Malmo And Racial Attacks.
There is often a romanticised view of Sweden, a social democratic paradise, solid welfare state, content people and a relatively harmonious society.
That is one misplaced view.
As Malmo has shown a real, much darker, side to Swedish society, the Local.se reported:
“Last year there were 79 crimes against Jewish residents reported to the police in Malmö, roughly double the number reported in 2008, according to the Skånska Dagbladet newspaper.
“That probably doesn’t tell the whole story because not everyone chose to make a report. Perhaps they fear they will add to an already infected situation,” Susanne Gosenius, a hate crimes coordinator with the Skåne police, told the newspaper, which has published series of articles about the growing anti-Semitism in Malmö.
In addition, Jewish cemeteries and synagogues have repeatedly been defaced with anti-Semitic graffiti, and a chapel at another Jewish burial site in Malmö was firebombed in January of last year.
There are currently an estimated 3,000 Jews living in the south of Sweden, with most residing in Malmö, Helsingborg, and Lund.
About 700 currently belong to the Jewish Community of Malmö, but the group’s membership rolls have been dropping steadily in recent years.
“It’s sort of a downward spiral,” Sieradzki told The Local.
“People want to maintain their Jewish traditions, but when they see others leave after being threatened, they begin to question whether or not they want to stay here.”
Skånska Dagbladet highlighted the case of Marcus Eilenberg, a 32-year-old father of two who has decided to move to Israel.
“My children aren’t safe here. It’s going to get worse,” he told the newspaper
Eilenberg’s family on his mother’s side has roots in Malmö that date back to the 1800s, while his father’s parents came to Sweden in 1945 after surviving Auschwitz.
He describes for the newspaper how people call him “damn Jew” (‘jävla jude’) when he walks to synagogue and that his friends are frequently harassed and threatened.
“Imagine that my family can’t feel safe in fantastic Sweden. It’s really terrible,” Eilenberg told Skånskan.
He blamed part of the problem on passive local politicians who he believes have failed to openly distance themselves from anti-Semitism and refuse to act when members of the Jewish community find themselves under constant threat.
Sieradzki agrees that the attitudes of Malmö politicians, especially Social Democrat city council chair Ilmar Reepalu, have allowed anti-Semitism to fester.
“He’s demonstrated extreme ignorance when it comes to our problems,” Sieradzki explained.”
That was a point echoed by an article in the Torygraph from earlier on this year:
“Malmo’s Jews, however, do not just point the finger at bigoted Muslims and their fellow racists in the country’s Neo-Nazi fringe. They also accuse Ilmar Reepalu, the Left-wing mayor who has been in power for 15 years, of failing to protect them.
Mr Reepalu, who is blamed for lax policing, is at the centre of a growing controversy for saying that what the Jews perceive as naked anti-Semitism is in fact just a sad, but understandable consequence of Israeli policy in the Middle East.”
In BBC’s Heart And Soul Wendy Robbins looked at antisemitism and Holocaust denial, covering Malmo and how antisemitism is becoming mainstream.
This is the first programme.
(Hat tip: Engage)