During Yom Kippur this year, Nazis demonstrated in the vicinity of our synagogue. Yesterday, burning bottles filled with gasoline were thrown against our synagogue during a youth party.
At the beginning of last weekend, Arabs in Malmö and in several other places in Sweden went out into the streets and squares “protesting”, i.e. screaming about them needing “freedom” (albeit not specifying from what) and egging each other on to “shoot Jews”, telling the Jews that “the army of Mohammad is returning” and that an “intifada is now proclaimed” against us Jews in Sweden.
Two months ago, they screamed that we Jews are the offspring of monkeys and pigs. But nobody cared. At least no one took any notice. They rarely do.
And so, today, they are throwing firebombs at Malmö synagogue. And some confused politician/police person wants to bring about peace by getting the Palestinians in Göteborg to meet with representatives from the Jewish community! Why? A large part of our community budget goes towards our own security. A security organization that worked smoothly and efficiently yesterday. Kol haKavod to you people who guard the rest of us when we go to worship or to other activities in the synagogue and in the adjacent community building. Kol haKavod, all you policemen and policewomen who are now looking out for us.
On May 4, 1945 my mother got off the train in Malmö in the southernmost part of Sweden, after spending 14 months in Auschwitz/Birkenau and other concentration camps. Sweden received her and she loved the country that welcomed her. She worked as a health visitor and caretaker, and she loved her job and “her old guys,” mostly people who were at the bottom of society. They loved her back.
During the last years of her life, she and I went out to schools, to the armed forces and the churches, talking about the Holocaust and its consequences.
She talked about how it feels to be hated for who she is. She talked about how it feels when you learn that almost your entire family has been murdered for the same reason. She told us how she tried to protect us — her children — against evil. She talked about how much she loves Sweden, the country that received her when she was broken and gave her back her life. She talked and talked, and everyone listened. She was not bitter but she wanted to warn people to be on their guard, to not become passive and thus not be able see the signs of the old hate when it rears its ugly heads. She warned about everything she knew so well because she didn’t want it to happen again.
Mom is not among us anymore. I’m glad she’s not here to hear the chanting of threats and hate again; that those who scream today want her to know that she is pig or a monkey or both; that she has no right to live; that she is a murderer of “Palestinian babies” and that she once again is legitimate prey to be hunted down and killed for the good of mankind.
I’m glad she warned us, but no one seems to have listened when we told of the increasing signs of the age-old hatred against us. Not even when it’s in the open and naked, not even barely concealed threats being screamed at the top of haters’ lungs, recorded for posterity on film with excellent working sound. Because, no, of course they don’t really MEAN it. They’re just angry. About what? Because the American president acted on a decision that was made in 1995, and acknowledged that Jerusalem, the city that was founded by Jews more than 3000 years ago, is the capital of Israel, that’s why!
For several years now, our Swedish government has not bothered about ours’ and others’ signals concerning the increasing hatred and the seldom-masked overt anti-Semitic rhetoric in the dailies as well as the tabloids. They are too blinded by their own ambitions, their grandiose ideas of introducing world peace to the war-torn world by crawling and kneeling and sucking up to dictatorships in the Middle East.
They sit smugly in the Security Council feeling good about themselves and think they know how to solve other countries’ problems but do not want to see their own or even acknowledge that this country has any. They have not listened to or taken in the consequences of their politics for us Jews in Sweden. That’s not what they intended, surely – hence it doesn’t exist. They do not want to see the polarized society that is emerging, getting worse and worse each day.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Margot Wallström, will probably come to us, or send one of her minions to visit our synagogue and express regrets and condemn the violence and the terror. If they can decide that it was an act of terror, that is. Many people are likely to stand up and express their disgust, their fear and their sympathy.
Now, it’s politically correct in Sweden. Right now, they are all rallying in solidarity with “our” Jews.
We do not want to hear their political platitudes. It is our government’s politics that have sanctioned this kind of behavior. They give our taxpayers’ money to terrorist organisations, well aware that the money goes to convicted terrorists and their families as an incentive for other wannabe terrorists.
If only Israel ceases to exist, there will be peace. Israel is the only obstacle. Well, and the Jews. And the Swedish government buys it, hook, line and sinker.
We do not want pats on our heads. We need to be taken seriously. We need to be listened to. Otherwise, Jewish life in Sweden will be gone in the near future. We will do what Jews always do. We protest by sanctifying life. We want you to join us in this difficult struggle. Life is not to be taken for granted. Follow our example. It’s not just about Jews here in Sweden — it’s about Jews everywhere. It’s not only about Jews -– it’s about the society my mother and your parents built together.
It’s all about us. And soon it will be too late.