Skip to main content

Epic Smackdown Between Israeli Ambassador and Swedish Newscaster

Screenshot 2015-02-18 at 8.21.42 AM

Two stories out of Sweden highlight just how out of control antisemitism has become in the Scandinavian country. In a new documentary, a man walked around the city of Malmo with a skullcap, or yarmulke, highlighting his hypothetical “Jewishness” to see what kind of reactions the headcovering would elicit.

Sadly, and predictably, the journalist, a non-Jewish Irishman, had to cut the experiment short due to physical threats of violence from groups of Muslim men who surrounded him shouting epithets. Ynet, an Israeli news outlet, explains the situation in Malmo,

Malmo has a large immigrant Muslim community (some 20 percent of the city’s 300,000 residents, according to statistics) and attacks on Jews have spiked in recent years.

Anti-Semitism in Malmo first drew international attention in 2009, when riots broke out due to the presence of Israeli professional tennis players in the city.

Sweden’s government has come under criticism for failing to provide adequate protection to the country’s small Jewish community and address the issue of anti-Semitism, even after an explosion rocked a building in a Jewish community in Malmo in 2012.

In 2010, a group of Jews were attacked during a peaceful demonstration in support of Israel and in August several hundred Jews and non-Jews marched in Stockholm in solidarity with Malmo’s persecuted Jewish community.

Malmo’s mayor, Ilmar Reepalu, said that a group of Jews who were attacked during the peaceful demonstration had brought the violence upon themselves for not distancing themselves from Israel and its actions during the month-long Gaza war in 2008-2009.

It’s not just Mayor Reepalu who thinks that somehow Jewish residents of Sweden have brought antisemitism upon themselves. In a recent interview between one of Sweden’s most popular newscasters and the country’s Israeli Ambassador, Sweden’s true colors on antisemitic provocation again were exposed.

The newscaster, Helena Groll asked Ambassador Isaac Bachman “Do the Jews themselves have any responsibility in the growing antisemitism?”

Bachman, to his credit, immediately and forcefully responded, “I reject the question altogether. There is no place for such a question to be asked… I’m used to such questions… [it’s like] the question of a woman [having responsibility] for being raped… It’s irrelevant altogether. I don’t think there’s any provocation the Jews are doing. They just exist.”

Imagine if a newscaster here asked a politician “Do you think the blacks bring racism upon themselves in this country?” or if they asked a rape victim “What did you do to bring on the assault?” Yet, for some reason, this Swedish newscaster, along with millions of other Europeans, place the blame for the deadly resurgence of antisemitism on the shoulders of the victims, not the perpetrators. Is it any wonder Malmo’s remaining 600 Jews are afraid to even leave their homes?

Comment below: Do you think antisemitism in Europe has become worse recently?