The beleaguered Jewish community of MalmöThe following article written by Ricard Westerberg was published in Dagens Nyheter on 30 January
“In a series of noteworthy articles, Skånska Dagbladet has been describing how the Jews of Malmö have become increasingly beleaguered in recent years. How the chapel at the Jewish cemetery was attacked with a firebomb. How Jewish children have been forced to change schools. How Jewish people no longer dare to show their Star of David because it can be thought offensive. How families with Jewish connections are moving out of the city because they feel threatened. How football teams with Jewish players are being harassed by the public. How security guards must be present during synagogue services.
“In this situation, on 27 January, the memorial day for victims of the Holocaust, the Social Democrat party community adviser, Ilmar Reepalu, chooses to criticise the Jewish community for failing to dissociate itself from the conduct of the Israeli government.
“ ‘I would have liked the Jewish community to distance itself from Israel’s harassment of the civil population in Gaza. Instead, they choose to hold a demonstration in Storatorget (the large market place), which can send out the wrong message.’
“This was a peaceful demonstration which was disrupted after violence from counter-demonstrators. And wrong messages? In this country everyone has the right to demonstrate – regardless of their opinion. Reepalu should defend this right resolutely. Instead, his statements risk encouraging the left-wing extremists and Islamic anti-semitism which is on on the march in Malmö.”