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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wiesenthal Center advises against traveling to Sweden

Not too surprisingly, the Simon Wiesenthal Center has issued a travel advisory against Jews traveling to Sweden.
“We reluctantly are issuing this advisory because religious Jews and other members of the Jewish community there have been subject to anti-Semitic taunts and harassment. There have been dozens of incidents reported to the authorities but have not resulted in arrests or convictions for hate crimes”, said the two Wiesenthal Center representatives in a statement.

Cooper and Samuels added that “a contributing factor to this decision has been the outrageous remarks of Malmö mayor Ilmar Reepalu, who blames the Jewish community for failing to denounce Israel.

The advisory aimed at Jewish travelers urges extreme caution when visiting southern Sweden.

It is not connected to this week’s terrorist bombing in the heart of Stockholm. Critics have accused Reepalu of failing to protect Malmö’s tiny Jewish population from anti-Semitic violence and stoking hatred of Israel.

Writing earlier this year in The Wall Street Journal Europe, Daniel Schwammenthal , an editorial writer for paper, noted that “faced with these attacks on the city’s Jewish population, Malmö’s mayor, Ilmar Reepalu, seems curiously unperturbed by, if not sympathetic to, the attackers.”

While screaming “Sieg Heil” and “Hitler, Hitler” in 2009, a violent mob of Swedish Muslims launched bottles and stones at a pro-Israel demonstration attended by a small number of Jews in the central square of Malmö. Media reports have documented widespread harassment of Jews and Jewish children have routinely been called “dirty Jews.”

Reepalu, a Social Democrat, blamed the city’s Jews for holding the pro-Israel demonstration, saying they refused to “distance” themselves from Israel’s Operation Cast Lead.

“The community chose to hold a pro-Israel demonstration” and that “may convey the wrong message,” said Reepalu.

He also termed Israel’s right to self-determination as a form of extremism by equating Zionism with anti-Semitism. “We accept neither Zionism nor anti-Semitism.

They are extremes that place themselves above other groups they think are less important,” said Reepalu.
Read the whole thing.

I think it's time for Israel and World Jewry to boycott Swedish products. Boycotts can work both ways.

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