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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Malmö Syndrome

Malmö is the third largest Swedish city, and now the poster child for what I call Malmö Syndrome, the anti-Semitic violence which results from the shared anti-Israeli agenda of Islamists and leftists.

The result is that Malmö is being depopulated of Jews as a result of street violence by Mulsims and disinterest by left-wing politicians:

"This new hatred comes from Muslim immigrants. The Jewish people are afraid now."

Malmo's Jews, however, do not just point the finger at bigoted Muslims and their fellow racists in the country's Neo-Nazi fringe. They also accuse Ilmar Reepalu, the Left-wing mayor who has been in power for 15 years, of failing to protect them.

Mr Reepalu, who is blamed for lax policing, is at the centre of a growing controversy for saying that what the Jews perceive as naked anti-Semitism is in fact just a sad, but understandable consequence of Israeli policy in the Middle East.

While his views are far from unusual on the European liberal-left, which is often accused of a pro-Palestinian bias, his Jewish critics say they encourage young Muslim hotheads to abuse and harass them.

At the heart of Malmo Syndrome is the attempt to delegitimize Israel:

Jewish residents in Malmo are furious after the Swedish town's mayor, Ilmar Reepalu, equated Zionism to anti-Semitism in an interview published on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

During the interview with Skanska Dagbladet newspaper, Reepalu was asked whether he considered a public condemnation of anti-Semitism in Malmo. The mayor responded that "Malmo does not accept anti-Semitism and does not accept Zionism," charging that both adopt extreme positions towards certain groups.

Reepalu added that local Jews bear some responsibility for the attitude towards them, noting that "they have the possibility to affect the way they are seen by society." The mayor then urged Malmo's Jewish community to "distance itself" from Israeli attacks on Gaza's civilian population.

The acts of violence are incited by wholly one-sided, and sometimes irrational, criticisms of Israel. Last August, Aftonbladet, Sweden’s largest-circulation newspaper, claimed that the Israeli military killed Palestinians to harvest their organs. (Reality was that an Israeli institute in the 1990s had harvested some organs from Israeli soldiers, Israeli civilians, and some Palestinians without family permission, but there was no killing of Palestinians for the purpose of harvesting organs.)

The Swedish newspaper accusation was a variation on an ages-old anti-Semitic blood libel and consistent with Palestinian propaganda:

Reporter Donald Boström charges that, since the first Intifada in the early 1990s, the Israeli Army has been kidnapping and murdering Palestinian young men "who disappeared for a few days and returned by night, dead and autopsied."

It's important to note that these outlandish charges did not appear out of thin air. They are not only a staple of Palestinian hate mythology, but extend to Iran where a few years ago Sahar, the government TV channel, aired a weekly drama, titled "Zahra's Blue Eyes," which portrayed "Zionist" doctors kidnapping little Palestinian children to harvest their organs.

Malmö Syndrome is not new or unique to Malmö. Wherever one finds "pro-Palestinian" demonstrators -- whether secular leftists or Islamists -- one finds blatant and often violent anti-Semitism:

London saw the highest number of anti-Semitic attacks last year, according to reports from the Jewish Community Security Trust (CST).

More than 924 reports of bigoted violence and abuse were received in total by the CST - with 460 incidents taking place in the capital.

Manchester had the second highest number of attacks, from violence to desecration of Jewish properties, with 206 incidents reported, followed by Hertfordshire with 48 and Leeds with 35.

The charity, which monitors anti-Semitism in Britain, said the figures marked the worst year since records began in 1984. They included violent street attacks,arson, egg-throwing, racist graffiti, website hacking and hate mail.

Researchers said the surge was fuelled by the ground invasion of Gaza by Israeli forces in January 2009. Almost a quarter of incidents (23%) included some form of reference to the controversial conflict.

Campuses in particular are a hotbed of Malmö Syndrome. Here is a non-exhaustive list of disruptions during just the first two weeks of this month in which Jews either were attacked on campus or speeches were disrupted in the name of anti-Zionism:

On February 1, at York University in Toronto, 20 Jewish students who had gathered to raise awareness of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and terrorist acts committed by Hamas were surrounded by about 50 protestors chanting anti-Israel and anti-Semitic slurs. Two of the Jewish students were slapped, one on the arm and one across the face.

On February 3, during his lecture at Oxford University, Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon was heckled by a Muslim student who shouted, among other
things, "Itbah Al-Yahud" - "kill the Jews."

On February 7, the Israel Society at Cambridge University canceled a talk by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev historian Benny Morris after protesters accused him of "Islamophobia" and "racism."

On February 8, at UCLA School of Law, members of Law Students for Justice in Palestine (LSJP), an undergraduate group Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and the local Women in Black disrupted a lecture by Daniel Taub, Principal Deputy Legal Advisor of Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Also on February 8, at the University of California, Irvine, hecklers tried to disrupt a lecture by Michael Oren, Israeli ambassador to the United States, who is also a distinguished academic.

The excuse now is the Israeli invasion of Gaza, but that is just an excuse. From the "Zionism is Racism" UN resolution in 1975, to the exaggerated claims of Israeli killings in Jenin and elsewhere, there always is some excuse to attack Israel on campus.

It is a very thin line between what is happening on campuses and in the anti-Israel blogosphere, and Malmö Syndrome.

But to point out this thin line leads to the new blogospheric badge of honor, the supposed false accusation of anti-semitism:
In fact, the whole Wieseltier-Sullivan episode has served to illustrate an emerging trend among critics of Israel: Their eagerness to allege that they've been accused of being an anti-Semite. I do agree that some of Israel's defenders are too quick to throw out charges of anti-Semitism or "self-hating Jew," and that's lamentable and a problem. But it seems that among many of Israel's critics, claiming that you've been accused of being an anti-Semite has become some sort of bizarre badge of honor. And quite a few of those that have allegedly been accused of being an anti-Semite, according to Wieseltier's critics, either were never smeared with such a term or were only accused of making a specific problematic remark and not tarred with some broad brush of disliking Jews, as they claim.
Critics of Israel who are not anti-Semitic need to admit that they have a problem, Malmö Syndrome.

The line between anti-Israel rhetoric and anti-Semitic violence has been all but erased, and the enlightened leftists supposedly committed to human rights in fact are in bed with those who act on the oldest hate.

Related Posts:
Israeli Embassy Tweets About "Hit On #Dubai Target"
Being Anti-Israel Is Not Being Anti-Semitic, But It Helps
Law Professor Continues His Personal Intifada

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  1. With a President who sat in the pew of a well-known virulent anti-semite for 20 years, the hate filled left feels it has a friend in the White House and are on the move. Interestingly while Obama chastises those who deride Moslems and refuses to even call terror, terror in the US (Ft. Hood) he has yet to address the anti-semitism of his own party prominently displayed on his Organize for America website, the Daily Kos and Huffington Post. The irony is that the leftist Jews, who make up the bulk of Jewish American leadership, refuse to see what is before them and hide their heads ignoring the storm that is coming much as the Jewish world did over 70 years ago. Luckily this time, there are some of us who can see the forest for the trees.

  2. Astonishing. The list of disruptions and attacks is particularly sobering.

    It is amazing to see this actually bubbling up again. And perpetuated by the liberal fringe, the supposed bastion of freedom, liberty, and equality.

  3. A well-crafted end to this remarkable and instructive post. The US and Europe forget that little Israel is all that stands between us and the rage of the Muslims and Iranians in the Middle East. Sooner or later we in the west need to be more forceful in our stand against violence perpetrated against members of the Jewish faith. Whenever there is this incredible imbalance of civilized behavior over against its opposite no matter the target of the moment, it can easily change. Jews alone are not the endgame of people like this. Most Muslims see Christians in the same light. This has not been publicized as much. So don't go away thinking that this doesn't concern you. You cannot avoid the fact that it does. What are we going to do for Israel. What are we going to do to fight against the rising power of Islam and the left in the West.

  4. I wonder what it means, then, to be "pro-Israel" in this context? In some political circles, not having an "Israel first, everyone else after" attitude equates to being "anti-Israel": is this not unfair?

    I'm almost afraid to admit that I don't necessarily "support" Israel over anyone and everyone in all context, because it's expected that all Americans are adamently pro-Israel by definition, else you're an anti-Semite.

  5. "disinterest by left-wing politicians:"
    Disinterest means unbiased as in has no business interest in. A politician should often be disinterested but seldom uninterested.

  6. Wonderful and enlightening. This mirrors a post I read on another site about antisemitism attacks on the rise: there were more attacks in many Western countries in the first 6 months of 2009 than there were in the entire year of 2008. Shocking, yet all too easy to believe.

    I am always baffled that the Jewish population in the US, in general, support and vote for the Democrats. Do they not see what is happening?

    The Leftists are the epitome of intolerance, radicalism, and hate. Hopefully the rise of conservatism will stem this tide, at least in the US. I pray often for Israel, who are God's chosen people. We MUST always support them, and protect the Holy Land, Israel.

  7. @cem, I think "disinterest" also means indifference, which is how I used it.

  8. Thank you so much for writing about this problem in Sweden. I have been writing about it for some time as well and the more we get the word out the better.


    Chuck Norton
    IUSB Vision Weblog

  9. "I wonder what it means, then, to be "pro-Israel" in this context? In some political circles, not having an "Israel first, everyone else after" attitude equates to being "anti-Israel": is this not unfair?" - John Sanzone

    In exactly *what* political circles does this attitude manifest itself? Be specific.

    "I'm almost afraid to admit that I don't necessarily "support" Israel over anyone and everyone in all context, because it's expected that all Americans are adamently pro-Israel by definition, else you're an anti-Semite."

    Nice use of the passive voice there. *Who* expects that all Americans are "adamently[sic] pro-Israel by definition, else you are an anti-Semite"?

    "I'm almost afraid to admit" so, you're asking for kudos here for your courage for... what? Declaring that you are not a Zionist? This argument has little to do with the subject of the OP

  10. After the Dutch government collapsed this weekend, lots of people are saying Geert Wilders may become the next Dutch prime minister.

    As I'm sure you are aware, he is a strong supporter of Israel and he's politically to the right of most of Europe. He believes the Islamic radicals are serious about their goal of a global caliphate, so he is an outspoken critic of what he calls the Islamification of Europe. If he does become PM, he will at least provide some balance to leftist Europe.

  11. Michael Oren, the Israeli ambassador to the US, was heckled so badly when trying to give a speech at UC Irvine that he had to leave the stage without getting a chance to speak.

    At UC San Diego, however, he wasn't heckled and got to give his whole speech. The majority (save one) of questions afterward were from pro-Palestinian students, and they were off the wall. But Oren answered them calmly and the students asked them calmly and listened. Quite a contrast!

    Here's the link:


  12. Since I had a run in with a hateful Islamic blogger who was residing in Malmo, I was looking for more information.

    I found your article.

    Same old stuff --- if you are not pro-Israel, you are a jew hater.

    Puhleeeeeeeeze. That shit gets so tedious.

    I hate religion.