Sweden 'anti-Semitic' for tennis fan ban
Published: 09 Mar 2009 14:25 GMT+01:00
Updated: 09 Mar 2009 14:25 GMT+01:00
- Sweden's Davis Cup hopes dashed by Israel (09 Mar 09)
- Malmö calm as Davis Cup gets underway (07 Mar 09)
- Crowd ban 'risks bolstering extremists' (07 Mar 09)
In an article in the Jerusalem Post, writers Abraham Cooper and Harold Brackman say the decision not to allow spectators at the match was dictated by biases "that have echoes in Nazi Europe's anti-Semitism.
The writers accuse politicians on Malmö Council's sports and leisure committee for giving in to pressure from the city's anti-Israeli Muslim minority by refusing to allow spectators into the match.
"The security card was invoked not to protect but to stigmatize Israeli athletes as pariahs," they write, adding: "None of this is about sports. It's about Jews."
Malmö's mayor, Ilmar Reepalu, said the criticism was unwarranted.
"It's absurd. We've made it clear from the outset that this was about security, not about Jews. And after what happened on Saturday it is clear to everyone that a dangerous situation could have arisen if we had been forced to evacuate 4,000 people from the hall into what was going on outside, with stones being thrown at the police," Reepalu told news agency TT.
Nine people were arrested in the disturbances outside Baltiska Hallen, where the match was being played. A 22-year-old man was detained on suspicion of attempted serious assault.
Police say that several of the masked activists who took part in the disturbances have now been identified.