Swedish blogger says European society becoming blind to Jew hate, must wake up
It gets dark very early here in Stockholm in the winter. Some young men are crossing the square where some Jews are dancing, speaking in Arabic amongst themselves, perhaps with a Libyan accent. They already know what they plan to do.
I can hear them mentioning Israel. They are looking for trouble. Suddenly one of them approaches a stand with a couple of Israeli flags on it. One grabs a flag forcefully and the other Arab men are following him, running. People pretend like nothing really happened - but it did happen.
The Arabs are trying to put fire to the Israeli flag, their prey. They are suddenly approached by a Swedish guy who asks them what they are doing. They answer that Israel killed a brother and ask the Swede if he has a problem with their actions. He says: “No, I am neutral.”
With a burning Israeli flag they rush down the stairs to the square, screaming “Fuck Israel!” This can be seen in a recent clip on YouTube from Stockholm, Sweden, my country. I am disgusted. I found the clip by chance a few days after the horrible, racist murder of Jewish children and a father outside a Jewish school in Toulouse, France.
Watch teens burning Israeli flag in Stockholm
To me, there is no doubt that burning an Israeli flag under any circumstances, killing Jews and Israeli citizens are all signs of racism and of a society in decline.
But I hope Sweden and Europe will wake up soon. I hope, but I’m skeptical.
All over Europe, anti-Semitism is on the rise. In Eastern Europe we have the right-wing extremists representing the face of Jew hate, but in the West it is a different, new racism we cannot talk about openly. At least not in Sweden. If you do, you lose your face or your friends.
‘Jews deserve it’
It already happened when a Swedish politician tried to characterize the threat to Jews in the city of Malmo. Speaking on television, he nervously uttered the words ”extremist Muslims” to define the perpetrators. And so, one who defends Jews and Israel has been labeled as a racist and hater, when in fact it is completely the other way around.
I faced cold hate myself when I brought up the situation in Malmo during a discussion with a former Arab friend and human rights activist. Jews ”deserve it,” he proclaimed. I was shocked but not surprised, and with those words our friendship ended forever.
I don’t claim all immigrants from the Middle East are racists, far from it, but too many bring their irrational hate towards Jews and Israel into our democracy. This hate is also imported by religious and political satellite TV channels from the Arab world. Aid to Mideastern countries allowing this to be produced must end.
Moreover, disinformation from aid associations and Swedish “human rights groups” like Palestinagrupperna feed hate towards Israel and Jews here. Swedish aid organization SIDA has to stop giving pro-Palestinian groups like Palestinagrupperna financial support for projects as long as they keep spreading disinformation about Israel.
I believe anti-Israeli propaganda is at the root that gave rise to the murderer in Toulouse. It makes our politicians change their behavior towards Jews. Step by step it makes the society blinder to hate when we see an Israeli flag burned in the streets, when we hear the words “death to the Jews” or “Jews are infidels” in Arabic, and when racist war chants are chanted in our squares while politicians are present and silent.
The Swedish media is now depicting Toulouse Killer Mohamed Merah as “a very special person” who is a victim of the burqa ban and an Islamophobic society. This is madness! We need to face the truth about the perpetrators in order to prevent the horrible crimes in Toulouse from happening again, rather than seeking excuses for the crimes!
We Swedes, and Europeans in general, need to wake up and stand up to the anti-Jewish violence and the irrational hate, and we need brave politicians, journalists and editors who really understand the Middle East - because by now, the Mideast is burning in Europe.
Tobias Petersson is a student at the Institution for Oriental Languages, Stockholm University. He runs a pro-Israel blog called Kol Kach Israel
Op-ed: Guy Bechor explains world’s continued silence in face of Assad massacre in Syria
So what’s going on in Syria? All is well, thanks for asking; people are being butchered as usual. And what is the world saying about it? The world is rolling its eyes to the heavens and pretends that 5,000 Syrians have not been murdered already, that tens of thousands were not wounded, and that tens of thousands were not detained by their own regime.
Why was an international coalition forged vis-à-vis the Gaddafi regime? Because the world said Gaddafi is shooting his own citizens. And what exactly is Assad doing? He has undertaken worse actions, bombarding his own citizens using battleships. Yet in this case, disconcerting silence prevails. A coalition of dark interests allows Bashar al-Assad to act as he wishes – and he knows it. The biggest hypocrites are his Turkish neighbors, of course. Turkey’s prime minister constantly slams Israel over the nine people killed on board the Marmara, but apparently has little to say about the 5,000 people killed in Syria. Turkey has the longest border with Syria, and for a few months now the Turks are pretending to grant Assad “a final opportunity,” yet in practice they are safeguarding his regime.
The Turks are scared of a Syrian vacuum that will come at their expense. Every week, Turkish soldiers are being killed by the Kurdish underground, and the Turks fear that the Kurds will be killing their soldiers on both sides of the Syrian border.
As opposed to the reports and assessments we are hearing, it does not appear that the Turks intend to intervene in Syria militarily. That would prompt an entanglement vis-à-vis Syria’s main supporter, Iran, which does not hide its public endorsement of the murderous regime in Damascus. Another state that maintains its silence is the Shiite Iraq, which views Syria’s Alawites as close associates.
UN lost its raison d’être
So who else supports Assad’s regime? The Arab League. The one that rushes to complain against Israel at the UN Security Council over every tiny violation in Gaza, while allowing an Arab regime to butcher its own people with no interruptions. There is no longer any justification for the existence of the Arab League, which is preoccupied with one thing: Trying to embarrass Israel. The several Arab ambassadors recalled from Damascus are no more than lip service.
And who else is turning a blind eye to events in Syria? Russia, which protects Assad because of the modern, expensive dock it built at the Syrian port of Tartus. Russia needs a home base in the Mediterranean, yet as its fleet can dock in Israel too there is no need to support Assad.
The UN, which is also incapable of averting the mass carnage, has lost its raison d’être. After all, this institution was established in order to prevent new holocausts and further extermination in the wake of World War II. The UN is not even capable of issuing a condemnation of Syria.
Finally, we have President Barack Obama’s Administration. It was Obama who virtually forced a new US ambassador to return to Syria, while portraying Assad as an American ally. This showed complete failure to understand regional realities. To this day, the US has not recalled its envoy from Damascus, thereby continuing to legitimize Assad’s terrible regime of oppression.
Of course, the greatest hypocrisy being exposed at this time is that of the Syrian regime itself, which did not spare insults, incitement and lies against Israel; a tyrannical regime that pretended to be a human rights champion, while falsely portraying Israel’s democracy as a tyranny. At least this is one mask we can remove in the hypocritical global festival surrounding the ailing Syria.