Congratulations to Malmo, Sweden. That port city, Sweden's third largest with a population nearing 300,000, is on the verge of becoming Judenrein, a heinous term coined by the Nazis for when they declared an area officially cleansed of Jews.
Recently, Israel's Haaretz carried a story filed by Donald Snyder of The Jewish Daily Express News Today Forward (a link is provided below). In reading it, you might feel like it's 1938 or 1940 all over again, when Europe was installing the machinery to transform into a vast abattoir, a slaughterhouse, for that continent's millions of hapless Jews.
In today's Europe, Jews are measured in the scant thousands, but they're still under fire, though not from Nazis, neo or otherwise. The danger isn't even coming from the traditional political right. “The threat in Sweden now comes from Muslims and from changing attitudes about Jews in the wider society.”
There are 45,000 Muslims in Malmo, about 15% of the population. Most are Palestinian, Iraqi, or Somali. Almost all live in the city's Rosengard district — where unemployment is rampant, and where Sweden's “social welfare concept for helping without end does not give people the incentive to do something to make life better,” said Sylvia Morfradakis, a European Union official.
According to Morfradakis, up to 90% of Malmo's Muslim youth (18 to 34) can't find jobs because they won't learn Swedish. They'd rather watch al Jazeera on satellite TV, keeping them tuned in to that network's skewed coverage of all Arab-Israeli developments. Then they go out and vent their fury on the town's remaining 760 Jews.
Local newspapers report that violent anti-Semitic incidents in Malmo have doubled in a year. The key issue to note is that while the supposed “spark” behind it is anti-Israel in nature, the manifestation of it all is anti-Semitic. Beate Kupper, a researcher in a continent-wide study, has determined that “there is quite a high level of anti-Semitism that is hidden beneath critics of Israel's policies.” Kupper added that even in places like Germany, where post-Holocaust expressions of anti-Semitism are verboten, “criticism of Israel is a great way to express your anti-Semitism in an indirect way.”
Talk about vicious cycles. More and more of the world (Europe and beyond) lays an automatic criticism against Israel's every move, even those entailing defense against ongoing terror attacks. To wit, Israel's 2009 “invasion” of Gaza is cause for universal vilification. But no one considers the Hamas rockets that rained down for months on Israeli homes and schools, causing the Jewish state, at long last, to act – and stop those rockets. Israel is literally and figuratively under the gun at all times, in all ways, from all sources. And it's outrageous, but to be anti-Israel has, in many cases, become a “politically correct” way to be anti-Semitic. Bassam Tibi, an expert on the growth of Islam throughout Europe, explains that “every Jew is seen as responsible for what Israel is doing and can be a target.” And again, considering the fact that whatever Israel does (or doesn't do) is condemned vociferously worldwide, the deck is stacked against both the Jewish state and the Jews, be they in Tel Aviv, Malmo, or Fort Lauderdale.
That's why the few Jews remaining in Malmo still pray at their synagogue on the high-styled Foreningsgatan; but the building is a citadel — not only bullet-proof, but rocket-proof as well.
For those who think this is solely a problem for Jews, please note that Jews aren't the only victims of this Muslim wrath. They're the first victims. In Rosengard, angry Muslim youth often stone fire trucks and ambulances, too. Sadly, outrageously, one thinks of Martin Niemoller, the heroic German anti-Nazi Pastor who, during the time of Hitler's ascension, said:
First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out –
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the communists and I did not speak out –
because I was not a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out –
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me — and by then, there was no one left
to speak out for me.
Charles Small, a director of Yale's Initiative for the Study of Anti-Semitism (an overtime job these days), calls Sweden “a microcosm of contemporary anti-Semitism.” He points a firm finger at the flashpoint for this problem, which is by no means limited to Sweden. “It's a form of acquiescence to radical Islam,” Mr. Small says.
Maybe those of us who acquiesce here at home in Amerabia should take note,