Under US immigration law he and his wife can only remain in the US for a maximum of 180 days annually and must return to France to obtain fresh tourist visas. He is an accomplished professional and like many of France’s 600,000 Jews disturbed about the threats coreligionists face from Muslim second and third generation émigrés. He and his family came as émigrés from North Africa to escape Islamic hatred only to be threatened again in his home community in France. Both our colleague Nidra Poller and French commentator, Michel Gurfinkiel have written graphically about the predicament of French Jews threatened by Islamic and other forms of Antisemitism. That was crystallized by three French and one Tunisian Jew killed on January 9, 2015 in the Antisemitic attack by Jihadist Amedy Coulibaly at the Hyper Cacher Kosher supermarket in Paris.
There are continuing assaults against Jews daily in major cities throughout France. The dilemma faced by French is reflected in the increasing numbers making aliyah to Israel and others who have opted to seek sanctuary here in the U.S. many of whom have taken up residency in Florida. There are a number of French Jewish synagogues that have sprouted in Florida to take care of the spiritual and community needs of francophone brethren. The necessity of applying for formal resident status in the U.S. was reflected at the conclusion of an email exchange, “I was aware many years ago about the coming change in France and the blindness of French politicians.”
That blindness also faces Jews in Malmo, Sweden denied their rights of free expression ,opposing politicians in Sweden’s third largest city who tolerate virulent Islamic Antisemitism from the large émigré community. That is the subject of a Gatestone Institute article by Ingrid Carlqvist and Lars Hedegaard, the co-editors of Dispatch International, Sweden Imports Jew-hatred. The authors wrote:
If anyone had thought that the slaughter of four Jews in a Paris supermarket — for the reason that they were Jews — would have caused the Swedish mainstream press and the government to explain who is behind Europe’s growing anti-Semitism and anti-Jewish violence, he would be sadly mistaken. With the exception of one television program, the connection between anti-Semitism, Islam and Muslim mass immigration remains a mental no-go area in Sweden.
Swedes now tend to view all immigrants as victims of totalitarianism and refuse to acknowledge that not all immigrants think like Swedes. They cannot comprehend that people would flee unless they were hated and threatened.
Swedes have a minimal knowledge of the Jew-hatred that is part and parcel of Islam, and the authorities and politicians refuse to acknowledge that Jews are now fleeing the southern city of Malmö due to its steadily growing Muslim population. Quite simply, most Swedes have never realized that one minority group may expose another minority group to violence and intimidation.
There are other reasons Malmö’s politicians turn a blind eye to Jew-hatred. Malmö is Sweden’s third-largest city and probably has the greatest proportion of Muslims. (It is hard to give exact figures because Swedish law forbids registration based on religion.) It is normally assumed that approximately one-third of Malmö’s 300,000 inhabitants have a foreign background and that their number is steadily increasing. Currently, most refugees come from Syria and Somalia, and most are Muslims.
The reason for hatred foisted on Malmo’s Jews is the Socialist-Muslim alliance:
Malmö has nearly always been governed by Social Democrats — a party that has every reason to keep on the good side of Muslims. In municipal elections, the Social Democrats can normally count on 30% of the general vote, and on 70% of the Muslim vote.
This circumstance was undoubtedly the most important reason the city’s former Social Democratic Mayor, Ilmar Reepalu, refused to do anything about rampant Jew-hatred. He surely must have been aware that the perpetrators of anti-Semitic excesses were his own voters.
For many years, Malmö’s Jews have reported a growing number of hate crimes against their synagogue and themselves, but nobody has taken their complaints seriously. Eventually, a journalist by the name of Andreas Lovén from the local newspaper Skånska Dagbladet wrote in a series of articles that Jew-hatred was causing more and more Jews to move to other Swedish cities or to Israel.
For the first time, it was openly said who was behind the anti-Semitism — the city’s Muslim population. Many Jews told the paper that they dared not let their children grow up in Malmö — the town where, on January 25, 2009, a Muslim mob was allowed to pelt a peaceful Jewish demonstration in support of Israel with bottles, eggs and smoke bombs (see video).
Instead of breaking up the anti-Israel demonstration, which took place without a police permission and which seriously threatened the Jews and friends of Israel assembled at Malmö’s Great Square (Stortorget), the police chose to revoke the Jews’ right to assemble.
This decision was harshly criticized by Parliament’s judicial ombudsman, who wrote: “To permit counter-demonstrators to more or less systematically prevent their opponents from voicing their opinions at public gatherings is unacceptable in a democracy.”
Obama’s Envoy on Global Anti-Semitism weighs in:
The situation got so bad [in Malmo] that in April 2012, President Barack Obama sent his special envoy and head of the Office to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, Hannah Rosenthal, to Malmö to read the riot act to Mayor Ilmar Reepalu. She pointed out that the problem is not only the many hate attacks on Jews but also the fact that the mayor has exacerbated the situation by statements such as: “Jews have themselves to blame as long as they don’t distance themselves from Israel’s abuse of Palestinians.”
Last month, Swedish television aired a program on Jew-hatred in Malmö, which clearly documented that the hate emanates from the city’s Muslim population. The reporter had donned a Jewish skullcap and a Star of David and went around town to see what happened. He was immediately met with verbal abuse and was spat on.
A later program dealt with the claim of anti-Muslim hatred in Sweden. A female reporter walked the streets of Södertälje with a veil. Most of the town’s immigrants are Christian Syrians and Assyrians, with Muslims in a clear minority, and she was not accosted a single time.
Sweden’s Jewish organizations have other priorities- combating Islamophobia and attacking one of the authors of the Gatestone Institute article:
Regrettably, Sweden’s biggest Jewish organizations are as blind as the media when it comes to Nazism with its Jew-hatred, supremacist ideology and hunger for world domination. The SKMA (Swedish Committee Against Anti-Semitism), equates Jew-hatred with hatred of Muslims, and attacks everyone who will speak out about the true genesis of “Swedish” anti-Semitism. The SKMA refuses to talk about Muslim Jew-hatred, and gladly walks side by side with imams to protest against “growing xenophobia”.
In December 2013, the SKMA criticized the Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism, an Israeli organization, for having “ articles dealing with anti-Semitism in Sweden spread Islamophobic messages” and thus “given legitimacy to the Swedish Muslim-hater Ingrid Carlqvist.” SKMA accuses Carlqvist of equating Muslims with Nazis, which is a lie. What Carlqvist has written many times is that Islam, that is the ideology, can be compared with Nazism with its Jew-hatred, supremacist ideology and hunger for world domination.
The authors concluded:
The question is how Swedish Jews will fare in an increasingly Islamic Sweden, when not even their own organizations will point out where the Jew-hatred comes from, but would rather attack Swedes who speak the truth about why Sweden went from a safe haven for Jews to a country Jews are fleeing. As long as the SKMA refuses to acknowledge that the vast majority of the Swedish Jew-hatred comes from Muslim immigrants, how can one expect ordinary Swedes to understand what kind of threat the Islamization of Sweden is to all of us who live here?
The first to go down the road of extermination are the Saturday People; then come the Sunday People.
Whether France, Sweden, the UK or elsewhere in the EU, Antisemitism is rampant as reflected in various studies and surveys. It is bolstered by the hatred of Muslim émigrés whose children now flock to the black banner of the Islamic State intent on killing all infidels. Especially Jewish infidels as did Amedy Coulibaly at the Paris kosher market on January 9th. Hence, like the French sojourner who wrote me, politicians in France and Sweden are blinded by the votes of the Muslim émigrés in their midst denying Jews rights of free speech and safety.
EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured image is of a boycott Israel Protest Rally in Malmo, Sweden in 2012.