Sweden’s Anti-Semitism Problem

In October of 2015, in the Swedish city of Malmö, protesters at a “pro-Palestinian” rally—attended by several Swedish politicians—began chanting “Death to the Jews” and “More stabbings!” in Arabic. This sort of behavior, together with countless cases of small-scale harassment, has become almost unremarkable in Sweden. Josefin Dolsten writes (2015):

[I]ncidents 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. . . .

Expressing public support for Israel can be dangerous, and the police do not always provide proper protection at pro-Israel events. During a 2009 rally in Malmö . . . the small crowd of Israel supporters was forced to abandon the event after police were unable to stop thousands of pro-Palestinian backers from storming the barricades and running toward the group. . . .

The Swedish government, headed by the left-wing Social Democratic party under Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, is known for its staunch support of the Palestinian cause and criticism of Israel. In 2014, the country became the first European Union member state to recognize the “state of Palestine.” . . .

“When I say something [positive] regarding Israel I get a flood of hate mail and threats,” [said] Hanif Bali, a member of parliament for the center-right Moderate party, the largest party in the opposition bloc. . . .“The senders range from Palestinian or Arab immigrants to left-wing people in general, so the dialogue is very polarized and very aggressive. It’s hard to talk about the issue because you have to pay such a high price for it.” . . . The government’s stance on Israel is deeply ingrained in the political system, Bali believes. Pro-Palestinian groups are eligible to receive governmental funds to conduct lobbying activities, further [exacerbating the situation].

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Anti-Semitism, Jewish World, Sweden

Palestinian Leaders Fight Economic Growth

Jan. 15 2019

This month, a new shopping mall opened in northeastern Jerusalem, easily accessible to most of the city’s Arab residents. Rami Levy, the supermarket magnate who owns the mall, already employs some 2,000 Israeli Arabs and Palestinians at his other stores, and the mall will no doubt bring more jobs to Arab Jerusalemites. But the leaders of the Palestinian Authority (PA) are railing against it, and one newspaper calls its opening “an economic catastrophe [nakba].” Bassam Tawil writes:

For [the PA president] Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah officials . . . the image of Palestinians and Jews working in harmony is loathsome. . . . Instead of welcoming the inauguration of the shopping mall for providing job opportunities to dozens of Palestinians and lower prices [to consumers], Fatah officials are taking about an Israeli plan to “undermine” the Palestinian economy. . . . The hundreds of Palestinians who flooded the new mall on its first day, however, seem to disagree with the grim picture painted by [these officials]. . . .

The campaign of incitement against Levy’s shopping mall began several months ago, as it was being built, and has continued until today. Now that the campaign has failed to prevent the opening of the mall, Fatah and its followers have turned to outright threats and violence. The threats are being directed toward Palestinian shoppers and Palestinian merchants who rented space in the new mall. On the day the mall was opened, Palestinians threw a number of firebombs at the compound, [which] could have injured or killed Palestinians. The [bomb-throwers], who are believed to be affiliated with Fatah, would rather see their own people dead than having fun or buying attractively-priced products at an Israeli mall.

By spearheading this campaign of incitement and intimidation, Abbas’s Fatah is again showing its true colors. How is it possible to imagine that Abbas or any of his Fatah lieutenants would ever make peace with Israel when they cannot even tolerate the idea of Palestinians and Jews working together for a simple common good? If a Palestinian who buys Israeli milk is a traitor in the eyes of Fatah, it is not difficult to imagine the fate of any Palestinian who would dare to discuss compromise with Israel.

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Read more at Gatestone

More about: East Jerusalem, Israeli Arabs, Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Authority, Palestinian economy