Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Jews Might Be the First but They Are Never the Last

In the beginning of this year it became international news that the increased amount of hate crimes against Malmö’s Jews, doubling in comparison to the previous year, had led some Jewish families to leave the city. The deteriorating situation in Malmö led many to question as to how Sweden, “such a safe and liberal country”, could allow for such an awful escalation to happen without any state acknowledgement or interference. The worsening situation for the Jews in Malmö sheds light on the fact that individuals in Swedish society are violently harassed, and the Swedish state makes no attempt to prevent this problem.

The local daily newspaper Sydsvenskan reports, for example: 

Common reactions to threat, violence and harassment against, for example, politicians and officials seem to be appeasement and quiet acceptance.

Threat against social workers rarely lead to prosecution - out of 49 filed police reports concerning concrete threats of murder reviewed by the Swedish Radio, 32 did not lead to prosecution. Often, these investigations are dropped with the motivation that a crime cannot be proven. This happens, although there in fact are witnesses to the death threats. Often, social workers are told by police, prosecutors and even judges that threats and violence are part of their job.

Recently, a meter maid who was attacked by a taxi driver was told by Malmö District Court that she belonged to a profession which needs to be a bit more tolerant than others when it comes to threats and violence.

Threats against prosecutors are more common.

Sweden is internationally known as a humanitarian country which firmly strives to uphold peace, safety and equality for all its citizens. Still, recent developments seem to prove the Swedish state, contrary to what one might think, has decided to take a very lax approach towards violence and threats against both civilians as well as state employees.

Sweden’s two-faced image as a humanitarian country can be illustrated by the fact that the state, in 2006, gave visas to representatives of the Hamas government. Hamas was at the time boycotted by the European Union as the EU categorizes Hamas as a terror organization which allows and encourages suicide bombings and rocket attacks against civilians in Israel. Sweden, nonetheless, did not care, or was neutral to legitimizing Hamas representation in Sweden.

Sweden, as cited in the book Behind the Humanitarian Mask (author, Manfred Gerstenfeld), still continues to refuse to prosecute several suspected Baltic Nazi War Criminals that are thought to have collaborated with the Nazis in exterminating Jews. Sweden’s dismissive attitude to the prosecution of WWII criminals further emphasises the state as apathetic when dealing with violence and injustice.

In a full-fledged democracy such as Sweden, recent violence and threats against all civilians in the state should be recognized and dealt with by the state.

Sweden, by neglecting the violent anti-democratic forces at work at home, hypocritically mocks and jeopardizes those same values which it so convincingly promotes on the international stage. If Sweden continues on this frightening path, it will not only be known as a dangerous place for Jews, but also for other innocent members of Swedish society.

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