Friday, April 30, 2010

South Park Show Mocking Prophet Mohammed Is Banned In Sweden

This week the famous satirical animated TV show “South Park” aired its “Episode 200” in the US. This episode features every celebrity ever mocked on the show—as well as team of superhero religious figures including Jesus, Buddha, Moses and the ever-controversial Mohammed. The Swedish affiliate of the network Comedy Central will not show 200 or its sequel 201, both controversial episodes of US satirical cartoon show South Park (nearly) depicting the Muslim prophet Muhammad.

There have been a hostile responses to South Park’s Episode 200 which was aired in the US. Most notably, a small group known as “” has warned the creators of the show; Matt Stone and Trey Parker that “what they are doing is stupid and they will probably wind up like Theo Van Gogh [Dutch filmmaker killed in 2004 by an Islamic militant] for airing this show."

In the episode notes Slate:

Mohammed "appeared" obscured from sight, first behind a black box marked "CENSORED," then in a U-Haul van and later on in a bear suit. In "201," he stepped into full view—or, rather, into what would have been full view, were the "CENSORED" box still not superimposed over him. (In an elegantly telescoping gag, it also turned out that the guy in the bear suit was actually Santa Claus, pretending to be Mohammed wearing a bear suit). What's more, every mention of Mohammed's name had been replaced with a shrill bleep—which wasn't the case in "200." Comedy Central, apparently acting in response to a threatening post published (after "200" aired) on a New York-based Web site called, had plastered the episode with fig leaves.

Still, even under the threat, Comedy Central—which  asserts that it believes strongly in creative freedom of expression—decided  to air the albeit censored Episode 201containing material mocking the prophet Mohammed (along with everybody else). Sweden on the other hand, chose to completely ban the show.

Sweden is a democracy where freedom of expression is stated to be strongly upheld. Swedish newspapers did for example publish Swedish artist Lars Vilks’s satirical cartoons portraying prophet Mohammed as a half-man half-dog in 2007. Yet this decision would end up putting Sweden on the map for its radical Muslim population.

Now, and probably as a response to the reactions from 2007, Sweden, which once so strongly defended freedom of expression, has decided to completely censor an irreverent TV show which has fans all over the world. It certainly seems as if Sweden has tossed in the towel and given in to the anti-democratic forces that are growing stronger inside the country. With this kind of hypocrisy, one can not help but wonder if Sweden still is a country which strives to defend and provide the democratic rights of all of its citizens.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Swedish Government Gives Millions in Aid to an Anti-Semitic and Racist Magazine

The Swedish government’s Press Subsidies Council (Pressstödsnämnden) decided in April to give 2.3 million Swedish Kronor ($315,000) to an extreme right-wing magazine known as “Nationell Idag” (National Today). Nationell Idag is published by the immigrant-hostile party the National Democrats. Their magazine is known for publishing material which is both racist, and homophobic as well as anti-Semitic.

Nationell Idag itself reports that it is publishing news that the ”decision makers do not want you to know”. According Dagens Media, a news and media watch publication and internet site, the Nationell Idag currently has some 2,000 subscribers. This makes it eligible for governmental aid.

The governmental decision to aid the journal has created a furore, and ruffled many feathers. One of the offended is Martin Ahlquist, the chief editor of the news journal Fokus.  Ahlquist subsequently resigned from his position in the Press Subsidies Council as he “did not want be part of the financing of racism”. Ahlquist also made this point: “The decision is in line with established rules stating that the council cannot take a newspaper’s content into account. If tax money is given to the spread of racism then it is a clear signal to me that the rules are wrong,”

Eva Gabrielsson, lifetime companion of the late author Stieg Larsson, also strongly opposes the government’s decision. (Larsson, working at his own personal risk, was a key founder of the Expo-foundation, a group which worked to expose Swedish anti democratic forces such as the neo-Nazis and their activities.) As a countermeasure, Gabrielsson has reported the governmental decision to the Minister of Justice and asked for the decision to be reversed.

Opinion is divided in Sweden between those who think that the government should be selective in subsidizing the media, and others who argue that such interference would be an infringement of freedom of the press. Sweden has been criticised previously by the EU commission for subsidizing news media. The EU commission contends this creates distorted economic competition. The resignation by Martin Ahlquist was therefore also aimed at showing the Press Subsidies Council that there need to be clearer guidelines for such governmental aid.

Chairman of the Official Council of Swedish Jewish Communities, Lena Posner-Körösi states, in response to the recent governmental decision that her council has for many years taken part in dialogues and debates concerning respect, democracy and all people’s right to equality. When the government recently decided to aid the journal Nationell Idag she feelt that her council had a moral obligation to react.
Nationell Idag, is a magazine created by and for National Socialists with racism, anti-Semitism and homophobia spread consistently throughout its pages. Posner-Körösi reports that the magazine is inciting against groups which already feel threatened and insecure. With additional resources provided by the Swedish government, there is a clear risk that threats against these groups will only increase.

According to the Editor-in Chief of Nationell Idag, governmental aid would secure the future of the magazine.
-“We would be able to expand. Maybe stand in the subway and hand out magazines.”

While the government’s decision is questioned by many, according to current Swedish laws, a news magazine can not be denied aid because of its political stance. Instead, anti-Semitic and racist forces are increasing their efforts, with the help of the Swedish government.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Liberal Party Leader Minister Jan Bjorklund visits Malmö Jewish community

Yesterday, Minister Jan Björklund (People's Liberal Party) decided to visit the Malmö Jewish Community, as have several other senior politicians, in order to “get the big picture” of the deteriorating situation for Jews in the city. During 2009 the number of anti-Semitic attacks doubled compared to 2008. These attacks come predominantly from members of the large Muslim immigrant population. Björklund's visit makes the fourth in a row of national politicians visiting the small embattled community in the south of Sweden.
In an interview with the local daily newspaper Sydsvenskan, Björklund states:
- "It is a worrying story I have been told. It really brings back to life unpleasant historical associations that Jewish individuals choose to leave Malmö as a response to threats."

The Malmö Jewish community did during the past few months have similar meetings with Migration and Asylum Minister Tobias Billström (Moderate), leader of the Social Democrats Mona Sahlin and Minister for Local Government and Financial Markets Mats Odell (Christian Democrat). The community has also met with the much-criticized mayor of the city, Ilmar Reepalu (Social Democrat).

Although Mayor Reepalu initially stated that he was completely oblivious to the worsening situation for the Jews in Malmö he decided, probably due the public criticism surrounding him, to write a letter to Justice Minister Beatrice Ask (Moderate), asking for extra aid for the security of the Malmö Jewish community. His request was recently turned down, as Ask contended that Malmö already received extra reinforcements to the police force, and therefore should be able to protect its citizens.

As reported in the English-language Swedish daily The Local, Jan Björklund puts some of the blame for developments in Malmö at the feet of Mayor Ilmar Reepalu. According to Björklund, Reepalu has made ill-advised comments which have fuelled anti-Jewish sentiment in the city.
Therefore, it is also worrying that the Mayor now seems to be the only potential defender of the city’s Jews.

Malmö Jewish community spokesman, Fredrik Sieradszki said in response to Björklund's visit:
-"The fact they're meeting us sends an important signal".

Every minister that chooses to visit the Malmö Jewish community to "get a greater understanding of the deteriorating situation" comes to the same conclusion: conditions for Jews in Malmö are below any normal and acceptable Swedish standards. One could easily reject Sieradzki’s assertion that the ministers’ visits are helping by shedding light on the situation—as it is obvious that the most important people don’t seem to get these important signals, and are neither able, nor willing to put their words into action.

According to Minister Jan Björklund, change should come from the municipality.
Yet, according to local Mayor Ilmar Reepalu, change (and aid for such change) should be coming from the national government. Decision-makers seem to be pointing fingers at each other, while no constructive change appears to be taking place. In Malmö, the Jews still only have themselves to rely on for security in the increasingly hostile environment that surrounds them.

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.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Swedish Tennis Federation Wants to Punish Reepalu for Anti-Israeli Statements

The Swedish Tennis Federation wants to penalize Malmö’s Mayor Ilmar Reepalu (Social Democrats) for his negative stance on the Davis Cup Game played between Sweden and Israel in Malmö last year. It was partly due to Reepalu’s highly negative statements about Israel that, in the end, resulted in the game being played without audience. The decision to play without spectators caused the Tennis Federation serious financial losses and now they want to punish Reepalu -- by sending him more bills.

That Davis Cup Game Sweden caused an international uproar. The decision to hold the game got much criticism from the politically influential Social Democrats—including Malmö mayor Ilmar Reepalu—but  also from the many Middle Eastern immigrants which are gaining strength in numbers and force in the Malmö. During the game there were violent clashes with the local police. In additional violence linked to the game, the Malmö Jewish community center was attacked by arsonists—an incident that the mayor persistently denied having knowledge about.  A legal and orderly peace demonstration by the Jewish community was attacked by an illegal anti-Israeli mob. Malmö police herded the Jews into an alley to avoid the rocks, bottles and firecrackers thrown by the anti-Israeli mob, but did not break up the rioters’ demonstration.

In reference to the game, the Malmö major told the local daily newspaper Sydsvenskan:;
-    “In my personal opinion the best thing would be not to play any games against Israel at the moment”.

According to Henrik Källén who is the secretary general for the Swedish Tennis Federation, “No local politicians should interfere in sports decisions”. According to Källén the tennis federation will insist on billing Ilmar Reepalu with a $5,000 tab. This as he, according to Källén, has acted in an inacceptable manner and interfered in sports affairs. By doing so, Reepalu has, according to Källén, damaged Swedish tennis.

The Malmö municipality’s decision to hold the tennis game without an audience resulted in the Swedish Tennis Federation being fined a penalty of $5,000 payable to the International Tennis Federation.
When asked about his comments on the matter Reepalu answered that he has not seen the bill. He further argues that the bill doesn’t concern him as he was not the one to make the final decision about the game. The tennis federation, conversely feels that Reepalu has a moral responsibility for his statements concerning the game. Reepalu replies:
-“ Of course I have a moral responsibility to criticize Israel’s occupation and I will continue to do so, just like the UN.”

Early this year Ilmar Reepalu became (in)famous due to his statements concerning the rising number of anti-Semitic hate crimes in the city. His initial response to the issue was;
-“There haven't been any attacks on Jewish people, and if Jews from the city want to move to Israel that is not a matter for Malmo."  He also stated; "I believe these are anti-Israel attacks, connected to the war in Gaza”, which is tantamount to saying that it is the Malmö Jews own fault if they get attacked if they choose to support Israel.

Moreover he also stated that:
“We don’t accept either anti-Semitism or Zionism in Malmö” as well as; “I wish that the Jewish community distanced itself from Israel's violence against the civil population in Gaza”.

Malmö’s mayor can be characterized as a part-time anti-Semite. While the Swedish Tennis Federation has chosen to punish him with a fat bill, one can only hope that the voters in the Malmö municipal elections choose to punish him by voting for someone else as Malmö’s mayor in the upcoming elections.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Malmö Municipality Plans New and More Radical Mosque

Last week the Malmö municipality decided that a new “Islamic Center” will be built next to Östra Kyrkogården- Rosengård, in Malmö. According to its project leader, Khalil Assi, this will be a leisurecenter and should not be called a mosque. Still, according to the blueprints of the center--which will be able to host some 1500 people--about half of its 2 500 square meters (nearly 27,000 square feet) are dedicated to a two-story prayer hall.

                                 Malmö's current only official Mosque

The new Islamic Center was initiated by the Islamic Belief Association in Scandinavia (Det Islamiska Trossamfundet i Skandinavien (DITS). DITS is known for starting the Mohammed crisis with the support by the Imam Abu Laban. According to Inside Al-Qa'ida, by Rohan Gunaratna, head of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research, Abu Laban gave political and financial aid to the Egyptian terror organization Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya. Abu Laban lived in Denmark and had, before his death in 2007, encouraged his congregation to offer their lives as martyrs in the jihad struggle for the Palestinian cause.

The Belief Association in Scandinavia also cooperates with the Islamiska Kulturföreningen (Islamic Cultural Association) in Malmö, also known as the Abu Bakr As-Sideeq mosque. This is the same association which in 2009 had one of its branch mosques closed down by the Swedish Secret Police (Säpo) for preaching radical ideas. In this mosque one can frequently hear the preaching of Anas Khalifa, also known as Abu Malik, from Gothenburg's Bellvue Mosque. Anas Khalifa has been connected to Muslim Internet sites which preach Islamic messages of hatred and Jihad .  He is also known for preaching Muslims intolerance towards Christians and Jews, and is a follower of the fundamentalist Salafi movement, whose exponents include the members of al Qaeda.

The project leader for the new “Islamic Center”, Khalil Assi, is a board member of the Islamic Belief Association. According to the blog Muslimska Friskolan, Assi has publicly promoted Jihad against both Israel and Denmark. He has also been a chairman of the Islamic Belief Association in Denmark where he worked together with the radical, shahid-promoting Imam Abu Laban.

The head of Malmö’s only official mosque Bejcat Becirov welcomes the new project. According to him, the new mosque is not seen as a competitor:
-“There are around 60,000 Muslims in Malmö today and our facilities are insufficient”.

With the new, “Islamic Center” in Malmö there will now be a common meeting ground for the more radical Muslims of Malmö to gather. Most of Malmö’s Muslims today choose not to attend religious services in the official Islamic Center’s Mosque, as many feel that sermons preached in the mosque are not politically or morally rigorous enough for them.

Rosengård in Malmö is becoming increasingly segregated and its Muslim youth are becoming more radical. The Malmö municipality, on the other hand, seems to think that the solution to the situation is to build a new mosque (center) funded by the Swedish tax payers. At all levels the city of Malmö has failed to integrate its large and growing Muslim sector, and perhaps has chosen not to do so. The Muslim population is increasing in influence as well in the city. By choosing to build a new mosque with more radical Muslim leadership, Malmö clearly shows its preference for capitulation, not integration with the growing Muslim radicalism that is already prevalent among Muslims in the city.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sweden: Helping to Sponsor Terrorism?

Swedish newspapers recently reported that "the Swedish Security Police (Säpo) investigates less people for terror connections".  This although there are no signs of a decreased number of people suspected of terrorist crimes. At the same time, Sweden just recently allowed the re-location of the Danish clothing firm "Fighters + Lovers", which last year had six of its members convicted of supporting terrorism. 

According the Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet, the number of people who are investigated for terrorist affiliations in Sweden during 2009 decreased by 65 percent, compared to the previous year. Still, according to Magnus Ranstorp, Research Director of the Centre for Asymmetric Threat Studies at the Swedish National Defence College, Sweden has neither become more, nor less, attractive to terrorists. He further argues that there are  a few people in Sweden who are of interest to the Swedish Secret Police (Säpo). Unfortunately, Ranstorp's comment on the decrease in Säpo's investigations is both unclear and apathetic, mirroring the Swedish authorities' ineffective attempt to deal with terrorism.

While there has been a decision to investigate less people for terror connections there are, in fact, anti-democratic forces which are being allowed to function in Sweden. One of these is the Danish organization "Fighters + Lovers" which has been selling its T-shirts from Sweden since August 2009. The homepage states that proceeds from the collection are being forwarded to the FARC guerilla organization in Colombia, and the PFLP, a terror organization responsible for many civilian deaths. This means that Sweden is currently allowing aid to Palestinian terrorists who seek to kill innocent civilians in Israel.

In March 2009 Denmark's Supreme Court found Fighters + Lovers guilty of violating Danish terror legislation. This, as that the company’s T-shirt sales profits help fund the PFLP in the Palestinian territories and the FARC, both of whom are included on the EU's list of terrorist organizations. Fighters + Lovers has since relocated to Sweden, despite the fact that Sweden is also legally obliged to follow the EU list.

This makes one wonder if Sweden is no longer able, or willing to maintain the legal system the state claims to uphold. Could it be that the Swedish Secret Police have stopped looking for terrorists because of fear of what they might find? Or fear of terrorists supporters?

It is known that states which have taken steps towards new counter-terrorism legislation have suffered consequences. Tougher legislation means upsetting not only the actual terrorists but also the civilian population which may feel that the state is infringing on privacy laws.

Still, it is below any acceptable standards for Sweden knowingly to allow businesses to function legally within its borders when the business is funding terrorist organizations such as the PFLP. By doing so, the state of Sweden also becomes an accomplice in the support of terrorism.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Nalin Pekgul: Muslims Immigrants Responsible for Anti-Semitism in Malmö

In a recent interview with Sweden’s national Channel 2 (SVT 2), Nalin Pekgul, head of the National Federation of Social Democratic Women in Sweden, talked about immigrant-related problems in Swedish politics and also stated that there are radical Muslims in all the Swedish parties who are involved in the harassment of Jews in Malmö today.

According to Pekgul, who is a Muslim of Kurdish ethnicity, and an active politician in the Swedish Social Democrat Party, there is a political problem in Sweden today. Many Muslim immigrants in Sweden brought conflicts from their home countries with them when they moved to Sweden. Once these conflicts are brought into Sweden, they are escalated, which according to her is a dangerous development. Pekgul also warns of a “ethnification” of politics where groups in the Swedish political system are set against each other based on their ethnical belonging, This negative notion is, as reported by Swedish channel 2 (SVT2) also shared by Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt (Moderate).

In the TV interview Pekgul also discussed the issue of radical Muslims seeking to use politics to promote their radical goals, such as instating Sharia law into the Swedish society. She also feels that these radical Muslims are the ones who are behind the recent upswing in anti-Semitism in Malmö. The radical Muslims, according to her, exist within all Swedish parties as well as her own, the Social Democrats. While her party, as she mentions in the interview, does not tolerate any forms of extremism, she also admits that there are local [Social Democratic] associations, which in order to get a place in the municipality or county, align themselves with such extreme forces - “You give me some votes and you will get a space to voice your opinion”.

Perhaps Pekgul is hinting about Ilmar Reepalu. It is known that a large percentage of the inhabitants in Malmö are Muslim and by taking a strong stance against Israel and the Jews, an issue which lies close to heart for Malmö’s many Middle Eastern immigrants, Malmö’s Mayor can be sure to get many votes from Muslim sympathisers.

But at what cost?

Nalin Pekgul also argues that today Swedish political parties are so eager to get immigrants to join them that their demands on the foreign-born individuals are lower than what is expected of their Swedish-born counter parts. At the same time “Swedish politicians are very naïve, their problem is that they blindly believe anyone that, for example, say that they might speak for tolerance and equality. “They [Swedish politicians] don’t realize that the same persons who initially state this on TV or in front of other politicians, may very well turn around and say something completely different to their own ethnic group.”

It is true that Sweden sees itself as a multicultural society, but to what extent should the Swedish state bend over backwards to fit the needs and demands of the many immigrants which constantly flow into the country? It is apparent that Sweden needs to either reduce the flow of immigrants or spend more money on integrating immigrants to understand that “when in Rome do as the Romans”. Otherwise Sweden will soon operate as part of “Eurabia” where only Arabs rules apply.

Source: Swedish Channel 2 (SVT 2)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Israel Boycott Fails

As was previously mentioned in this blog the Consumer Cooperative Society for Western Sweden (Konsument föreningen Väst—KF Väst) recently called upon their nation-wide grocery store chain “Coop Forum” to boycott Israeli products. The Swedish Cooperative Union (Kooperativa förbundet - KF) – has responded: there will be no boycott of Israeli products. 

When the three motions supporting the boycott of Israel were agreed upon, only 425 out of 350,000 members from the Consumer Cooperative society for Western Sweden were present.

As reported in the English-language Swedish daily The Local, the reason as to why the Swedish Cooperative Union rejected KF Väst’s call for a boycott is:

"KF's and Coop's criteria in selecting suppliers pays no heed to nationality. According to KF policy a boycott of trade with individual countries is determined by Sweden's government and parliament or the EU and/or the UN."

The Consumer Association that initially called for the boycott of Israeli products is the largest out of the 47 consumer cooperative societies that make up the Swedish Cooperative Union, which has more than 3 million members.

Only a small percentage of the members of KF Väst were present at the initial meeting which called for an Israeli boycott. It seems that the outcome of the meeting reflected not the position of the whole of Western Cooperative Society, but the radical politics of a few members who have a distorted anti-Israeli agenda. This shows yet again that small groups of Israeli hate-mongers try to smear Israel's image. These extremists resort to dishonest and devious tactics to impose their political will on large organizations, which by a “Vast” majority, do not share their hateful agenda.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Swedish Consumers’ Association Wants to Boycott Israel

The consumer cooperative society for Western Sweden, Konsumentföreningen Väst (KF Väst) wants the nation-wide grocery store “Coop Forum”, which they own, to stop selling Israeli products.

The consumer cooperative society for Western Sweden consists of some 350,000 members yet at their recent meeting, which called upon an Israeli boycott, only 425 were present. As reported in several Swedish newspapers, a majority of these 425 members who were present in Göteborg agreed on three motions dealing with a boycott of Israeli products by the “Coop” grocery stores. The consumer cooperative society for Western Sweden will now pass the boycott issue on to other Swedish consumer cooperatives to get a nation-wide agreement on the boycott.

The resolutions cited Israel's role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as grounds for a boycott.

Coop Forum has as a policy of stating where its food products, such as fruit and vegetables come from. Last winter, during Operation Cast Lead, this became a problem as Israeli products in Coop Forum stores were destroyed and vandalized by anti-Israeli customers.

Coop Forum is not the only nation-wide grocery store that sells Israeli food products. Large grocery chain stores such as ICA Maxi, Konsum or Hemköp for example, sell products which are imported from Israel. Until now, however, no one has called for these grocery stores to stop selling Israeli imported products.

Minister of Trade Ewa Björ¬ling was interviewed by daily Christian newspaper Världen Idag  about the vandalization of Israeli products in Coop Forum grocery stores last year and concerning this civilian boycott. When asked about the situation she replied:

-“The Swedish government has no trade boycott with Israel. We follow the laws of the UN and I am not supporting a boycott [of Israel].

According to Björling, “it is up to the customer to buy whatever product he or she chooses” but in another words not to destroy them!

It is interesting to see that the Swedish Consumer’s Association wants to see a boycott of Israeli groceries. They organization, on the other hand, did not mention anything about boycotting other non-food products from Israel which are sold in Sweden. Perhaps such a boycott would be too inconvenient for themselves as consumers. Such a boycott would include products ranging from gourmet wines and high-quality Dead Sea skin care, to art supplies, exotic flowers, security equipment and a large range of IT products, including Intel computer chips and ICQ.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Israel Remembers the Holocaust while Anti-Semitism Is Spreading in Sweden.

Today is “Yom HaShoah” in Israel, known in English as “Holocaust Remembrance Day”. On this day, the citizens of Israel have no choice but to recall the painful memories of the tragedy and horror which struck the Jews of Europe during World War II. While Israelis swear to never allow history to repeat itself, paradoxically, anti-Semitism, terrifyingly similar to that of the 1930s and 40s is on the rise in Sweden.
On Yom HaShoah no theatres are open in Israel, and regular broadcasts are replaced with Holocaust documentaries and personal histories of the tragedy that swept through Jewish communities during the Nazi terror. At 10 o’clock in the morning a wailing siren sounds throughout the country reminding the citizens of Israel to remember those souls which were eliminated by the Nazi regime.

As Israelis today, some of them survivors from the death camps in Europe, remember the tragedy and their lost relatives, in other places in the world, like Sweden, anti-Semitism and Israel hate are on the rise.

In the Swedish city of Malmö, for example, many Jews are today scared to walk around openly displaying symbols of Judaism such as a Star of David necklace or wearing a kippah (yarmulke). Some Jews in Malmö have already experienced so much hatred, mainly originating from the Muslim population of the city that they now have now decided to leave for other Swedish towns or Israel.

Yesterday IDF Chief of Staff, Gabi Ashkenazi spoke at Yad Vashem and stated “never again shall we stand defenceless”. The Jews in Malmö on the other hand, are unfortunately doing exactly that. While the number of anti-Semitic hate crimes against Jews in Malmö doubled during the last year, the request for extra aid to the Malmö Jewish community was rejected last week by the Swedish government. The town is also currently run by a mayor who blames the Jews themselves for the anti-Semitic hate crimes perpetrated against them.

The Jewish community in Malmö consists of some 650 members; a majority of them are survivors of the Holocaust and their descendants. Holocaust survivors in the community, such as, for example, 86-year-old Judith Popinski, had first-hand encounters in the 1940s with German anti-Semitism and its consequences. Today she says that the hatred that exists in Malmö today reminds her of her childhood. Popinski used to speak in schools about her experience in the holocaust but according to her;
"Muslim schoolchildren often ignore me now when I talk about my experiences in the camps," she said. "It is because of what their parents tell them about Jews. The hatreds of the Middle East have come to Malmo. Schools in Muslim areas of the city simply won't invite Holocaust survivors to speak any more."

Israelis today recall the tragedies and horrors of the Holocaust so that present and future generations will not let history repeat itself. Sadly enough this may be exactly what is happening in Swedish cities such as Malmö.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Swedish Iranian Suspected of Having Illegally Contributed to Iran’s Nuclear Program

Recently Swedish newspapers revealed that a Swedish business man of Iranian origin is suspected of having received some 5 billion Swedish Kronor – about 690 million US dollars -- from Iran during the past two years, The Swedish security police (SÄPO) suspects that the man is guilty of illegal trade with Iran. What goods he has been trading with has not yet been revealed. Indications point toward equipment for Iran’s nuclear weapons and energy program. It is illegal to trade with Iran in such equipment.

That country is considered a high security threat to the state of Israel. Its president  Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has stated that Israel should be "wiped off the map" which emphasizes this. Iran has not yet managed to get full nuclear weapon capabilities, but continues, to develop these.  

The suspect is charged with accounting fraud in Sweden but claims he is innocent, declaring he “merely helped small Iranian businesses to buy and sell goods abroad.” They have then, according to the man, in turn been allowed to use his account to make transactions and paid him commissions for this.

Ardavan Khoshnood who is president of the organization “Democracy in Iran” (Demokrati i Iran) says that it is good that the Swedish security police opened an investigation against this Swedish-Iranian individual.  Khoshnood emphasizes that it is important to trace what these 5 billion Swedish Kronor may have funded: Iranian terrorist cells abroad, persons who spy for the Iranian regime or Iranian media “in exile” who really work for the Iranian regime?

Despite international bans against trade with Iran, especially prohibiting trade in equipment that can accelerate Iran’s nuclear program, the country still manages, as can be seen with this Swedish case, to launder money abroad. If governments like Sweden fail to prevent large-scale trade in nuclear equipment, one can only hope that if Iran does acquire nuclear weapons capability, the world and Israel will be able to deal with the consequences.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Will Mayor Reepalu Now Become the Malmö Jews’ Savior?

A few weeks ago Malmö's Mayor Ilmar Reepalu wrote a letter to the Swedish government in which he requested extra financial aid for the security of the Jewish community. The Minister of Justice, Beatrice Ask (Moderate Party), has now responded that the government will not contribute extra money for the security of Malmö Jews.

                                                                                                         Justice Minister Beatrice Ask

The Jewish community in Malmö has lately been under increased surveillance due to the rising number of hate crimes against it members. Recently the community leadership stated that it has spent some 2.8 million Swedish Kronor (nearly $400,000) on security expenses. They also stated that an additional half a million SEK (almost $70,000) will be will be spent yearly for extra security enforcement. These are large sums for a community that holds no more than some 650 members.

According to the Swedish daily newspaper Sydsvenskan it was already apparent in a recent TV debate between Göran Hägglund (Christian Democrat) and Mona Sahlin (Social Democrat) that no aid would be provided by the government to the community.

Ilmar Reepalu's response to Beatrice Ask's decision was:
-"She is not even going to investigate if the state can cover the security expenses of the synagogue. This is peculiar.”

According to the Minister of Justice herself, the responsibility should instead lie within the Skåne Police force which is responsible for stopping hate crime from happening in the first place. She further states that Skåne, during the new government term, has received 400 new police men who should be able to keep the Jews in Malmö safe. This the second reason for her decision to not fund the community’s security expenses.

Reepalu, on the other hand, argues that this is just a way for the Justice Minister to shift the responsibility onto the police instead of on herself or the government.

While Reepalu recently may have been trying to portray himself as a close friend of the Malmö Jewish community, one can not help but remember that he just recently, in the beginning of the year, made some arguably very anti-Semitic statements. Now that the Swedish government has decided not to help pay security costs for the Jewish community, one can also not help but worry. If Ilmar Reepalu, a person who seems unable to differentiate the Jews in Malmo from the politics of Israel, is the only one that the Jews can turn to, the future of the Malmö Jewish community does not look too bright.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Intifada has also reached Swedish Colleges

As I have explained earlier in this blog anti-israeli-propaganda-group-recruits.html , anti-Israel propaganda is currently being spread around university campuses in Sweden. The movie “Crossing the Line: The Intifada Comes to Campus” describes the anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic situation in North American colleges. While the movie deals with the U.S., it is also applicable to the Swedish arena as the same thing is taking place in Sweden.

The video from this link is for a trailer of  the movie. The full movie can be found here.

As noted on Israeli site Arutz 7 “the film looks at the financial ties between Middle Eastern Studies departments in America’s universities and the Arab states that often fund them – and the pro- Palestinian Authority education received by the students who attend college classes in those universities.” The movie also, “explores the connection between the Muslim Student Association and the Muslim Brotherhood”.

More information about the film can be found here.

Anti-Israeli groups that are functioning in Sweden’s universities use these milieus to recruit and plan new strategies. But it doesn’t stop here—last year the Social Democrats youth group (SSU) actually went out of its way, in connection to the Davis Cup Game in Malmö, to spread Israel hate in Swedish schools. Their planned strategy was to go around to different schools in Sweden and boycott Israel and Israeli athletes with the help of Hamas propaganda.

The anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic environment is not confined to campuses in the U.S.—it  lives and prospers in Sweden. Not only are these activities virtually unchecked, but, in fact, they receive funding aid from the government. One example of this is the organization JIPF which in Sweden used to visit schools in order to “inform” students about Israelis and Palestinians and the possibility for peace. They called it the ”School project, let’s talk about peace”, and it is financed by the municipal Education Department in Stockholm. The groups claims to be unbiased as it has representatives from both Jewish (not Israeli!) as well Palestinian individuals. One example which shows the that organization has a disturbing agenda concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can be found on the groups homepage where JIPF writes about an Hamas leader:

"Most Important Points in Prime Minister Designate Haniye's Speech to Parliant"

2. Protecting the Palestinian people’s right to self-defense in opposing occupation. (ie: the Palestinian peoples' right to conduct terror attacks) 

More in depth information about the JIPF’s anti-Israeli agenda can be found here.

By watching the movie “Crossing the Line- The intifada comes to campus” one gets a greater understanding of how the anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic environment looks in the US. Just keep in mind that the same “movie scenario” is playing in Sweden.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Swedish News Bureau TT Distorts Information Concerning Israel.

TT (Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå) is a national news bureau in Sweden which more or less holds a monopoly on foreign news published in the Swedish media. The news bureau which was founded in 1921 also has a decades-old tradition of negatively twisting information about Israel.

Recently, a story was published via TT’s news bureau in Swedish newspapers that “Israel lets through clothes and shoes to Gaza.”

The article, translated from Swedish reads:
Israel Lets Clothes and Shoes Through Into Gaza”
Published 2010-03-29 21:40
Israel will allow a supply of clothes and shoes to the Gaza Strip, for the first time in nearly three years of blockade against the Palestinian territory.
Palestinian sources said Monday that the first ten truck loads will cross the border into the Gaza Strip on Thursday.
The outside world presses Israel to ease the blockade. For example, the UN has stressed that the entire Palestinian population of the strip is collectively punished by Israel’s actions against the militant Islamist movement Hamas, which controls the strip.
On the long list of goods that Israel stops are, in addition to steel and concrete, a number of things that can hardly be used for violent attacks against Israel, such as pencils and books.
As a result of the blockade the Gazans are smuggling goods, including consumer goods through the narrow and dangerous tunnels under the border with Egypt. Israel has also bombed such tunnels on many occasions.


As can be read in the blog “Israel in Sweden” (both available in English and Swedish), TT, once again, fails to bring Israel’s reason for blocking trade into Gaza into the picture leaving the Swedish readers distorted and biased in front of the information.

The blog reads;
“While TT is telling the Swedes, who do not have any other source of information from the Middle East (except possibly Muslim TV stations on cable TV like Al Jazeera)  that the evil Israelis are stopping all other delivery and on top of that, are bombing tunnels for delivery of shoes! No mention at all of all the transport of weapons through these tunnels of course…

It is important for Swedish media to not take a pre-determined stance against Israel when claiming to “report credible news”. Therefore, TT also should, when bringing news to the Swedish media report that there are “more than 1,000 tunnels, some broad enough for loaded trucks, through which a large array of basic and luxury goods flow to the markets and shops of the Palestinian enclave - and have done ever since the end of 2009. More about this can be found here 

TT should also mention that Israel also, since the end of the IDF operation in Gaza (18 Jan 2009), increased  its humanitarian aid to the Gaza strip. Within this framework 834,850 tons of aid and 122,723,653 liters of fuel have been delivered to the Gaza Strip.

When TT constantly, it seems, leaves out information, such as the above mentioned which is relevant for reporting an unbiased story, it can no longer claim to be reporting “credible news”. When it does not report both sides of the story, TT’s news leaves the Swedish readers unaware of the real facts. By doing so one can also argue that TT in this way demonizes the state of Israel and adds to the level of biased Israel-hatred in Sweden.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

UN continues to spread Aftonbladet’s Jewish Blood Libels.

Recently the Jerusalem Post  published an article which linked the story published last summer by Sweden’s largest news tabloid Aftonbladet, “Israeli thefts of Palestinian organs”, as the basis for an NGO posting a similar written claim on the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Website.

The allegations that Israeli soldiers purposely killed Palestinians and then harvested their organs were first published in an article written by Swedish journalist Donald Boström in Sweden’s largest news tabloid Aftonbladet.

The full original article (in Swedish) can be found here

In the article, Boström not only claimed that Israel went on killing sprees to harvest Palestinian organs but also claimed that the organ thefts were a part of a larger network of Jewish individuals that financially benefitted from the thefts. These other Jewish individuals included both rabbis and Jewish doctors in the US.

 Picture published in Aftonbladet

Bostöm’s horrid conspiracy story, which is frighteningly similar to hundred-year-old blood libels against Jews, was criticized by many and further denied by Israel. Boström “later admitted that his article relied solely on the testimony of Palestinian families for his story. This, of course, further reduces the credibility of an already biased and unsubstantiated story.

Now, as noted in the Jerusalem Post, “The International Organization for the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination” [EAFORD]  has accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing and massacres” as well as an issue they call “dead, kidnapped and killed Palestinians.”

In a section for “documents” on UN’s Human Rights Council’s Web site, EAFORD writes (the 6th document from the top); “Their [Palestinian] human organs, as reported in the press, can be a source of immense wealth through illegal trafficking in the world market,”
The written statement further reads: “Israeli physicians, medical centers, rabbis and the Israeli army may be involved,” and
“After Israeli physicians remove organs they think marketable, the soldiers bury the bodies in graves that carry only numbers and no names, or place them in sealed caskets and deliver them under curfew conditions to the families and supervise the digging of the graves and burial”.

EAFORD’s allegations of Israeli organ trade are very, if not identical, to the Jewish blood libels published by Aftonbladet.

The NGO which drafted the document, also "called for a boycott of Israel physicians and medical centers, as well as asked the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to report the matter to the Security Council and demand that it be sent to the International Criminal Court for action".

According to the NGO “Eye on the UN”, EAFORD was founded in Libya and accredited at the UN in 1981. EAFORD’s Website states that it has focused on the ideological systems of Apartheid and Zionism.

As a response to the continuation of Swedish Aftonbladet’s Jewish blood libels, UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer,  “called on the UN council and high commissioner to immediately cease circulating this racist, hateful and inflammatory text to the ambassadors and other delegates of the UNHRC.”

Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said, rightly, that it was “outrageous” that the allegations were published on a UN Web site.

While it is shocking that both open hatred of Israel and anti-Semitism flourish in the Swedish media, it is beyond and below all expectations to find that an organ which is part of the UN also spreads libels and untruths about Israel. These kinds of libels promote world-wide anti-Semitism and baseless hatred of Israel, yet the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has yet to respond to this shameful issue…

Monday, April 5, 2010

Swedish-Palestinian "Peace Seekers" Dismissed from Israel

Last Thursday six Swedish youngsters arrived at Ben Gurion airport in Israel from Sweden. The groups stated that the aim of their trip was to "study the conflict" for a “peace project” which they represent. According to two Swedish newspapers ,the group consisted of youngsters from both Jewish and Palestinian backgrounds.

Samaa Sarsour and Lama Abu-Iseifan- dismissed from Israel

Well in Israel, only the individuals with Jewish background were let into Israel on certain conditions while the Palestinians, after interrogation, were sent home to Sweden. Now the group wants to know why they were subjected to this "pure racism" and "humiliating treatment". Keep reading, as I explain why.

The group that the Swedish delegation were representing is known as "Låt oss leva i fred" (let us live in peace). This groups is a cooperative effort between the “Palestinian Congregation” in Stockholm as well as the organization "Jews for Peace Between Israel and Palestine" (Judar för fred mellan Israel och Palestina (JIPF).
The latter organization is represented by Dror Feiler, the same Feiler who created an art installation in Stockholm glorifying Palestinian suicide terrorism; the exhibition led to strained relations between Israel and Sweden. The organization JIPF also cooperates with the group "European Jews for Peace". While representing the group "European Jews for Peace", Feiler in February this year spoke at an illegal "boycott Israel" meeting.

It is natural that the Palestinian Congregation in Stockholm would maintain an anti-Israel stance, but those unfamiliar with the organization "Jews for peace between Israel and Palestine" should be aware that they also have a clear-cut anti-Israeli agenda. If this is not clearly manifested by choosing Dror Feiler to be their representative, it can further be seen on the group’s website which declares that JIPF strives to:

-disrupt the Swedish governments' military cooperation with Israel
-encourage the Swedish government to suspend the association agreement between the EU and Israel.

It also doesn’t come as a surprise that one of the self-declared peace-seeking Swedes who was let into Israel on condition that he would not enter Palestinian territories, Tigran Feiler, is a relative of Dror Feiler. This can be seen as if one Googles Tigran Feiler’s name and looks at the website "Geni", where one can pinpoint relationships; Tigran Feiler was added by Pnina Feiler, Dror Feiler’s mother.

Tigran Feiler
In response to the deportation of his "peace-seeking" Palestinian comrades from Israel, Tigran Feiler stated to the Swedish daily newspaper SvD:
- "It says a lot about Israel's politics that we were humiliated and that those with Palestinian background were deported. They [Israel] are not interested in meetings between borders and want to stop peaceful co-existence."

Due to the strained security situation between Israel and the Palestinians at the moment it could be argued that this in fact does not say a lot about Israel's politics but the reality that Israeli civilians face every day. These kinds of security measures are not extraordinary in a country that for decades has been plagued with hundreds of Palestinian suicide bombers and thousands of rocket attacks against the civilian population. Therefore it is also not unusual to find that extra security measures are taken against Palestinian members of a group that has a clear anti-Israeli agenda and whose representatives openly glorify Palestinian suicide terrorism.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Swedish AP- Funds Reject the Safety of Israeli Women and Children

The AP-Funds are various Swedish pension funds which have existed in Sweden since the 1960s. The most important ones; the first, second, third, fourth and sixth are buffer funds that are part of a smaller fraction of the pension income systems assets. Now the first, second, third and fourth of the AP- Funds have decided to divest their portfolios of their investments in the Israeli company Elbit.
The reason why the different AP-funds have decided to exclude the Israeli security company Elbit from its investments is explained in a press release, “that the dialogue that the funds common council of ethics has had with the company did not lead to the result they wished for."                                          
                                                                                                                            Surveillance System
The dialogue was based on the Swedish AP-Funds demand that Elbit comment on”its deliveries of a surveillance system to parts of the barrier that is built in the West Bank”. As Elbit has not commented on the delivery it can, according to the AP-Funds council of ethics, “be connected to violations of basic conventions and norms.”

Already last year, Norway’s oil funds decided to halt its investments in the Israeli company which resulted in negative Israeli reactions.

Elbit was established in1967 and is one of the world's largest defense electronics manufacturers and integrators. The company has delivered surveillance systems to the security fence that Israel decided to built in the year of 2000 after numerous suicide terrorist attacks against its civilians

The fence is an operational concept conceived by the Israeli Defense Establishment in order to reduce the number of terrorist attacks whether in the form of explosive-rigged vehicles or in the form of suicide bombers who enter into Israel with the intention of murdering innocent babies, children, women and men.

Since the construction of the fence began in the year of 2000, the number of attacks has declined by more than 90%. The number of Israelis murdered and wounded has decreased by more than 70% and 85%, respectively, after erection of the fence.

Elbit’s surveillance technology is also used in the US where the company supplies technology to identify threats, to deter and prevent crossings, and to apprehend intruders along the US borders with Canada and Mexico.

Elbit is an Israeli security company and it is natural that the company helps with the protection of innocent civilians in Israel from suicide terrorists. Swedish AP-funds decision to reject investments in Elbit clearly shows that Swedish AP-funds also reject safety for innocent Israeli civilians. Most notably the Swedish AP-fund reject the right of self-defense for the women and children who were a large percentage of the victims of suicide bombing attacks.