Disgusting: Anti-Semitism is Alive and Well

Posted: Dec 18, 2017 4:15 PM
Disgusting: Anti-Semitism is Alive and Well

Earlier this month, President Trump made the entirely defensible decision to acknowledge empirical reality and follow through on decades of US policy by formally declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel.  Anti-Semites across the globe have pounced on this move as an opportunity to verbally abuse and physically attack Jewish people.  Some of the ugliest incidents have occurred in Sweden, where a virulent strain of anti-Semitism among Muslim migrants have exposed a worrisome societal trend.  Innocent Jewish people have been targeted with violent assaults and attacks:

More than a dozen men hurled firebombs at a synagogue in Gothenburg in southern Sweden hours after locals marched in the city against the United States’ recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital...Dvir Maoz, the World Bnei Akiva youth movement’s emissary in Gothenburg, told JTA that the attack happened a little after 10 p.m. local time while youths from the Jewish community were attending a party inside the synagogue complex. Looking outside from inside the synagogue lobby area, he said he saw in the corner of his eye “a ball of fire” approaching the building. “The guards saw it in the security cameras and called police right away. The children were stressed, it was the first time they had ever experienced a terrorist attack near them.” The children’s parents were called to take them home after police arrived at the scene and scanned the area to make sure it was safe to come out, Maoz said. The culprits had already left by the time police arrived...At other protest rallies over the move in Sweden, Austria and France, participants chanted, respectively, in Arabic about shooting Jews, an ancient massacre of Jews, and freedom for Palestinian terrorists. The Swedish rally where chants about shooting Jews were heard happened on Friday night in the southern city of Malmo, Sveriges Radio reported.

Local authorities have made three arrests in connection with the firebomb incident. The city of Malmo is mentioned in that news account, as it should be; it has become a hotbed of violent bigotry against Jews, with its mayor fanning the flames with victim-blaming. It's been going on for years. This is from a 2012 story about Malmo's growing cancer:

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.” The Jews of Malmö, a community of about 1,500 in a city of 300,000, are living through a new form of anti-Semitism. This kind does not stem from neo-Nazis or right-wing extremists—traditional perpetrators of European Jew-hatred—but has come to the city through immigrants from North Africa and the Middle East and is part of a larger, countrywide problem of failed integration...

Malmö’s mayor of 17 years, Ilmar Reepalu, has “Tourettes syndrome with respect to Jews,” according to Kvällsposten, a Swedish newspaper. Last week, Reepalu, a Social Democrat, made headlines across the country after I published an interview with him in which he said that Sweden Democrats, an anti-immigrant party with its roots in the Swedish neo-Nazi movement, had “infiltrated” Malmö’s Jewish community in order to turn it against Muslims. On Monday, he was publicly reprimanded by the head of his party. Reeplau has promised that he is no anti-Semite, but this is far from the first time that he has put his foot in his mouth on the subject of Jews. When a journalist from the Malmö daily Skånska Dagbladet asked him in January 2010 about growing anti-Semitism in his city, he replied, “We accept neither anti-Semitism nor Zionism in Malmö.” His reaction to the fact that Jews are leaving his city because of anti-Semitism was to maintain that “there have been no attacks against Jews, and if Jews want to leave for Israel that is not a concern for Malmö.” In an interview with Danish television in March 2010, he described criticism about his statements regarding Jews and Zionism as an attack orchestrated by “the Israeli lobby.”

As an aside, the detail about members of the teenage mob being too young to prosecute under Swedish law reminds me of another outrageous example of the country's dangerously lax approach to crime and punishment  Two Swedes in their 30's were convicted this week of raping five children more than 1,000 times, and they received sentences of 14 and 12 years, respectively -- the former sentence being the most stringent prison sentence permitted in Sweden for serial child rape. Back to the primary topic at hand, a New York Times op/ed reports on how bad things are getting in the Scandinavian nation: 

For Sweden’s 18,000 Jews, sadly, none of this comes as a surprise. They are by now used to anti-Semitic threats and attacks — especially during periods of unrest in the Middle East, which provide cover to those whose actual goal has little to do with Israel and much to do with harming Jews. Both of these recent attacks followed days of incitement against Jews. Last Friday, 200 people protested in Malmo against President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The protesters called for an intifada and promised “we will shoot the Jews.” A day later, during a demonstration in Stockholm, a speaker called Jews “apes and pigs.” There were promises of martyrdom. Malmo’s sole Hasidic rabbi has reported being the victim of more than 100 incidents of hostility ranging from hate speech to physical assault. In response to such attacks, the Simon Wiesenthal Center issued a travel warning in 2010 advising “extreme caution when visiting southern Sweden” because of officials’ failure to act against the “serial harassment” of Jews in Malmo. Today, entering a synagogue anywhere in Sweden usually requires going through security checks, including airport-like questioning. At times of high alert, police officers with machine guns guard Jewish schools. Children at the Jewish kindergarten in Malmo play behind bulletproof glass. Not even funerals are safe from harassment. Jewish schoolteachers have reported hiding their identity.

Meanwhile, an Iraqi beauty pageant contestant's decision to be photographed with her Israeli counterpart has triggered a storm of vile hatred and threats:

Miss Iraq and Miss Israel took a selfie that was posted on Instagram with the simple caption “Peace and love from Miss Iraq and Miss Israel.” Alas, the innocent photo kicked up some ugliness. Miss Iraq, Sarah Idan, soon came under attack for appearing with Miss Israel as well as for wearing a bikini. This week her new friend Miss Israel, Adar Gandelsman, said that Ms. Idan’s family had to flee their Iraqi homeland because of death threats...In a region where Israeli athletes are often slighted—last month at a judo tournament in Abu Dhabi officials refused to play the Israeli anthem or fly the Israeli flag after an Israeli won a gold medal—Miss Iraq has shown a better way forward.

I'll leave you with a development regarding the US policy decision that was exploited as a pretext by Jew-haters to advertise their bigotry. The infamously anti-Israel United Nations is supposedly weighing moves to "nullify" Trump's decision:

As others have noted, the UN has zero authority to "nullify" the foreign policy decisions of the sovereign United States of America.  And even if the Security Council is laboring under that delusion, the US has veto power over any action the panel seeks to take.

UPDATE - Speaking of egregious anti-Semites (Hezbollah), here's yet another reminder of how egregiously terrible the Obama administration's foreign policy priorities were:

"An ambitious U.S. task force targeting Hezbollah's billion-dollar criminal enterprise ran headlong into the White House's desire for a nuclear deal with Iran."