Swedish democracy falters on stony ground in Malmö

Saturday 7 March will see 10,000 rabid anti-democrats streaming into the centre of Malmö in southern Sweden. Their mission: to demonstrate their dissatisfaction with the fact that the Swedish government allowed four Jews from Israel to compete in the internationally acclaimed Davis Cup tennis tournament – a tournament that has played host to such stars as Björn Borg, Boris Becker and Andy Murray over the years.

The Swedish government, the Swedish police and the Swedish press all know about the forthcoming demonstration against Israeli Jews being allowed to play tennis in Malmö, where about 30% of the population is Muslim.

The consequences may be devastating for an already fragile Swedish democracy, a democracy that is already rocking on its heels after a synagogue was repeatedly set alight in the town of Trelleborg near Malmö, Jewish cemeteries have been vandalised, and pro-Israel and pro-democracy rallies in Malmö have been attacked by mobs wielding iron bars, rocks, rockets and glass bottles. In the presence of police.

What gives the situation added piquancy is the fact that the protests are against the admission into Sweden of Israeli Jews for the purpose of playing tennis, at the same time as a sizeable portion of the demonstrators are being imported from abroad, mostly from nearby Denmark and northern Germany, and furthermore that many of the demonstrators are in fact not Swedes by birth but recent immigrants from Muslim countries. The situation may thus develop into an international incident on a scale seldom witnessed in this otherwise quiet part of the world.

To this should be added that Malmö’s radical left-wing city council first tried to prevent the Jews from entering the city because they come from Israel, in a direct challenge to the country’s foreign policy as formulated by the centrist government in Stockholm. When that attempt failed, the city council banned all spectators from the match series this weekend, so the matches will be played in an empty stadium.

Malmö city council, which in these dire economic conditions has an even bigger financial deficit than most other Swedish cities, thus prefers to do without the massive earnings generated by ticket sales and in the city’s hotels and restaurants, in order to make its own foreign policy statement. Recently the same city council also banned a 45-strong team of Taekwondo competitors from participating in the Swedish championships because the team consisted of Jews from Israel. Another massive loss of potential earnings. Instead of being held accountable for gross mismanagement in these times of considerable financial difficulty, the city fathers are touting themselves as craftsmen of an alternative Swedish foreign policy – one directed squarely against the Jewish nation.

The demonstrators are of the opinion that Jews from Israel playing tennis on Swedish soil are an insult to Swedish sovereignty, the country’s much-vaunted democratic principles and its upright stance in support of human rights. These concerns over human rights have not resulted in mass demonstrations where such paragons of human rights as Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Venezuela, Burma, Cuba, China, Syria, Iran, North Korea, Zimbabwe, Libya, White Russia, the Congo, Sudan or Yemen are concerned. With these countries, Sweden enjoys close and well-established relations in the financial, cultural, sporting, diplomatic and research & development areas.

However, when four Jews from Israel arrive to play tennis, 10,000 demonstrators gather to voice their violent opposition. It certainly puts a new spin on the term “proportionality” – rather like the 1500 murderers that Hamas is insisting Israel free in exchange for one Israeli, Gilad Schalit, who the terror organisation kidnapped 1000 days ago. Fascists, anti-democrats and Islamists seem to love large figures.

And the reason for the uproar? It’s as follows:

After 2920 days of missile attacks on Israel from Gaza, at end December 2008 Israel responded with a military offensive that lasted 21 days.

During the 2920 days of the Palestinian missile onslaught, with more than 10,000 projectiles falling on schools, kindergartens, hospitals, factories and homes in southern Israel, a total of 1177 Israelis died. They were all civilians. The perpetrators came largely from Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Fatah in Judea and Samaria, also known as the West Bank in the aftermath of Jordan’s illegal occupation of the area from 1948 to 1967.

During the 21 days of the Israeli response, 1100 Palestinian Arabs died, of whom 900 were terrorists with weapons in their hands.

Earlier this week, the world community issued its response to this state of affairs: approximately 4.3 billion dollars to Hamas in the Gaza Strip. This is over and above the 5.4 billion dollars that Fatah on the West Bank received about a year ago. Terror is apparently something to be rewarded, not punished. Rewarded from the pockets of those who dutifully pay their taxes even as they see their already dwindling financial resources being further depleted.

Israel is now under strong international pressure to allow the import of materiel for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, although history has repeatedly shown that construction and infrastructure materiel are used almost exclusively to boost the Hamas terror industry.

Malmö did not want the Gazans to go it alone. Just ahead of the Davis Cup tournament, a huge stockpile of granite cobblestones was delivered to a strategically selected area right outside the front gate of the Baltic Hall stadium in the city centre.

Either the city fathers are particularly stupid, or they are particularly callous. People living nearby started packing their bags to leave the city.

At the very last minute, however, the Health & Safety officer of the Police Union issued an ultimatum: no police would report for duty on Saturday if the granite cobblestone ammunition dump was not removed, down to the very last stone, out of very real concern for the safety and indeed the lives of the Swedish police. What is remarkable, however, is that the police protest made little mention of the need to protect the players or general public, focusing instead on the police who would be attending the event in full riot gear.

It is of course commendable that the stockpile of ammunition has now been removed and the lives of Swedish police officers have thus been protected. The police have the unenviable task of seeing their weekend ruined in a face-off against unruly hooligans who share neither the Swedish love of democracy nor the Swedish concern for human rights. The Swedish police generally do an admirable job against all odds, shoring up Swedish values against an onslaught of radicalism, fascism and Islamism that few people here understand and even fewer appreciate.

But it is nonetheless a bitter indictment on Swedish society that the main concern was for the safety of the police, not the safety of the general public. Or the four Jews who would be playing tennis for their country inside the Baltic Hall stadium.

Media articles on the subject (in Swedish):
Ny24, KvP, Svd, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, DN, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, Syd, Dag, DN, Ab, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, Hd, Ps, Syd, 2, 3, 4, Dn, Syd, 2, 3, Smp,Kri, 2, Hd, N, 2, 3, B, 2, 3, Hd, 2, 3, Etc, Vg

Read also what other bloggers have to say on this hate-fest (in Swedish):

The legal status following Malmö’s decision to ban spectators (in Swedish):

Other articles from this
website dealing with the situation in Malmö. Some
are in English, others are in Swedish. Otherwise, click on the “English” icon top right of the starting page to read all the English articles on this website:

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.

Other views on the subject (in Swedish):
Gudmundson, Erixon, Erixon, Ingerö, Ingerö, Svansbo