Malmo suspends Arab Book Fair amid revelation of antisemitic texts

The government was alerted to the antisemitic texts after the Simon Wiesenthal Center penned a letter to Swedish Prime Minister Steafan Lofven, notifying him of their presence.

The Swedish flag is seen at Gamla Stan, the Old City of Stockholm, Sweden, May 7, 2017. (photo credit: INTS KALNINS / REUTERS)
The Swedish flag is seen at Gamla Stan, the Old City of Stockholm, Sweden, May 7, 2017.
(photo credit: INTS KALNINS / REUTERS)
The Swedish city of Malmö has decided to suspend its partnership with the Arab Book Fair after it was revealed that the fair was featuring and promoting antisemitic texts.
The city is now looking to close down the book fair definitively.
The government was alerted to the antisemitic texts after the Simon Wiesenthal Center penned a letter to Swedish Prime Minister Steafan Lofven, notifying him of their presence.
"It has come to our knowledge that visitors to the book fair's website are offered to buy antisemitic literature, which is completely unacceptable," said Malmö's Cultural Director Pernilla Conde Hellman. "It goes against everything we stand for and we therefore choose to immediately terminate the cooperation... and hope that other contributors such as the Swedish National Council for Culture will do the same."
"The City of Malmö has contributed SEK 150,000 [USD 17,000] in project support to the Arab Book Fair," the cultural director added. "We will review whether we can reclaim the already paid support."
Following the suspension, Dr. Shimon Samuels, director for International Relations at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said that he was satisfied with the cities decision but "urged the Malmo municipality to investigate who originally agreed to this generous support and take appropriate measures to ensure that sponsorship for any form of hatred is never repeated."


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