Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Sweden: Politicians attend pro-Palestinian protest calling to kill Jews

The protest was two months ago, but at the time passed under my radar.  See here for a clip from the protest.

Two parliament members spoke at the protest:  Hillevi Larsson of the ruling Social Democrat party and Daniel Sestrajcic of the Left Party.  Sestrajcic is the leader of the party in Malmo.  Larsson is a pro-Palestinian activist who supports wiping Israel off the map.

Via Times of Israel:
On a chilly fall day, passersby on a central street in Sweden’s third largest city, Malmö, were greeted with chants in Arabic urging the killing of Jews.

“Death to the Jews,’ and ‘More stabbings,’ the protesters screamed,” recalls Jehoshua Kaufman, head of communications for Malmö’s Jewish community. The protesters at the October pro-Palestinian rally were referring to the near-daily stabbings of Jews by Arab assailants over the past couple of months in Israel.

Swedish politicians, including two parliament members, were present at the protest. However, after Israel’s ambassador to Sweden, Isaac Bachman, condemned the event, they distanced themselves, claiming they had not understood the meaning of the Arabic slogans.

Kaufman questions how such an event had been permitted to take place, and why the politicians had not demanded a translation of the chants.

“The politicians could have left and said, ‘We don’t know what you are saying, but we won’t participate unless we know what you are saying,’” he says.

These types of incidents, where anti-Israel rhetoric turns violently anti-Semitic, have created a climate of fear for Sweden’s small Jewish community, which numbers 15,000. Hate crimes against Jews are on the rise, with 2014 seeing a 38 percent increase in reported anti-Semitic incidents from the previous year, according to a report by the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention.
“Right now, a lot of Jews in Sweden are scared. Parents are scared to drop off their kids at the Jewish preschool,” says Johanna Schreiber, a prominent Jewish journalist who lives in the country’s capital, Stockholm. “People of all ages are scared of going to synagogue, there are many people who are taking off their Stars of David because they are too scared to wear it.”
Last month Schreiber received hateful comments and was targeted for identity theft after publishing an article where she called out political groups for not inviting Jewish organizations to ceremonies across Sweden commemorating Kristallnacht, or “The Night of Broken Glass,” when violent anti-Jewish pogroms erupted throughout Nazi Germany and Austria in November 1938.

When questioned, one of the organizers claimed Jews might not feel safe at the event.

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