Wiesenthal Centre to International Handball Federation President: "Keep Hate Out of Handball by Keeping the 2011 European Handball Championship Out Of Sweden"

CENTRE SIMON WIESENTHAL - EUROPE
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"Neo-Nazis and Radical Islamists Call for 12 June Day of Rage at Sweden-Israel Match in Karlskrona - SWC Urges Corporate Sponsors Intervention and Maintains Travel Advisory"

Paris, 23 May 2011

In a letter to the International Handball Federation (IHF) President, Dr. Hassan Moustafa, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre's Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, recalled how "your sister organization, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) in 2009, fined Malmo, Sweden and banned further Davis Cup heats in that city for a period of five years. This followed the municipality's ghettoization of a Sweden-Israel match in a locked and empty stadium. As a result, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre had imposed a Travel Advisory on Malmo."

Samuels noted that "Swedish Palestine Solidarity Group Chairman, Per Gahrton - who reportedly took credit for that Malmo travesty - will, according to current flyers, on 12 June address the stadium one hour before the European Men's Handball Qualification between Sweden and Israel in Karlskrona."

The letter ironically highlighted that "Karlskrona - whose UNESCO World Heritage port was, ironically, developed by its first Jewish community in 1785 - is today Sweden's neo-Nazi capital."

Samuels lamented that "12 June promises to turn the city into a mecca for far right and left extremists, together with radical Islamists, in a 'day of rage' hatefest, endangering Jews, moderate Muslims and the Swedish general public."

The Centre called on "the IHF, your European Handball Federation and its nine corporate sponsors, to move this championship away from Sweden due to clear incitement to violence.

Flyers and other menacing messages are circulating even before a police permit is granted for a demonstration, at which radical hatemongers from all over Sweden have already confirmed a massive attendance."

"Mr. President,we expect you and your European regional Federation to keep hate out of handball by, sadly, keeping the 2011 Handball Championship out of Sweden," concluded Samuels.

The protest was shared with Monika Flixeder, Event Coordinator of the European Handball Federation (EHF)in Vienna and with the CEOs of their nine corporate sponsors, calling upon these companies "to support our campaign for tolerance in sports by intervening directly to ensure that agitation be forestalled in Karlskrona and that the scheduled extremist abuse of handball be stopped by removing the 2011 EHF Championship from Sweden. Our membership and the international community of sports enthusiasts eagerly await your response."

For further information contact Shimon Samuels on 0033(0)609770158, join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter page or mobile device.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400.000 members. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the Council of Europe, the OAS and the Latin American Parliament.