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