As background material we publish here a letter (translated from Swedish) which was sent to Malmö Mayor Ilmar Reepalu on 28 January by the Chairperson of The Official Council of Swedish Jewish Communities Lena Posner-Körösi
For the Swedish version click here
Mayor Ilmar Reepalu
205 80 MALMÖ
Stockholm 28 January 2010
No other people in the world are denied the dream of establishing their own state. Ever since the Jewish people after the Holocaust finally saw their dream come true by the decision of the UN (at that time LON) this dream has constantly been questioned.
To constantly mix a nation’s politics, no matter what one thinks about it, with a people’s vulnerability in our time and in our country is, not the least in these days when we remember Auschwitz and the Holocaust, an insult now randomly experienced in our country.
The Jews of Malmö are today exposed to violence and threat. With your statements you heighten the hatred and the violence from anti-democratic and in many cases anti-Semitic forces.
If you care about democracy and every people’s right to equality and think that Malmö should remain a multicultural and democratic municipality where both Jews, Muslims and the majority population live side by side with respect for each others differences – then you should clearly stand up and take a stance against the anti-Semitism which Malmö’s Jews are exposed to. You will also then be credible in other political matters.
The Official Council of Swedish Jewish Communities demands that you by your actions demonstrate that you take these threats and the violence against the Jews in Malmö with great seriousness and without reservation.
Reepalu replied to Mrs Posner on February 02 in a two page letter.
The full version in Swedish can be found here
The first paragraph reads:
The third paragraph of Reepalu’s letter to Mrs Posner reads:
When Skånska Dagbladet interviewed me about my criticism of Israel I used the word Zionism in the wrong way. I did not refer to the original meaning which is the idea of an Israeli state but gave an account of how extreme aggressive groups of settlers in the name of Zionism and completely contrary to international law, occupy parts of the West Bank, expel the Palestinian population and destroy their water supply and their olive groves. I have always pleaded for a two state solution. I consider this the only way to peace and reconciliation in the Middle East. In the conversation with the journalist it was very clear what I meant and I am indignant about the way he chose to describe my opinions.
It is clear already from Reepalu’s early letter to Lena Posner-Körösi, that he is incapable of separating the Jews in Malmö from the State of Israel. This is one of the core elements of his anti-Semitic statements.
Reepalu’s letter then continues about how all citizens of Malmö should be able to live together in equality and peace which should be accomplished by a continuous discussion in society about peoples’ differences. The final paragraph reads:
My opinions have been wrongly twisted and distorted in the debate. I suggest that you listen to the municipal council meeting on January 28, 2010. There I answered a question from Sten Andersson (SD) on how we should respond to the growing anti-Semitism in Malmö.
After Reepalu felt that his opinions had been twisted in the debate he initially blamed the Swedish journalists. This week on Danish TV he invented a new enemy: the “Israeli Lobby” which according to him is out to get him.
The audio tape Reepalu is referring to in the last paragraph of his letter is available on: http://www.malmo.se/Kommun--politik/Sa-styrs-Malmo/Kommunfullmaktige/Webb-TV-fran-kommunfullmaktige.html when one scrolls down in the left column, click on ”Kapitel 5, Svar på enkla frågor” and then drag the marker in the strip under the video to 42 minutes and 19 seconds.
If one listens to this audio tape (in Swedish) it becomes evident that Reepalu does not answer the question on how Malmö should respond to the growing anti-Semitism but that he only and as usual condemns hate crimes of all sorts.
The question now is not whether Reepalu will again twist the truth but only how fast that will happen.