In January 2010, for example, Reepalu marked Holocaust Memorial Day by declaring that Zionism is racism. In an interview with the daily newspaper Skånska Dagbladet, he also said: “I would wish for the Jewish community to denounce Israeli violations against the civilian population in Gaza. Instead it decides to hold a [pro-Israeli] demonstration in the Grand Square [of Malmö], which could send the wrong signals.”
Reepalu was referring to an incident in January 2009, during Israel’s brief war in Gaza, when a small demonstration in favor of Israel was attacked by a screaming mob of Muslims and Swedish leftists, who threw bottles and firecrackers as the police looked on.
In July 2011, after a Hollywood film production company cancelled plans to shoot a movie in Skåne in southern Sweden due to concerns over anti-Semitism in Malmö, Reepalu cast his rage at the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center for advising Jews to avoid traveling to the region.
Reepalu, in an interview with the newspaper Sydsvenskan, said: “I have a feeling that the Simon Wiesenthal Center is not really looking for what is happening in Malmö but they want to hang the people who dare to criticize the state of Israel. Are they once again saying I should be silenced? I will never compromise my morals.”
In a March 22 interview with the magazine NEO about the rise of anti-Semitism in Sweden, Reepalu said the Jewish community has been “infiltrated” by the conservative Sweden Democrats party to promote their mutual disdain for Muslims. Reepalu’s comments triggered outrage but he is unlikely to give ground.
Jewish cemeteries in Sweden also have been desecrated; Jewish worshippers have been abused on their way home from prayer; and Jews have been taunted in the streets by masked men chanting phrases such as “Hitler, Hitler” and “Dirty Jew.”
Some Jews in Sweden have stopped attending prayer services altogether out of fear for their safety and 15 Jewish families have left the city altogether because of harassment and threats.
In Britain, Baroness Cox, one of the most outspoken campaigners against the spread of Islamic Sharia law there, told a House of Lords symposium on March 19 that a growing number of British Muslims are shunning the official court system in favor of Sharia councils to settle legal disputes. She warned that if Sharia law is allowed to thrive, brutal punishments like stoning, whipping and amputations could become widespread in Britain.
Islamic jurisprudence is, in fact, spreading throughout Britain at an astonishing rate. At least 85 Islamic Sharia courts are now operating there, almost 20 times as many as previously believed.
A recent think tank study entitled “Sharia Law or One Law for All” found that scores of unofficial tribunals and councils regularly apply Islamic law to resolve domestic, marital and business disputes, many operating in mosques; and warns of a “creeping” acceptance of Sharia principles in British law.
In London, Ashton’s Labour Party colleague Ken Livingstone, who is campaigning to become its next mayor, said he wants to turn the capital city into a “beacon” of Islam. According to a recent Ipsos MORI poll conducted for the BBC, Livingstone’s main rival, the incumbent mayor Boris Johnson, holds a slight lead but is in a statistical dead heat. With an estimated one million Muslims living in London, Livingstone’s appeal to Islam may, on May 3, propel him into the mayor’s office.
Speaking to Muslim worshippers on March 16 at the North London Central Mosque, one of the most hardline anti-Western mosques in Europe, Livingstone pledged that if elected, he would “educate the mass of Londoners” about Islam.
Livingstone, a self-described socialist who previously served as the mayor of London from 2000 to 2008, declared: “I want to spend the next four years making sure that every non-Muslim in London knows and understands [Mohammed's] words and message. That will help to cement our city as a beacon that demonstrates the meaning of the words of the Prophet.”
In the Netherlands, the Dutch public broadcaster VPRO has been offering its viewers a downloadable board game called “The Settlers of the West Bank” featuring Israeli “settlers” who use “Jewish stinginess,” “Wailing Wall,” and “Anne Frank” cards to “colonize” the West Bank. The aim of the game is to build as many “settlements” as possible on so-called Palestinian territory. VPRO, describing the game as “thought-provoking satire,” reluctantly removed it from its website following accusations of anti-Semitism.
Frits Bolkestein, a veteran Dutch politician, said that Jews have no future in the Netherlands and he has recommended that they emigrate to Israel or the United States for their own safety. In an interview with the Dutch magazine Elsevier, Bolkestein said: “I see no future for recognizable Jews [those who wear skullcaps or sidecurls], in particular because of anti-Semitism, specifically in Dutch Moroccans, who continue to grow in number.”
About the Author: The writer is the Senior Analyst for Transatlantic Relations at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group, one of the oldest and most influential foreign policy think tanks in Spain.
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