Recent years in the Swedish coastal city of Malmö have seen an increase in anti-Semitic attacks. 47 anti-Semitic hate crimes were reported in 2011 while in 2010 the figure was 20 and in 2009 the police received 79 complaints.
In December 2010, Simon Wiesenthal Center issued a travel warning for Jewish travelers to Malmö. In a recent interview published in the Swedish daily Sydsvenskan, Mayor Ilmar Reepalu reacted to the warning:
“I get the impression that the center''s (SWC) aim is that people will forget what is happening in the state of Israel, violations of human rights that all people should disassociate themselves from.”
With this statement, Reepalu seems to suggest that the Simon Wiesenthal Center is not concerned about anti-Semitism per se, but rather, has a sinister agenda to distract the world''s attention away from Israel.
The wild increase in anti-Semitism coincided with Reepalu’s mayorship. The incumbent mayor has governed the city for the past 16 years. In the last few years alone some 30 Jewish families have fled Malmö.
Reepalu often links the city’s rampant anti-Semitism to events in Israel. In 2010, when asked about the anti-Semitic attacks in Malmö during Israel’s military operation in Gaza, Reepalu responded by saying that he was opposed to anti-Semitism, but added: "I believe these are anti-Israel attacks, connected to the war in Gaza."
Reepalu expressed his sympathy for the anti-Israel rioters and blamed Israel for the violence. Commenting on the violence against Jewish residents, Reepalu stated that “I wish that the Jewish community [in Malmö] distanced itself from Israel''s violence against the civil population in Gaza.”
Just like the thugs who attack Jews indiscriminately, Reepalu casts blame on the Jewish community as a whole, treating the Jews as a politicallly homogenous entity. Based on Reepalu''s line of thought, all Swedish Jews are guilty by association.
Malmö is also one of the few places where Israeli athletes have been directly threatened with violence. In 2009 hundreds of rock-throwing hooligans tried to storm a tennis match between Sweden and Israel.
Sweden''s free society is becoming a mockery of its original idea. Neighborhoods where Jews can''t wear kippahs have become lawless entities where freedoms are exploited by criminal gangs. If Reepalu’s willingness to condone vile anti-Semitism is any indication, Malmö will soon become a city free of Jews.