Friday, April 3, 2015

Sweden: "In one day, I spotted and heard more anti-Semitism than I did in a week in Morocco"

Jonathan Katz writes in The Forward about his trip to Morocco:
What struck me most is a celebration of diversity that we often do not see in Europe. We are always told to engage with Germany, with Sweden, and with the Netherlands — “safe countries” that look like secular-Ashkenazi Israel, with “Western” values and tolerance of Jews. Yet I, a survivor of anti-Semitic violence, have never felt so threatened as a Jew than I did when walking the streets of Lund, Southern Sweden’s university city, in January. In one day, I spotted and heard more anti-Semitism — in graffiti and conversations — than I did in a week in Morocco. But somehow we’re still told that Sweden and Denmark are “clean and safe” (like Israel), whereas Morocco is “dangerous and dirty” for Jews. We celebrate the Jews who return to Berlin, city of Hitler, but not those who return to Tunisia or Morocco.

Regarding Katz's last point.  I don't know who 'celebrates the Jews who return to Berlin'.  Maybe Katz does.   There are quite a few places in Europe where there are no Jews, because of atrocities that happened hundreds of years ago.  The memory of those pogroms and blood-libels etc lives on in communal memory, and Jews stay away.

There are many Jews who think Sweden, Denmark and in fact, Europe, is "dangerous and dirty" for Jews.  In case Katz missed it, Israeli Prime Minister Netayahu was widely ostracized by European governments and some European Jews, when he dared suggest that Denmark and France were "dangerous and dirty" for Jews.   

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