Wiesenthal: Cancel Sweden handball game over Israel hatred

Slated protest against Israel’s participation in event prompted center to warn about dangers of inciting hatred against the Jewish state.

May 25, 2011 02:22
1 minute read.
Wiesenthal: Cancel Sweden handball game over Israel hatred

sweden flag 88. (photo credit: Courtesy)

BERLIN – The Simon Wiesenthal Center called on Monday for the International Handball Federation (IHF) to cancel a June qualification match between Israel and Sweden because of hate directed at Israel.

A slated protest against Israel’s participation in the handball event prompted the center to warn about the dangers of inciting hatred against the Jewish state. The qualification match is to take place in the Swedish city of Karlskrona.

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Dr. Shimon Samuels from the Wiesenthal Center noted that “Palestine Solidarity Group Chairman, Per Gahrton - who reportedly took credit for that Malmo travesty – according to current flyers, will, on 12 June, address the stadium one hour before the European Men’s Handball Qualification between Sweden and Israel in Karlskrona.”

In 2009, the city authorities in Malmo succumbed to anti- Israeli protesters and segregated the Israel tennis match from the main competition.

Samuels said, “The International Tennis Federation (ITF) in 2009 fined Malmo, Sweden and banned further Davis Cup heats in that city for a period of five years. This followed the municipality’s ghettoization of a Sweden-Israel match in a locked and empty stadium. As a result, the Simon Wiesenthal Center has imposed a travel advisory on Malmo.”

He added that the June 12 event “promises to turn the city into a mecca for far-right and left extremists, together with radical Islamists, in a ‘day of rage’ hatefest, endangering Jews, moderate Muslims and the Swedish general public.”

The Wiesenthal center urged “the IHF, your European Handball Federation and its nine corporate sponsors, to move this championship away from Sweden due to clear incitement to violence, through flyers and other menacing messages circulating even before a police permit is granted for a demonstration, at which radical hatemongers from all over Sweden have already confirmed a massive attendance.”

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