Thursday, May 6, 2010

Malmö’s Hate Mongering Mayor Marches against Israel

May Day – the first of May – is Labour Day in many countries, on which demonstrations by the workers take place in order to get better working conditions. In Sweden this is traditionally done under the auspices of the Social Democrats. This year in Malmö the city’s mayor Ilmar Reepalu decided to demonstrate on May 1 against "the occupation of Palestine". Under a large text which read: "Stop the occupation of Palestine" one can see a smiling Reepalu who commented in an interview with daily newspaper Expressen:

-”No land should occupy another land. The Soviet Union occupied the Baltic states during several decades. Israel has occupied land for 43 years now. I think its wrong, so does Barack Obama and many other people in the world as well." In this way Reepalu is making yet another contribution to the already tense situation in Malmö.

Reepalu’s statement is also another problematic one for many reasons. The Palestinian territories on the West Bank of the Jordan river are ”disputed” and not ”occupied” land. Israel conquered it in 1967 after it had been attacked by the Jordanians. These ruled on the West Bank without international recognition.

One cannot compare Israel’s position to that of the Soviet Union. Israel was created in accordance with the law and established in a territory under British Mandate. The Palestinians at the time did not even see themselves even as a nation. Israel could not take the land from the Palestinians as they were not in possession of it in the first place. Israel accepted in 1948 the division of the Western part of West-Palestine while the Arabs started a potentially genocidal war against Israel. Jordan was created earlier in the Eastern part of the British Mandate of Palestine. 
Furthermore the Soviet Union was not attacked by the Baltic States. The Baltic states did not reject the Soviet Union’s right to exist. Israel was willing to offer the Palestinians an independent state in 2000 but Arafat refused.  

All this is however secondary. The essence is that under Reepalu’s leadership Malmö has become a model of minority racism in Europe where crime emanating from part of the Muslim community thrives and where the police and firemen can only with difficulty enter certain areas. Reepalu has alos failed to protect a small minority, the Jews. This was one of his many responsabilities as mayor, which he did not fulfill. There has been an exodus of Jews from the town in recent years, which has led to the decrease of the Jewish community to only 650 members. This is an indicator of the flourishing anti-Semitism in Malmö. Reepalu has made significant contributions to this in various ways.

Reepalu is a Social Democrat politician, which in Sweden often means an anti-Israeli hate monger. That is probably also the reason why his party is not expelling him. He may be more outspoken than many others there but he is not beyond the pale of what is acceptable in these circles. The party’s leaders seem to have no problems with a man who is incompetent to manage as a major his town, has created a horrible international image for it and yet believes that he should deal with problems thousands of kilometers away.

Perhaps we will see one day a demonstration somewhere in the world protesting the major anti-Semitism and racism in Malmö. That one would be certainly more justified than the one Reepalu marched in.

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