If there is one place in Europe that exemplifies the Muslim persecution of Jews, it’s the Swedish town of Malmo. This is what happened in Malmo today.
Police were called out early on Friday morning after loud bangs were heard near the Jewish community centre in Malmö, southern Sweden.
“There as been an explosion. Something has detonated – we are certain of that,” said police officer Erik Liljenström to local paper Sydsvenskan early on Friday morning.
But this is what happened yesterday in Malmo
In an effort to stand up against anti-Semitism, Malmö Jews began to stage “kippa marches” around the city, openly wearing kippot and other Jewish symbols. Last month, 400 people, including Sweden’s minister for European affairs, Birgitta Ohlsson, participated in such a march.
And the day before...
In December 2010, Simon Wiesenthal Center issued a travel warning for Jewish travelers to Malmö. In a recent interview published in the Swedish daily Sydsvenskan, Mayor Ilmar Reepalu reacted to the warning:
“I get the impression that the center’s (SWC) aim is that people will forget what is happening in the state of Israel, violations of human rights that all people should disassociate themselves from.”
Reepalu often links the city’s rampant anti-Semitism to events in Israel. In 2010, when asked about the anti-Semitic attacks in Malmö during Israel’s military operation in Gaza, Reepalu responded by saying that he was opposed to anti-Semitism, but added: “I believe these are anti-Israel attacks, connected to the war in Gaza.”
Reepalu expressed his sympathy for the anti-Israel rioters and blamed Israel for the violence. Commenting on the violence against Jewish residents, Reepalu stated that “I wish that the Jewish community [in Malmö] distanced itself from Israel’s violence against the civil population in Gaza.”
During Israel’s 2008-2009 war against Hamas in Gaza, there was a sharp increase in anti-Semitic violence in Malmö—but the mayor didn’t seem concerned. On Dec. 27, 2008, as Israel Defense Forces launched Operation Cast Lead, the Jewish community of Malmö held a demonstration in the city’s main square to express sympathy for “all civilian victims” in Gaza and the Jewish state. They were soon confronted by a much larger counter-demonstration, consisting mainly of immigrants from the Middle East. The Jews were singing hine ma tov, but was their song was overwhelmed by chants of “damn Jews” and “Hitler, Hitler, Hitler!” A glass bottle flew through the air and hit a Jewish girl in the back. When a homemade bomb was fired straight into the Jewish group, the police decided to evacuate them. The Jews fled from the square but were followed by kids who used cellphones to report back to the counter-demonstration with which direction “the Jews” were heading.
And back to today…
The store window had been smashed many times before. The shoe-repair shop is located in one of the rougher parts of Malmö, Sweden, and the Jewish owner, a native of the city, had gotten used to this sort of vandalism. But in the spring of 2004, a group of immigrants just under the age of 15—too young to be prosecuted by Swedish law—walked into the store yelling about “damn Jews.” The owner was hit in the face by one of the boys. Yasha, an 85-year-old customer and relative of mine, was struck in the back of his head. The doctor who received him at the emergency room concluded that he must have been hit with a blunt object. “I left Poland to get away from anti-Semitism,” he later told the police. “But at least there I never experienced any violence. That only happened to me here, in Sweden.”