Thursday, December 29, 2011

SVT’s Deliberate Provocation

Just as biased as NRK?
picture credit: Wikipedia
The recent airing of the Norwegian propaganda film “Gaza’s Tears” seems to have been a deliberate attempt to prop up anti-Israel sentiment and an intentional slap to Israel.
In March of this year NRK, Norway’s major public television broadcaster, aired the film. In response, NRK was roundly criticized by Israel’s ambassador to Norway both for putting up anti-Israel propaganda, and also having the chutzpah to call the film a documentary.  The Norway Israel and the Jews blog covered the airing of “Gaza’s Tears” with an analysis of ongoing anti-Israel media bias, and included Ambassador Michael Eligal’s protest letter which we also reproduce below.
Given the open criticism of the film by Israel, Sweden’s SVT cannot be innocent of the charge of deliberate bias and provocation as well.
By Chanah Shapira

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Gaza's Crocodile Tears

Happy Chanukah!
Kassam Menorah
Judaica Webstore
In a recent Norwegian film titled "Gaza's Tears", the old propaganda is dragged out again about how Israel gratuiously smacks up pathetic Gazans out of pure nastiness. I admit that all I watched was the trailer, and that was enough for me. But, apparently SVT, Sweden's national broadcaster, liked it enough to put it on the programming schedule. And that's a topic for another post. In the meantime here are some reminders...

The Gaza war was provoked by the barrages of Kassam rockets and mortar shells fired by Hamas at southern Israel. These attacks actually increased in frequency after Israel's Gaza pullout, terrorizing Israeli civilians with tens of rockets daily.

Despite the fact that Hamas fighters used the Gaza civilian population as human shields, civilian casualties were very low compared to worldwide combat casualty ratios.This was due to precision attacks and the phone calls made and leaflets dropped to warn Gaza civilians to clear out of areas with terrorist targets.

So what's the real back story? Hamas uses Islam to justify its attacks on Jews. Have a look at the following short list of excerpts from the Hamas Charter translated by MEMRI , and you can decide for yourself who the actual aggressors are.

1. Jew Hatred Based in Islamic Teaching Predates the Founding of Israel

"The Islamic Resistance connected and linked to the [courageous] uprising of the martyr 'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam and his brethren the jihad fighters of the Muslim Brotherhood in the year 1936...the Islamic Resistance Movement aspires to realize the promise of Allah, no matter how long it takes. The Prophet... says: "The hour of judgment shall not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them, so that the Jews hide behind trees and stones, and each tree and stone will say: 'Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.'"

2. Jewish State an "Insult" for Muslims

"Israel with its Jewish identity and Jewish people is challenging Islam and the Muslims. May the cowardly know no sleep."

3. Jews Inherently "Evil"

"They [Jews] strive to spread evil upon the earth, and Allah does not love those who do evil." (Koran, 5:64)

Have a happy holiday season!

By Chanah Shapira

Monday, December 19, 2011

More Scandinavian Blurry-Headed Anti-Semitism

Martin Luther's "Chastisement" of the Jews
 Off-topic a bit again, I suggest that our readers have a look at a brief critique from "Piety on Kierkegaard". The blogger rakes Ole Jørgensen over the coals for dragging out anti-Semitic stereotypes to defend Peter Tudvad’s book Stadier på antisemitismens vej: Søren Kierkegaard og Jøderne (Stages on the way of anti-Semitism: Søren Kierkegaard and the Jews). Jørgensen's article appeared in the Danish Kristeligt Dagblad (Christian Daily News).

I think this gives you a little peek into how insular people can drag out Christ-killer accusations along with greedy-Jew characterizations, and then claim that these are simply factual depictions. Under this rubric, no one tarring Jews with these lies can be termed an anti-Semite.  The blogger concludes that:

-"It makes the textbook example of 'For a fat girl, you don’t sweat much,' seem positively considerate!"

Damning with Faint Praise: Bizarre Defense of Kierkegaard in Danish Newspaper

In Kierkegaard and the Jews, News from Copenhagen on December 16, 2011 at 9:23 pm
Just when you thought the debate surrounding Peter Tudvad’s book Stadier på antisemitismens vej: Søren Kierkegaard og Jøderne (stages on the way of anti-Semitism: Søren Kierkegaard and the Jews) (Rosinante, 2010), had probably died down, it’s actually flared up again. Ole Jørgensen published what has got to be the most bizarre defense of Kierkegaard yet. Jørgensen’s article, “Sjusk med ord. Søren Kierkegaard var ikke antisemit” (Linguistic carelessness. Kierkegaard was not an anti-Semite) appeared in Monday’s edition of Kristeligt Dagblad (Christian daily news). The title might lead one to suppose that Kristeligt Dagblad is a relatively obscure paper. It isn’t. Remember, Denmark has a state church. The Danish Lutheran Church is the official church of the Danish people. This undoubtedly explains why Jørgensen took it upon himself to defend not only Kierkegaard, but also Martin Luther against the charge of anti-Semitism. Luther, he asserts, merely “chastens the Jews in his book On the Jews and their Lies.” One might be tempted to conclude from that remark that Jørgensen hasn’t actually read Luther (or Tudvad either since Tudvad quotes extensively from Luther’s works where they bear on the Jews).
It’s not clear whether Jørgensen has seriously studied Luther on this issue. What is clear, however, is that Jørgensen has what one could charitably call a rather idiosyncratic understanding of what constitutes anti-Semitism. He observes, for example, that far from being an anti-Semite, “Kierkegaard even had a Jew in his employ for several years: Israel Levin, who […] was thus able to advance himself, in the manner Jews are so good at...Post in full here.

By Chanah Shapira

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Swedish Academic Links Israel to Norway Terror Acts

Tunander: Conspiracies R Us
A Swedish researcher at the Peace Research Institute of Oslo (PRIO) has suggested that July’s terror bombing in Oslo and shooting massacre at a Norwegian summer camp were the result of state-sponsored terror and points the finger at Israel. Citing coincidences of dates and the strained relationship between Norway and Israel, the so-called academic Ola Tunander sets forth what amounts to a paranoid conspiracy theory, in which the deranged shooter, Anders Breivik, was aided by Israel in his plans.

Articles which appeared in both the Local and Ynet cite Tunander’s claims that Israel “celebrates” the July 22nd bombing of the British occupation forces in 1946 at the King David Hotel by the Irgun. This is a ridiculous and baseless claim—anyone here on July 22nd would wait pointlessly for a parade or fireworks. Using this coincidental date to link Breivik to Israel is Tunander’s first idiocy, and claiming that he needed the support of a foreign government to carry out his actions is his second. Even the head of PRIO questioned the wisdom of publishing the article, which appeared in Nytt Norsk Tidsskrift, a quarterly “scientific” journal of science, politics and culture. (To learn more about the lax standards of Norwegian academia and Norwegian anti-Semitism, have a look at the Norway Israel and the Jews blog, and Behind the Mask.)

Tunander’s assertions fit into a general pattern. Despite Breivik’s diagnosis, the Norwegian left found his right-wing political ramblings useful fodder for Israel-bashing and demonzation. Obviously this derives from the false genocidal accusations popular among anti-Israel activists, and ultimately from blood libel claims in which Jews are responsible for murdering children.

The icing on this stale and rancid cake is that having thrown out these insinuations, Tunander then denied that his article made any such claims, while any reader can see them quite plainly. His spineless defense is well in line with oft-practiced Swedish hypocrisy.

By Chanah Shapira

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Update: Video Link for Trier's Nazi Rant

The Israel and the Jews in Demark blog has its post on this story here. In addition to the material we covered, the Danish blogger also adds a link to the video version of Trier's rambling Nazi sympathies.

SWC: Danish Director on Top Anti-Semites List

Trier: Not funny, just nasty
(photo credit: Mathrubhumi)
Some of the Neighbors Aren't So Nice Either

Going slightly off-topic here, or at least across the bridge. The Simon Wiesenthal Center's 2011 list of top anti-Israel/anti-Semitic slurs is out. Danish film maker Lars "von" Trier is in the #5 spot for his vocal admiration of Hitler and Albert Speer. His remarks got him booted out of Cannes in May of this year. The list is defined as follows:

-"For the last two years, The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading Jewish human rights NGO, has compiled a list of the top ten anti-Israel and anti-Semitic slurs. The list continues to reflect the growing global anti-Semitism and de-legitimization of Israel coming from mainstream voices. It does not include statements by terrorist organizations, the lunatic fringe, or the government of Iran. These citings should serve as a wake-up call to those who believe that such rants are the exclusive domain of Neo-Nazis and crackpots."

Trier has the dubiuos honour of coming in after the deservedly-fired Dior designer John Galliano. Galliano raved at Jews in a bar: “I love Hitler…People like you would be dead. Your mothers, your forefathers, would all be f****** gassed.”

Here are Trier's remarks as cited in the HuffPo:
-“I understand Hitler... He’s not what you would call a good guy, but yeah, I understand much about him and I sympathize with him a little bit. But come on, I’m not for the Second World War, and I’m not against Jews... I am of course, very much for Jews. No, not too much, because Israel is a pain in the ass… I’m very much for Speer. Albert Speer [Hitler’s Architect]… He was also maybe one of God’s best children… Okay, I’m a Nazi.”

film blog notes that :

-"French Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand -- whose department covers a good chunk of the festival's 20 million euro ($28.5 million) budget -- called von Trier's remarks 'disgraceful'.
'His remarks and the way he said them, this type of provocation, does not have a place in the festival or anywhere else for that matter,' he said.
'The only award that Lars von Trier should receive is the Cannes Film Festival 'Bigot of the Year',' echoed the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish rights group based in Los Angeles.

Trier later explained that his remarks were meant to be funny.
Did we miss the joke? Nah, don't think so.

by Chanah Shapira


Monday, December 12, 2011

The Leftist Romance with Islamism...

How they learned to ignore the bomb...
A thorough and thoughtful essay from Alan Johnson (via the Jewish Chronicle) explains how the anti-U.S. stance of the Iranian regime makes the nuclear mullahs the darlings of the revolutionary-minded left. Ignoring brutal realities and glorifying the "struggle" are key components. Sweden gets a mention for falling into the trap also. H/T: Jewish Ideas Daily:

Blindness that excuses Iran's excesses

By Alan Johnson, December 9, 2011

Don't listen to the nuclear nonsense, screamed one of the main left-wing weeklies, the New Statesman, only days after a sober and authoritative International Atomic Energy Agency report had laid bare Iran's pursuit of a nuclear bomb.

Why do some of our intellectuals find it so very difficult to see dictatorship when it is clear, or to summon up the moral clarity to oppose it? This question has preoccupied me since 9/11. It led me to create the online journal Democratiya and to co-author the statement of principles for a new democratic left, The Euston Manifesto.

The Iranian revolution bamboozled left-wingers from the start. First, where class consciousness "should" have been, there was religious fervour. Second, because its world-view split the globe into just two warring camps - reactionary exploiting nations that must be opposed and progressive exploited nations (usually also romanticised as noble and authentic) that must be supported - the left struggled to see clearly the independent history and reactionary character of Islamism, or to grasp the importance of religion (actually, of ideas per se) in the modern world.

That revolutionary Iran could be a brutal and reactionary sub-imperialist power seeking regional hegemony did not compute to many commentators. The Manichean left could not even rouse itself to oppose the brutal tyranny of the regime because, when tyranny was opposed by America, it was miraculously reborn as "the resistance".

Article in full here.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Sweden- Humanitarians or Hypocrites?

A Swedish newspaper recently published an article stating that Sweden is the country in the world that exports the most weapons in the world per capita. During 2010, Sweden reportedly exported weapons worth 16 billion Euros.
The second country on the list was Israel…
The fact that Sweden is the first country on the list is quite disturbing, as Sweden internationally, likes to portray itself as a peace-loving and humanitarian country that strives to uphold human rights.
In accordance with this principle, the Swedish government has in fact issued a guideline stating that weapons “will not be exported to countries conducting wars or countries where severe or wide-spread human rights violations occur”.

Nonetheless, the United States, a country that in the last decade has been involved in several wars beyond its borders, appears as the primary recipient of Swedish weaponry. Pakistan comes in as number two on the list—a country with an abysmal human rights record that speaks for itself.

It is time that we break the image of Sweden as a Scandinavian peace-lover. A country which serves as one of the world’s premier weapons exporters needs to be acknowledged as such and not as a guardian of human rights.  

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Veiled Police, Vilks and Al-Shabaab

Banned in court, but a future on the force?
photo credit: Local
The Local has a bit of local color as a top story today:
-“Donna, 26, Sweden's first police recruit in hijab: Sweden’s first veiled police recruit, Donna Eljammal, 26, does not regard her traditional Muslim hijab as a hindrance but rather an asset for her future career within the Swedish police force.” No accompanying photo, of course.
All this is pretty surprising (not!)—and can be seen as a logical extension of the will to multi-culti as much as possible in Sweden. Why offend Muslim sensibilities by banning the veil for police? An official is quoted as saying that the police have formulated no policy regarding future candidates for the force who might opt to wear a full-body veil or burka.
Luckily, the authorities’ appeasement strategy does not include going along with other Islamic sensibilities. In another top story Cartoonist Lars Vilks’ would-be assassins were sentenced today for plotting his murder—all three were apparently all in possession of knives at the time of the arrest.  Vilks has been the subject of numerous attacks and threats due to his outspoken stance on Islam, including a publishing a cartoon depicting Mohammed as a dog. Avenging the honor of the Muslim prophet has been the motive behind these attacks, which has included physical assault and attempted arson. 
Interestingly, the judge for this case banned women in full burka gear from the courtroom.
-”’I am responsible for order in this court room and I feel I can't achieve that if I am unable to see the faces of the people present,’ said district court judge Stefan Wikmark.”
The authorities claim that the al-Shabaab material found on a computer belonging to one of the criminals does not prove the murder plot was linked to the terror group.  As we reported last month, the Al-Shabaab Somali terror group has its main Scandinavian recruiting center in Stockholm’s Rinkeby neighborhood, also referred to as “Little Mogadishu”. Even if no direct link to Al-Shabaab is proven in this case, its influence cannot be discounted. At least one of the men charged today is a Somali citizen living in Sweden, but the others are described only as “Swedish citizens”.  No details of the sentencing were published.
These reports in the Local show the extent of what at best could be called Swedish “cognitive dissonance”, and at worst “schizophrenia”.  How can a court judge disallow the burka in the courtroom for spectators, but the police allow the face veil on a member of the force? Ignoring the influence of Al-Shabaab in the Somali immigrant community will not solve the problem of active terror recruitment.
Inclusion in Swedish society should be predicated on common values, but is up to Sweden to clearly define these values. Leaving the possibility open for policewomen in burkas, and carefully defining Islamist would-be murderers as simply “Swedish citizens”, are more worrying signs for the road ahead.
By Chanah Shapira

Bildt: Keeping Syria Under Assad’s Thumb?

One for the money...
 Anyone who knows about intel and field ops (or has ever watched 24) knows that staying in pursuit of the enemy means getting real time data. And that’s what Sweden is helping Syria’s President Assad to do these days. While other EU foreign ministers unanimously pushed for trade sanctions against the bloody-handed Syrian regime, the exemplary Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt weakened the sanctions by exempting two telecom firms. Bildt’s rationale seems to be turning a Swedish profit, since both firms sell Ericsson telecom technology to Syria. But Bildt’s actions work against the rationale of the sanctions—stopping the Syrian government from tracking protestors in real time.
SIJ readers know that “money before morals” is a bit of a theme for Bildt. In this case, (also reported by Tundra Tabloids) the problem isn’t cell phone use per se, but the complicity of cell phone providers in aiding the regime to track users.
...Two for the show
A CNN report on privacy issues reminds us that:
-“It doesn't matter whether your phone is a smartphone or whether you use it to make calls; as long as your phone is turned on, it registers its location with cell phone networks several times a minute.”
For Syrian protesters, cell phones have turned into tracking devices that allow Assad’s troops to hunt them down.  Bildt has claimed that the two firms he is exempting are essential to the functioning of Syrian telecom networks. He also denied that either state-owned STE or the South Africa-based mobile company, MTN, are providing such capacity to the regime. Evidence indicates that Syria has exactly that capacity. Banning the sale of equipment would limit the regime’s capabilities by preventing further expansion of surveillance and denying the re-supply of parts, which would reduce capacity further.

It’s nice that Bildt is concerned about the viability of the Syrian mobile phone networks. But now that everyone, including the Arab League, has “gotten the message” about Assad’s lethal repression, isn’t time to “hang up” business and save lives?

By Chanah Shapira

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Young Anti-Semite to Host Prestigious Swedish TV Show

Gina Dirawi Photo Credit: SVT
20-year old blogger, Gina Dirawi has recently been elected host of this year’s national Swedish song contest (Schlager festivalen), a contest that nominates Sweden’s contribution to the Euro Vision song contest. Gina Dirawi is not only a blogger and comedian but also an outspoken anti-Semite.
On her blog, Gina Dirawi, who is of Palestinian decent, writes about her private life but also about the US, Israel, terrorism and Jews. Many of her posts contain deeply disturbing anti-Semitic content such as a post called “go terrorism?”; here Dirawi writes:
How can a can a country like Israel, that violate all human rights, do the exact same thing as Hitler did, but with other means, not be called a terrorist country?
The post has been erased from the blog following criticism of the content, but a screen capture can be seen here (in Swedish).
In the post Dirawi further elaborates on her conspiracy for the September 11 terror attacks, which she believes was a plot constructed by the U.S. government. Ironically, despite her anti-American conspiracy theories, Swedish television has previously chose Dirawi to participate in a TV show commemorating the terror attacks against the World Trade Center.
Except for in the post "go terrorism?", Dirawi has on numerous occasions compared Israeli politics to Hitler and the Holocaust. One of the EU criterias on what can be reffered to as anti-Semtisim. 
On Holocaust Remembrance Day 2010 she wrote: “Today it's the 27th of January and apparently it is the remembrance day for all those who were murdered during the Holocaust” (…) I want all of us not only to have a silent moment for all those Jews who were killed but for all people who have been killed and murdered. For all Palestinians who have been murdered by Zionists in Israel”...
More posts contain the same anti-Semitic message:
I don't understand how people who have experienced the Holocaust can do the exact same thing against other people, and that the world is just watching. This is the new Holocaust….” (Screen capture can be found here):

And this:

“The Israeli government is doing the same thing as Hitler did against their people but with other means, they oppress and they are murdering people who are not like them!”

Following criticism of the Swedish National TV’s decision to choose Dirawi as the host for the Swedish song contest, the CEO of SvT has answered one Swedish blogger, who chose to publish their reply on his blog (in Swedish). It reads:
SvT cannot accept statements of this kind from people representing SvT. Gina wrote the text that is referred to, when she was 18 and before she started working for SvT. We did not know about them and she has taken them off [the blog]. Gina Dirawi has on many other places on her blog emphasized her respect for people with different faith, also for Judaism. But she is against violence. We are having a dialogue with Gina about how she better can describe this conviction.

It is clear that the dialogue between the CEO of SvT and Dirawi is not working very well as there at present are posts with the same theme on Dirawi’s blog.
The Swedish national song contest is held yearly and allows Swedish songwriters to compete for a prestigious place in the European song contest (also known as the EuroVision). The Swedish national competition is one of the most-watched TV programs in Sweden and being a host of this event is a great honor.
In Sweden, the show is broadcast by national Swedish TV (SvT), which is subsidized by Swedish taxpayers. The fact that Gina Dirawi has erased a portion of her blog content with clear anti-Semitic topics (not to mention the talkbacks) does not erase the fact that she is highly unfit to be a spokesperson for Swedish National TV.
Many thanks to Swedish blogger Anna Ekström for an informative blogpost on the topic.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Public Idiocy and Nazi Aerobics

At least Lenin had USEFUL IDIOTS
photo credit: The Local
Here is an item which popped up in the Swedish Local news in the last couple of days:

Top young Moderates sacked over Nazi salute.

-"Two young members of the youth wing of the Moderate Party have been asked to leave the organization after posting a picture of themselves making the Nazi salute [with a German flag in the background] on a personal blog. One of them has also been charged with hate speech."

The saluting blogger made some interesting comments, including, "“We were just doing a morning workout,” and this in defense of the Moderate Party “'s wildly immature to use this incident, something two drunk teenagers did sully an entire party". Actually, it was "wildly immature" to get drunk and then post Nazi-looking photos of themselves on the internet, especially when they were affiliated with a public organization, and their actions can be construed politically.

Denying any racist motive she also stated “I judge people, not by the colour of their skin, but by their actions. But in this country, you're a racist no matter what you do.” What will they do at parties now?

Kudos to the Moderate Party for promptly ejecting these intellectually-challenged individuals.

By Chanah Shapira


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Ahlmark Slams Bildt in Critical Biography

Per Ahlmark
photo credit: Wikipedia
Our previous post covered Swedish government funding for pro-Palestinian propaganda.  Just in case you forgot, the man in charge at the Foreign Ministry is Carl Bildt, whose pro-Palestinian sympathies outweigh his concern for Israeli kids living in Gaza’s rocket gun sights.  But it’s not just us!
Bildt also gave a cold shoulder to Darfurians suffering genocide at the hands of Sudanese Muslims. After all, the Sudanese government was also helping Bildt and his cohorts at Lundin Petroleum earn some nice oil revenues. So says former minister and Liberal party leader Per Ahlmark. Ahlmark’s recent critical biography of Bildt charges that he banned the use of the word “genocide” in the foreign ministry in connection with events in Darfur. Worse, there was total compliance by ministry staff.
The major daily, Svenska Dagbladet, reported that Ahlmark also charges Bildt with downplaying the Srebenica massacre, and alleges that Bildt was slipped into the government only after the Alliance  was voted in, in a move which deceived the electorate.
Regarding Israel, Ahlmark accuses Bildt of being both “horridly cold” to Israel, and ignorant of Israeli society. It seems Bildt persists in seeing Israel as a single-ethnicity state, while in reality Israel is composed of immigrants from over one hundred nations. States Ahlmark:
-"The Foreign Minister's ignorance of this country's history, culture, vitality and democratic rule is obvious and is based on a clearly hostile attitude."
A less harsh version of this story appeared in the Local.

By Chanah Shapira

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sweden Exports Al-Shabaab Terror

Available in Sweden!
The Somali al-Qaeda-linked terror group Al-Shabaab has recruiting operations in Scandinavia which draft members of the Somali immigrant communities.  A number of immigrants sent by Al-Shabaab to fight in Somalia have been killed in combat or terror ops. A report linked on Tundra Tabloids notes that persuasion takes the form of “hate propaganda and film clips of bullets and gunpowder”.  An operations base in Stockholm’s suburb of Rinkeby is the main recruiting center in Scandinavia. Rinkeby, which is home to many Somali immigrants, carries the nickname of “Little Mogadishu”, and is no stranger to immigrant unrest. It is considered a highly radicalized area.

However, the Swedish authorities continue to pretend that all is fine and happy.

-“But no one in the network… has ever been convicted. Two Swedish-Somalis were brought to justice, but acquitted because the court did not think there was proof that Shabaab were terrorists.”
Those acquittals happened in March of this year. However, according to the USA’s National Counter Terrorism Center (NCTC), the USA recognized Al-Shabaab as a terror group in 2008.  Their summary of Al-Shabaab notes that a 2010 double suicide bombing in Uganda attributed to Al-Shabaab killed more than 70 people; this would be a dramatic expansion beyond their terror activities in Somalia—suicide bombings and assassination attacks on aid workers, journalists, activists and political figures, including an attempt to kill a visiting US Congressman.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) notes that:

- “In November 2009, the terrorist organization announced the establishment of Al Quds Brigade, a military unit specifically tasked with attacking Israel.”

Although this may be of little concern for left-leaning Palestinian sympathizers among Sweden’s ruling elites, it is hard to see how Swedish authorities managed to misconstrue the Al-Shabaab statement of February 2010 announcing their alignment with Al Qaeda.

Terror expert Magnus Ranstorp of the Defence College of Sweden points out that 15-20 immigrants have left Sweden to join the jihad in Somalia. Ranstorp notes:

- “There is a natural link to Oslo through the Somali community in Gothenburg. Operationally there is a belt from Copenhagen via Malmö, Gothenburg and Oslo…The same environment is linked to Rinkeby in Stockholm.”

In Ranstorp’s assessment “many mid-level leaders in the al-Qaeda-affiliated organization are located in Scandinavia”.

As long as the Swedish authorities tolerate the spread of hate propaganda and allow terror groups to operate bases within its borders, it’s more than fair to call Sweden a terror-exporting country.

By Chanah Shapira

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Rabbi Kesselman on Malmö

Our parallel blog Norway Israel and the Jews, has a Dagens interview translated into English. It's worth reading both as a view of life in Sweden for a Jew who is identifiably Jewish, and as a portrait of courage and humanity.

And, if you want more news on Jewish life and Israel politics in Scandinavia, have a look at the new Danish blog.

The way Sweden is going….

November 8, 2011

By McGonagall

With kind collaboration from a reader with contacts in Sweden. Lets just hope this scenario does not pan out in Norway…

Jews are leaving Malmö in Sweden and the community Rabbi fears the hatred he meets in the city.

In a unique interview in the Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter the Rabbi of Malmö blames the political leaders for the hatred growing with young muslims. In peaceful Sweden Jews are not safe and can not walk the streets without fear. It is almost unreal that this is Sweden in 2011, not 1941.

“I wasn’t prepared for the hatred I was to face”

In recent years the hatred of Jews has increased in Malmö. many translocate from there. Rabbi Shneur Kesselman has chosen to stay. But when he came to Malmö seven years ago, he was not prepared for the hatred he would face.

Full interview here.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Can Sweden Make Money on Hitler Art?

Biker Möller

The Local ran a story claiming that paintings seized by authorities for debt repayment from a Hell’s Angels biker in  Sweden were not original works painted by Hitler. This was a bit of backtracking from the first information released:
 "If the paintings are originals, we estimate that they will sell at 100,000 kronor (around $15,000) each," said Christer Davidsson, representing the Swedish Enforcement Authority.
In the Local report, district court official Jörgen Larsson stated that an unnamed expert whom he considers an authority determined that the works were copies. This was apparently the line of Sweden’s governmental debt agency Kronfogden after it came under fire for planning to auction Nazi artifacts.  In a follow-up article, Hell’s Angels former head Thomas Möller claims that the works are genuine:
-“Möller, indignant at the suggestion that his paintings are fake, is now claiming to have documentation proving that they are genuine.

”’I got the paintings straight from Otto Skorzeny, who got them from Adolf Hitler himself,’ Möller told Sydsvenskan newspaper.

“Skorzeny was a well-known Nazi and a colonel in the Waffen-SS and according to Möller, the true worth of the paintings is 4 million kronor [US$608,000], not 500,000 that the collection agency had initially hoped to make.”
A search through various press reports found that none of the press agencies in the top results even bothered to print the claim that the works were just fakes worth a fraction of the cost of originals.
In other European states, selling Nazi memorabilia is prohibited, but not in Sweden, where Nazi memorabilia are export goods. Looks like the government authorities decided to whitewash their greedy plans to make money on Hitler's paintings by claiming they were “just fakes”.  Also, note that the value of original paintings is much higher than the rates quoted by Davidsson in the Local.
Our take: Morally decrepit and deceitful behavior on the part of Kronfogen for trying to make money on Hitler art then denying it when hit by blowback, and shame on the Local for printing the coverup.
Our suggestion: Throw the paintings into the next car-b-que in and good riddance!
By Chanah Shapira

Monday, November 7, 2011

Aftonbladet Ignores Bedouin-Egyptian Organ Trafficking

Aftonbladet is infamous for running a highly sensational and totally fictional account of alleged Israeli trafficking in organs from dead Palestinians. But somehow, the investigative powers of its reporting staff have failed to detect a real and lethal organ-snatching industry which is operating in Egypt. The victims are African refugees fleeing persecution in their home countries and hoping to get to Israel.
photo credit: CNN

Accounts of organ trafficking, confirmed by a number of sources, began to hit the mass media last week. In fact the story was known over a year ago. In a report released in June 2010 by the Israeli NGO Kav Laoved an African woman refugee reported this incident:

-“the Bedouins hurt and threatened to kill [13 individuals] if their families didn't send more money. Those among them who were unable to obtain more money were killed by the Bedouins and their organs were sold.”
Workers from Kav Laoved learned of this case in March of 2010. But Aftonbladet’s staff, which was so quick to accuse Israel with no real evidence, has yet to move on this story which is full of facts and murdered victims.
The story, which is now being treated as a freshly breaking story, was reported in detail by CNN in a Freedom Project Report and other media outlets. For at least several years, African refugees fleeing to Israel who fail to pay Bedouin human traffickers in the Sinai are drugged, their kidneys, liver and other “harvestable” parts are taken, and the bodies are dumped. CNN reports that two Italian NGOs:

“presented evidence that the bodies of African refugees have been found in the Sinai desert with organs missing…refugees -- from places like Ethiopia, Eritrea or Sudan -- are enslaved and tortured and the women raped if they cannot come up with the large sums of money the Bedouin try to extort from them and their families to smuggle them into Israel.”

Evidence indicates that these organs are being purchased for the Egyptian transplant market. Italian NGO worker Hamdy Al-Azazy has graphic photos which he says were taken in a morgue in El Arish. They show the kind of incisions which would typify surgery, not autopsy. Al-Azazy describes the procedure:

"Mobile clinics using advanced technology come from a private hospital in Cairo to an area in the deserts of Mid-Sinai and conduct physicals on the Africans before they choose those suitable, then they conduct the operation."

CNN also reports that the World Health Organization has cited Egypt as hub for the illegal organs trade. Organ trafficking is second only to arms trading in profitability, followed by drugs and prostitution trafficking, all of which are also Bedouin enterprises. Organs are sold for $20,000 and up to Egyptian doctors who work directly with the Bedouins. The police claim to be aware of the organ trafficking, but ignorant regarding the identity of the perpetrators. Sources have identified the Sawarka tribe as key operators in the illegal trafficking of human parts. It is hard to believe that NGOs and reporters would have more information than the Egyptian authorities. Putting two and two together probably means that transplants are profitable business for Egypt. Either the government turns a blind eye or certain people are getting kickbacks.

No conjecture is needed to see why Aftonbladet would ignore the story—a case where there is murderous brutality on the part of Muslims who also supply weapons to Gaza is a story the staff at Aftonbladet could never stomach.

By Chanah Shapira

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Lawless & Burning in Southern Sweden

Thanks to the Tundra Tabloids for this video of a mall and surrounding area up in flames in the southern town of Kalmar. Arson has become part of the landscape in southern Sweden, but this is certainly a big step up from the usual "car-b-que" typical in Malmö

by Chanah Shapira

Friday, October 7, 2011

Catch-up: Aftonbladet Reports on Terrorist Funding

Cash for terror spills blood,
not ketchup
At the very end of August, the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet published an article on Swedish aid to the Palestinian Authority which, surprisingly, pointed out problems with the endpoint receivers. Specifically, the article actually reported that the Palestinian Authority (PA) pays salaries to jailed terrorists, and that this is an essential component of continued terror recruiting.

Highlighting the top-level recipient Hassan Salameh, a headline statement points out that:
-“Salameh, gets a monthly salary of SEK 10,800 (about $1570), although he was sentenced to 37 life sentences in 1996 for leading the terrorist attacks that killed 46 people.”

The sub headline, “Millions in aid salary to terrorists”, is followed by concrete data regarding terrorist support funding. The total amount of the most recent Swedish Aid package (SEK 40 million or over $5.8 million) more than comfortably covers the PA “jail salaries”—which  total SEK 31 million (about 4.5 million).
Donor monies help the PA to pay hundreds of prisoners so that crime—in this case the brutal murder and maiming of Israeli citizens—does pay. Potential terrorists know that if they are caught and sit in jail their families will not lose financial support. (Not mentioned in the article is that the Israeli prison system also offers the opportunity to get high school or university degrees.)

Aid from Sweden and other donor states clearly supports and rewards terror. There is also a severe problem with the lack of transparency, as donors have no idea where the money goes once it’s handed over.  Anna Brodin, a spokesperson from the government’s Palestinian aid office, admitted that there are payments to imprisoned terrorists, but preferred to refer to them as “grants”. Nonetheless, she stated:

-“It's impossible to control exactly where all of their expenses goes to, but we can control is that our money is right.”

Minister for International Development, Gunilla Carlsson (Moderate Party), is using the same logic; her press secretary remarked:
-“It’s not our money that falls into the wrong hands, but then it is clear that there are gaps.”

This kind of “I didn’t do it” logic is no more than posturing, and totally fails to admit responsibility for fueling the whole PA rejectionist machine. The PA funds terrorists and also glorifies them by naming streets and public squares after cruel murderers, while refusing to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Yet the donor states that line the pockets of the PA never call it to account.

Carlsson should be ashamed these pathetic statements; the Development Ministry should demand better accounting or better yet, turn off the cash flow to the PA.

By Chanah Shapira

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Community Security: Better Late than Never

Secure Holidays at last?
At the beginning of September—and at long last, the Swedish government finally decided that the Jewish community in Malmö would receive funds in order to strengthen security around Malmö’s only synagogue. Due to international pressure, the authorities allocated funding, but only two years after reports that Jews have been leaving the city due to frequent occurrences of anti-Semitic hate crimes.
According to sources cited by the Forward:
-“ The government’s decision to allocate money for heightened security came after the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe called upon Sweden to do more to combat anti-Semitism. With 56 participating member states, OSCE is the world’s largest regional security organization.”

The back story is that the Simon Wiesenthal Center opened the issue with the OSCE as we reported in March of this year. SWC representatives visited Malmö and sharply criticized Malmö’s mayor, Ilmar Reepalu (Social Democrat), for failing to tackle the problems of growing anti-Semitism.  Reepalu has consistently and hatefully blamed Malmö’s Jewish community for the acts of anti-Semitic violence it suffers, while allowing lawless elements among the immigrant Muslim community to wreak havoc in the city.
Belatedly, the foot-dragging Immigration Minister Erik Ullenhag (Liberal Party) has said it is “totally unacceptable” that Jews on their way to synagogue are regularly subjected to verbal abuse and physical threats. Previously Ullenhag made statements which compared Jewish support for Israel with Muslim links to the September 11th terror attacks, calling these the causes of hate crime in Malmö. He also advocated using school education programs to solve the issue of street attacks against Jews—a “too little, too late” approach.
Reports state that the Swedish government’s recently-released fall budget contains 4 million kronor ($622,000) to boost the synagogue security. This funding helps enable Malmö’s 658 Jews to visit the synagogue during the holidays in greater security, in light of violent incidents targeting Malmö’s Jewish community.  It also helps the small community to cover the very heavy cost of security arrangements—previously, the city and national authorities refused to provide any security assistance to the beleaguered community. As a result, Malmö’s Jewish citizens paid heavily for security out of their own pockets.
The new funds reportedly will be used to add police presence around the synagogue premises and also for camera surveillance to avoid the attempted arson and similar attacks which have continued during the past two years. If this is the case, we welcome the reversal of the Malmö police refusal to allow cameras as part of the Jewish community’s essential security. As SWC previously stated:
-“During our one week fact-finding mission, we met with Jewish, Muslim and Roma leaders who all concurred that the municipality, the police and the State were obfuscating their responsibility to protect their citizens. Even security camera permits, for community institutions at risk, have been denied as a violation of privacy.”  
It is good news that the Jewish community has finally received state funds to help keep its members secure as they exercise their freedom to practice their religion. Providing for its citizens’ security is what governments are supposed to do.  Sadly, Swedish authorities require outside pressure to provide security for their own citizens. We’re pleased that they are finally acting, but wouldn’t it be better if authorities tackled the real issues so that special funds for Jewish security would be unnecessary?
 By Sara, with Chanah Shapira