Tag Archives: Malmo

I only Hate Muslims when they Hate me

Pro Palestinian protester burns an Israeli flag during banned demonstration in support of Gaza in central ParisWhy is it not being called what it is?  Why the pretense that this is something far less specific than it is?  Why are people not identifying those responsible?  Over the past few months we’ve been hearing a lot about the increase of anti-Semitism in Europe and the United States. Although it’s been far worse recently, the rise in anti-Jewish sentiment is hardly a new development, particularly in some notable parts of Europe.  Cities like Paris, Antwerp, and Malmo, Sweden have been notorious for increasing incidents of vandalism and violence against Jews for quite some time now.  If you hear the reports, it clearly sounds like the Jewish people are becoming increasingly unwelcome in the European community.  There’s a catch though.  It’s not the overall European community primarily guilty of this expression of hatred. From all accounts most of the hatred is coming from within the Muslim community.

A few weeks ago I wrote an article in which I renounced my status as a Liberal.(CLICK TO READ) This issue is one of the reasons I’ve done so.  I have friends and acquaintances that still do call themselves liberal who are not squeamish when it comes to identifying the root source of the danger to the Jewish people, but there are many within the liberal community who would turn around and call this article the epitome of Islamophobia.  Those are the ones  I know longer align myself with.  Call it what you like, but it’s no phobia.  A phobia is something irrational.  I don’t hate a person because they’re Muslim.  But I do hate a person who hates me, those like me, and anyone else who doesn’t think like them.    That’s not irrational, that’s logical.  Interactions I’ve had in the past with Muslims who wanted an equal relationship have proven that I indeed do not have some automatic dislike because of what religion they were born into. That goes against everything I believe in.  But that also doesn’t prevent me from identifying the sad truth, and that is that an overwhelming percentage of anti-Jewish sentiment in the world today comes from within the Muslim population.

Although the BDS  Movement has non-Muslim followers and participants due to its excellent and cynical marketing, it’s a group formed by a Palestinian. Anti-Jewish demonstrations and violence against Jews in Paris consist primarily of Algerian Muslims.  Anti-Jewish behavior in Holland comes primarily from Moroccan Muslims.  One third of the population of Malmo is Muslim.  Is it a coincidence this small and once cute city in Sweden that I visited with my parents and sister in 1976 is a powder keg of anti-Semitism?

Although there is an element within the so-called liberal elite behind some of the anti-Israel activities on college campuses in the U.S., I have no doubt you would find that at the very least a significant number of those active against Israel in these institutes of higher learning are Muslim.

Here’s the point people conveniently miss.  No one is happy about this.  We want to hear the Muslims within these cities and institutions take a stand against hatred. But where are they?  Where is their voice?  These people would be my friends. They would be my partners in moving towards a better world, and in return it would be easy and enjoyable for me to respect and support them in whatever life they might choose to live, be it Muslim or something else.  But that element within the Muslim community is silent, most likely out of fear, and therefore missing the opportunity to alter the perception that all Muslims feel that way.  You see, if I was guilty of Islamophobia, I might say all Muslims feel this way.  But I don’t.  At the same time I am not willing to deny the basic truth, and that is that if you took the Muslims out of the equation, we most likely wouldn’t even be talking about anti-Semitism today.

It’s time we accepted the truth.  It will catch up with us whether we do or not. The funny thing about reality is that it doesn’t go away just because you ignore it.  If anything, when the reality is that one large group of people is out to get you, if you ignore it, it only gets worse.

 

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My letter to United Nations Secretary General

un_logoDear Mr. Secretary General,

Despite my understanding that it is not only a one in a million shot that you will ever read this, but equally unlikely that you will care what I have to say, as a Jewish man, an American citizen, and as a supporter of true human rights all over the planet, I feel compelled to write to you.

I am increasingly perplexed by the approach taken by the organization you lead.  It may be that since the organization is called the United Nations, and not the ‘United Nations of Morality and Fairness’, that all that truly matters is that there is an understanding and agreement among the representatives.  Therefore it would not matter if the statements and inquiries made would be fair and equitable, merely that they would be convenient to those encouraging or enforcing them.  My point being that fair treatment of Jews all over the world is not something many of your member nations concern themselves with as evident in continuing UN policies.

I try to be objective and see it differently but then I hear about another brutal attack in France and the world is silent.  I hear about a Swedish man become the latest  supporter of Israel to be attacked in Malmo, Sweden, merely for putting out an Israeli flag and once again the world remains silent.  You are unquestionably intellectually superior to me, so I am sure you know this, but the number of Jews in Malmo is less than 1,000, probably closer to 500, while the number of Muslims in Malmo is about one-third of its population which would put it in the 100,000 range.  And yet I never hear a statement of how there is a disproportionate act of aggression being committed against the Jewish people in European cities like Malmo and Paris.

What I do hear from you is a comparison of the kidnapping of 3 Jewish teenage students, far away from any frontline, kidnappings we later learned were almost immediate murders, to targeted attacks by Israel on Hamas locations in the Gaza Strip.  With all your intellect and understanding Mr. Secretary General, how do you justify comparing the attack on terrorists to the kidnapping and murder of 3 innocent children?  As I indicated in the beginning of this letter, I realize the unlikelihood of you even seeing this question, let alone caring, but despite that I feel it to be an important question and one that really does need to be asked.

I also need to address the bizarre inconsistency in an organization such as yours, taking votes, many that result in condemnation of Israel, a democratic country, by representatives of countries that are actually non-democratic, totalitarian dictatorships.  It is the most cynical twist on the democratic process I’ve ever encountered, yet somehow it seems to work if it means the demonization of Israel.

In conclusion I would like to say that I am an open-minded man who understands that the government of Israel does not do everything correctly when it comes to the Palestinian issue.  However, on what basis does the United Nations demand fairness from Israel when they insist on not giving Israel any unbiased fairness in return?  Or is it just that the member nations are indeed “United”, united against Israel.

Sincerely,

David Groen

 

 


Where’s the Outcry?

Sweden Israel ProtestsThe number of Jews in Malmo, Sweden is probably at around 500-800.  The Muslim population in Malmo is around 100,000.  Earlier today a 38 year old Jewish man was beaten for hanging an Israeli flag outside his home.  The man was rushed to the hospital with serious injuries.

http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/swedish-jew-hospitalized-after-flying-israeli-flag/2014/07/08/

This is our world.  A world where this type of behavior acceptable.   To those dumb enough to think Jews are the only targets or just too scared to say or do something, I urge you to read up about what happens to Christians in Nigeria.  You might see it differently.  You might even see this as the earlier stages of World War III.  Terrifying thought, but one I would love to be convinced is not the case.

In the meantime I ask those who are quick to judging and attacking the behavior of the Jewish people in Israel and throughout the world to pretend this was happening in the reverse and say what you would say then.   Come on Roger Waters,  you hypocritical anti-Semitic pond scum, where is your outrage now?  Where are the United Nations voices now?  Or is human rights a pick and choose issue.

I’ll say something I do not say often.  I am sure Israel is guilty of doing some things wrong when it comes to the handling of the Palestinians.  However, as long as this ridiculously lopsided double standard exists it holds significantly less importance, because to demand  fairness from one group while denying fairness to the ones you are demanding it from, destroys the credibility of the cause.


“Never Again”: More than a slogan

When I was a 14 year old boy my parents took me and my sister on a vacation to Copenhagen, Denmark.  Part of the trip was a short hovercraft ride over to the small Swedish city of Malmo.  I remembered this trip because of how nice the people were, how good the food was, and how pretty the cities were.  So when I read reports of anti-Semitic attacks on the rise in Malmo, it saddens me, scares me, and angers me.  With an estimated 600 Jews living in Malmo, and a Muslim population of 6,000, the question that needs to be put out there is what is the motivation for the anti-Jewish sentiment?  In France, a nation of over 60 million people, the Muslim population is an estimated 6 million strong, with a Jewish population that has shrunk to under a half a million.  The situation in France has reached a point where Jews are being murdered by terrorists, people randomly attacked, and vandalism of Jewish institutions is on such a rise that the French police are finding it more and more difficult to provide any form of protection, assuming they wish to.  The same question needs to be asked here.  What is the reason for this anti-Jewish sentiment?

It is not fear.  It may be marketed as fear, but the numbers speak for themselves.  Is it political?  Is it a protest against Israeli policy towards the Palestinians?  No more so than the Nazis reason for murdering Jews was based on the so-called Jewish control of the banks.  Sheikh Mohammed Badie, the Supreme Guide of Egypt’s Muslim brotherhood said that the Jews   “spread corruption on earth, spilled the blood of believers and in their actions defile holy places, including their own”.

There may be political motivations in all these instances, but at best these political motivations are the use of hate in order to rally the mob and keep control.  But make no mistake, the hate is very real.  The attacks, the vandalism, and the anti-Jewish statements all have their origin in hatred of the Jewish people.  Sadly, these regimes and communities have such control and influence over their people that the average person who, in their heart does want a peaceful world, has no realistic voice.  As a Jew and a son of Holocaust survivors, I cannot in good conscience say “Never Again” in one breath and be quiet about this growing wave of danger in another. I haven’t even mentioned Iran, a nation that has made it quite clear its willingness to murder Jews in numbers comparable to the actions of Nazi Germany.

Many believe that both FDR and Churchill had enough information about the mechanics of the Nazi killing machine to stop the murder of the Jews long before the war was over.  Nevertheless, these 2 leaders were the most important people in putting an end to the horror, which they did upon the defeat of Germany.  And no one ever accused them of being complicit with the Nazis, rather focused on their strategy and not making Jewish lives a priority.  The point being, they may have not had the level of morality to put a true value on Jewish life, but they were the best we had, and they made the difference in the end.

So it is with this I make this plea to the electorate of nations such as England, Israel, and most immediately, the United States.  Continue to use your democratic rights to fight for your candidate.  Criticize, chastise, dig up dirt if that is your style, I don’t care.  But when then election is over support your democratically elected leader. You can fight to influence your president and hold him accountable, but don’t fight or obstruct him.   We can spend all day discussing and debating how much anyone who is not Jewish genuinely cares about the Jewish people, and we can easily take the discussion back to the days of FDR and Churchill.  But at the end of the day the reason some form of decency and Jewish life survived was because there was true focus on who the true enemy was.  And I have no hesitation when I say that the true enemy today is neither a Democratic or Republican nominee for President.  The true enemies, Muslim extremists, have their sights on democracy everywhere and ultimately will be the enemy of the people whose help we need the most.  At the end of the day, love or hate your leader, they may end up being our best shot at assuring that “Never Again” is not just an empty statement.