Friday, January 28, 2011

Wiesenthal Center to Visit Malmö?

On December 14th of last year, the Simon Wiesenthal Center issued a travel warning for Jews visiting Sweden due to the “harassment of Jewish citizens in the southern city of Malmö”. Now it appears that representatives of the Wiesenthal Center will pay a visit to the city—which has the justly-deserved reputation as the anti-Semitism capital of Europe. This is largely due to the provocative statements and failed policies of Malmö’s mayor, Ilmar Reepalu (Social Democrat).
A recent online issue of Sydsvenskan featured an article with the headline “Reepalu gets Wiesenthal visit” which discussed the possibility that representatives from the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem might pay a visit to Malmö.
As a response to the travel warning, Mayor Reepalu wrote a letter to the Wiesenthal Center stating that the city in fact is dealing with the problem, and cited the initiation of a dialogue forum as the solution to the ongoing hate crime directed against Malmö’s Jewish citizens. So far, the forum has produced no results. The letter also contained an invitation to Malmö for ”further discussions” which preferably would be held on the 22nd-23rd of December or the 3rd of January.
Adam Cooper from the Wiesenthal Center has commented to local radio in Malmö that the invitation was of too short notice but that a visit might be relevant in the near future. He also noted that Reepalu has been a part of the problem, but Cooper sees is as a positive sign if Reepalu will be willing to be part of the solution.
According to the Malmö communities’ chief of staff, Julia Janiec, a meeting is currently being scheduled.
We can only hope that Reepalu will drop his anti-Israel, anti-Zionist rhetoric in order to find real solutions to the local problem of anti-Semitic hate crime in Malmö.

1 comment:

  1. To make it a bit more complicated:

    The article is in Swedish from a well-known paper from South-sweden, it tells from the Wiesenthal-Warning, but the reaction from the Jewish congregation of Malmö was surprised and didn't agree at all.

    There are many perspectives to be concerned of.