Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Reepalu Fiasco: Social Democrats' Failed Leadership

Social Dems: Blaming the Jews
There was a time when the Social Democratic Party of Sweden was a powerful force for change, striving for a society based on equality, a society where everyone was equally welcome, regardless of gender, age, religion, nationality or ethnicity.
That was a long time ago.
With the far-right movements of Sweden being small and weak, it seems that members of the political Left have taken it upon themselves to carry on the long and proud European tradition of anti-Semitism. Arguably the greatest champion for hatred of Jews in Sweden is Ilmar Reepalu, the Social Democratic mayor of Sweden's third largest city, Malmö.
It all began three years ago, during Operation: Cast Lead. A group of Jewish residents of Malmö had gathered to express their heartfelt support for all the victims of the war, be they Jewish, Arabic, or otherwise. The rally was soon attacked by a violent mob of Islamist extremists, who threw bottles and fired rockets into the crowd. Reepalu, when asked to comment on this, blamed the Jewish residents of Malmö, saying that they should have publicly denounced the state of Israel. If they had done so, Reepalu reasoned, then they wouldn't have been attacked. He went on to say that Malmö ”accepts neither Zionism nor anti-Semitism”.
Now, there is obviously a problem with the above statement. Anti-Semitism is a racist ideology, claiming that Jews are inferior or evil for no other reason than because we are Jews. Zionism, on the other hand, is the belief that Jews, as a people, have the right of self-determination, as well as pride in the shared cultural heritage of the Jewish people. Saying that this is as bad as hating someone simply for being born by the ”wrong” parents is odd, to say the least. However, so far, this can be chalked up to ignorance. Annoying, certainly. Infuriating, sure. But not racist. The claim that Swedish Jews should denounce Israel in order to avoid being attacked in broad daylight is worse, but one can just assume that the man is simply that dense.
However, it doesn't end there.
When confronted by various Jewish groups and organizations, Reepalu complained to the media that there were people out to get him, hinting at dark, shadowy organizations with vast power.
Recognize that line of reasoning from somewhere?
This is an accusation he has repeated a number of times, apparently refusing to accept that the source of the steady stream of criticism against him from Swedish Jews, Liberals, and sane Leftists (of which there are actually quite a few, as it turns out) is his own repeated slandering of Sweden's Jews. When the Simon Wiesenthal Center wrote to the Swedish Minister of Justice about the persecution of minorities in Malmö, pointing out the situation for Africans and Roma in particular, Reepalu, instead of accepting responsibility, accused the Center of trying to divert attention from Israel and its' ”violations of human rights”.
In his attempts to slander Sweden's Jews, he recently tried to connect them with the anti-immigration Sweden Democratic Party, a party which is strongly disliked among a majority of Swedes, claiming that members of the Party had ”infiltrated the Jewish community in order to spread their hatred of Moslems”. The truth is the opposite; the Sweden Democrats have given up all hope for Sweden's Jews, claiming that they are simply too naïve to see the threat immigration poses to them. One high-ranking party official is from a Jewish background, and he wants to ban circumcision and kosher meat.
However, the straw that finally broke the camel's back was when, in a radio interview, Reepalu recently accused the Jews of Malmö of being an elitist group receiving preferrential treatment, percieving themselves as being worth more than other groups. He also claimed that the Jews are in control of the media, and that was why he was so heavily criticized whenever he made an anti-Semitic comment.
These are but a few examples, hastily thrown together during a short break from studying. Reepalu has established a pattern, one which he refuses to deviate from: if Jews are attacked, blame the Jews. If Jews are involved, in any way whatsoever, blame the Jews. If no Jews are involved, blame the Jews. It is painfully obvious that Reepalu is a pure anti-Semite, and his continued position as leader of a mayor Swedish city is nothing short of a disgrace.

By Adam Eberhag

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