Jews leave Swedish city after sharp rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes - Telegraph

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Anti-Zionism is not Anti-Semitism? But this isn't in Israel

Sweden's reputation as a tolerant, liberal nation is being threatened by a steep rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes in the city of Malmo.
Judith Popinski: Jews leave Swedish city after sharp rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes
Judith Popinski: Judith Popinski pictured next to the White Bus at the Red Cross museum in Malmo, Sweden Photo: SCANPIX
When she first arrived in Sweden after her rescue from a Nazi concentration camp, Judith Popinski was treated with great kindness.
She raised a family in the city of Malmo, and for the next six decades lived happily in her adopted homeland - until last year.
"I never thought I would see this hatred again in my lifetime, not in Sweden anyway," Mrs Popinski told The Sunday Telegraph.
"This new hatred comes from Muslim immigrants. The Jewish people are afraid now."
Malmo's Jews, however, do not just point the finger at bigoted Muslims and their fellow racists in the country's Neo-Nazi fringe. They also accuse Ilmar Reepalu, the Left-wing mayor who has been in power for 15 years, of failing to protect them.
Mr Reepalu, who is blamed for lax policing, is at the centre of a growing controversy for saying that what the Jews perceive as naked anti-Semitism is in fact just a sad, but understandable consequence of Israeli policy in the Middle East.
While his views are far from unusual on the European liberal-left, which is often accused of a pro-Palestinian bias, his Jewish critics say they encourage young Muslim hotheads to abuse and harass them.
The future looks so bleak that by one estimate, around 30 Jewish families have already left for Stockholm, England or Israel, and more are preparing to go.
With its young people planning new lives elsewhere, the remaining Jewish households, many of whom are made up of Holocaust survivors and their descendants, fear they will soon be gone altogether. Mrs Popinski, an 86-year-old widow, said she has even encountered hostility when invited to talk about the Holocaust in schools.
"Muslim schoolchildren often ignore me now when I talk about my experiences in the camps," she said. "It is because of what their parents tell them about Jews. The hatreds of the Middle East have come to Malmo. Schools in Muslim areas of the city simply won't invite Holocaust survivors to speak any more."
Hate crimes, mainly directed against Jews, doubled last year with Malmo's police recording 79 incidents and admitting that far more probably went unreported. As of yet, no direct attacks on people have been recorded but many Jews believe it is only a matter of time in the current climate.
The city's synagogue has guards and rocket-proof glass in the windows, while the Jewish kindergarten can only be reached through thick steel security doors.
It is a far cry from the city Mrs Popinski arrived in 65 years ago, half-dead from starvation and typhus.
At Auschwitz she had been separated from her Polish family, all of whom were murdered. She escaped the gas chambers after being sent as a slave labourer. Then she was moved to a womens' concentration camp, Ravensbrück, from where she was then evacuated in a release deal negotiated between the Swedish Red Cross and senior Nazis, who were by then trying to save their own lives.
After the war, just as liberal Sweden took in Jews who survived the Holocaust as a humanitarian act, it also took in new waves of refugees from tyranny and conflicts in the Middle East. Muslims are now estimated to make up about a fifth of Malmo's population of nearly 300,000.
"This new hatred from a group 40,000-strong is focused on a small group of Jews," Mrs Popinski said, speaking in a sitting room filled with paintings and Persian carpets.
"Some Swedish politicians are letting them do it, including the mayor. Of course the Muslims have more votes than the Jews."
The worst incident was last year during Israel's brief war in Gaza, when a small demonstration in favour of Israel was attacked by a screaming mob of Arabs and Swedish leftists, who threw bottles and firecrackers as the police looked on.
"I haven't seen hatred like that for decades," Mrs Popinski said. "It reminded me of what I saw in my youth. Jews feel vulnerable here now."
The problem is becoming an embarrassment for the Social Democrats, the mayor's party.

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