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US Jewish centre meets Malmö mayor

TT/The Local/pvs · 14 Mar 2011, 12:15

Published: 14 Mar 2011 12:15 GMT+01:00

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Representatives for the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles met with Reepalu to discuss initiatives for improving the safety and security of the city's Jewish population.

"It was a very serious meeting where the key issue was security for minorities. But we have a lot of work in front of us," Abraham Cooper, one of the Wiesenthal centre representatives, said on leaving the meeting shortly after 11am.

In December the centre issued a travel warning urging Jews to exercise "extreme caution" when travelling in southern Sweden.

The statement followed reports of a series of incidents of apparent attacks against the Jewish community and cited "the outrageous remarks of Malmö mayor Ilmar Reepalu, who blames the Jewish community for failing to denounce Israel."

While there have been no convictions for hate crimes against Jews in Malmö, local leaders have been scathing in their criticism of the mayor for his apparent nonchalance to their plight amid claims of widespread harassment.

Speaking to the The Sunday Telegraph in February, Reepalu seemed to deny that Jews in Malmö were suffering from harassment despite police reports showing a doubling in the number of crimes against the town's Jewish residents between 2008 and 2009.

"There haven't been any attacks on Jewish people and if Jews from the city want to move to Israel, that is not a matter for Malmö," he told the newspaper.

Reepalu has also been criticised by Malmö-based Jews for allowing anti-Semitism to fester.

"He's demonstrated extreme ignorance when it comes to our problems," Fredrik Sieradzki of the Jewish Community of Malmö (Judiska Församlingen i Malmö) told The Local in January.

Jewish leaders have blamed activists on the far-left for being behind the harassment, complaining that they have no right to "use the Jews (in Malmö) as a punching bag for their disdain toward the policies of Israel."

The team from the Simon Wiesenthal centre were previously in Sweden in December to convey their concerns to justice minister Beatrice Ask during a series of meetings in Stockholm.

Story continues below…

One of the proposals presented by the centre is the formation of a form of hate crime police similar to that which exists in the US. Reepalu has reportedly expressed support for the initiative but has forwarded the suggestion to the minister for consideration.

"We wrote to Beatrice Ask already a couple of years ago but have not received a reply. Perhaps the Wiesenthal centre with its power and influence can draw a better response," Reepalu said.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper and Dr. Shimon Samuels, Director of International Relations at the centre, arrived in Malmö on Friday to visit Sweden's third city and to get an understanding of the situation for themselves.

"A very interesting city. In some ways it is better that I thought, in some ways worse," Cooper told news agency TT on his way to Malmö city hall for meetings with the mayor.

TT/The Local/pvs (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

14:21 March 14, 2011 by sliver
"arrived in Malmö on Friday to visit Sweden's third city"....i think that sentence is missing a "largest".

"A very interesting city. In some ways it is better that I thought, in some ways worse,"..................weird sentence. Maybe the word should be "better than".
15:48 March 14, 2011 by Matan
It was the Jews in the 40s.

It will be the Muslims by the 2030s.
16:06 March 14, 2011 by dt804a
Readers may be interested in reports about Malmo, as published elsewhere. for example, an article entitled "Jewish Family Receives Death Threats in Malmö" appeared here:


The same website has been published many other articles on the topic, such as


While I am not Jewish, I do recognize the validity of the notion that Jews are the canaries in the coal mine - which is why I am profoundly concerned about the future of EUrabia in general and Sweden in particular.
16:13 March 14, 2011 by napoleon
Ok girls the choice is yours so is your freedom, better move now before is too late. Just look at women in the muslim world, isn,t it horrific?
16:45 March 14, 2011 by laura ka baal
it is horrific to see women dressed like whores bouncing their breast on street,why dont muslim women does!nt do the same, if they also start bouncing their breast and become naked,the whole problem will be solved.
16:52 March 14, 2011 by calebian22
"Jewish leaders have blamed activists on the far-left for being behind the harassment"

No surprise there since the left was the cause of the Holocaust.
18:50 March 14, 2011 by beefinswede
Not only have this unaccountable foreign lobby / propaganda group completely failed to produce any evidence that Swedish jews are any more at risk from crime that any other Swede, they have ZERO authority to make demands / proclamations of the Swedish government / people.
20:22 March 14, 2011 by telaviv
Sweden politicians has to separate between Swedish -Jewish citizens and the state of Israel with the Israeli government.

If the mayor of Malmo blame the small Jewish comunity of Malmo in the violance between Palestinians and Israelies in the middle east, no wounder that he gives a legitimate way to radicals to attack the Jews there.

As Israeli I call this mayor to go and demonstrate against the Embassy of Israel if he is against us , but please leave in peace the few Jewish families who try to live in Malmo
20:26 March 14, 2011 by voiceofreason
In 1941, Haj Amin al-Husseini fled to Germany and met with Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler, Joachim Von Ribbentrop and other Nazi leaders. He wanted to persuade them to extend the Nazis' anti-Jewish program to the Arab world.

The Mufti sent Hitler 15 drafts of declarations he wanted Germany and Italy to make concerning the Middle East. One called on the two countries to declare the illegality of the Jewish home in Palestine. Furthermore, "they accord to Palestine and to other Arab countries the right to solve the problem of the Jewish elements in Palestine and other Arab countries, in accordance with the interest of the Arabs and, by the same method, that the question is now being settled in the Axis countries."1

In November 1941, the Mufti met with Hitler, who told him the Jews were his foremost enemy. The Nazi dictator rebuffed the Mufti's requests for a declaration in support of the Arabs, however, telling him the time was not right. The Mufti offered Hitler his "thanks for the sympathy which he had always shown for the Arab and especially Palestinian cause, and to which he had given clear expression in his public speeches....
20:50 March 14, 2011 by Ivan Juric
Will this same Jewish group visit Jerusalem next and help prevent Israeili extremist settlers from destroying Palestinian homes.
22:58 March 14, 2011 by Iraniboy
Why about Swedish based group meeting US mayers telling them how disgraceful their inhuman electrocutions and torture in the jails are?!

How about telling them that Judaism and Israel is different. The former is a religion but the latter is political system?!
02:00 March 15, 2011 by dt804a
Note to Ivan: Please provide documentation that "Israeili extremist settlers ...destroy Palestinian homes" The opposite is true: The Arabs in Judea and Samaria keep attacking Jewish communities, the last incident having just happened: a Jewish baby, a toddler and a third boy were all stabbed to death together with their parents. Do you ever follow the news???

Note to Iraniboy: Israel is not a "political system" but a state like all others. Is Sweden a "political system"? Where did you find this term?
02:11 March 15, 2011 by Nemesis
The jews in Malmö are being treated very badly.

The mayor is one of the people encouraging the anti-semitism. It is not ignorance on his part. He knows full well what he is encouraging and is taking an active and knowing part in it.

As for the far left activists in malmö, the only difference between them and the SA is a lack of a SA uniform, as far as i can tell. Every last one of them is an anti-semitic.
10:42 March 15, 2011 by motti
what is difference between hamas and fatah? hamas publicly call for the murder of jews in any langage, fatah only do so in arabic.

to those who question the jews living in malmoe and those living in israel. why do you not question why so many arabs and moslems have the right to live anywhere they like. yet jews can be barred from living and/or visiting moslem lands without any criticism?

nearly one million jews were made refugees from the arab/moslem lands that they had lived in for thousands of years prior to islam millions of refugees were created around the world after the second world war.

why is it that since 1964 the west bank arab settlers called themselves palestinians? why is the arabs can show a map of israel, including judea and shomron (samaria) from the mediterranean to the river jordan covered with the pla flag and no criticism? prior to 1848, the only palestinians were the jews. the arabs who spoke a syrian dialect of arabic were known only as arabs and they still speak the same syrian arabic.

yes, eurabia is well established, and your leaders still blindly support the arabs. what fools they are and how awful it is for them to brainwash the public with misinformation, lies, propaganda (paid for by saudi arabia) and extremely selcetive reporting.

no doubt when the moslem fascists take control of malmoe, they will repay the nazi/communist leaning mayor with favours. no doubt, giving him a years ration of halal meat
13:31 March 16, 2011 by technoviking
It's amazing how all the Muslims on here instantly jump to justify this behavior.

The jews in Malmö are not Israel. They are Swedes trying to live their lives without you harassing them.

Whatever issues there are in Israel does not allow you the RIGHT to harass them as you seem to think.

This just makes it clear how universally intolerant YOU are. Don't expect any protecting yourselves.
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