SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTER: SWEDEN’S COWARDICE AND HUBRIS THREATENS MORE THAN ISRAEL’S TENNIS RANKINGS

 

March 5, 2009

SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTER: SWEDEN’S COWARDICE AND HUBRIS THREATENS MORE THAN ISRAEL’S TENNIS RANKINGS

“An anti-Semitic double standard and political hubris, not ‘security, are the main reasons why Swedish authorities caved to mob rule and have forced the Swedish-Israel Davis Cup to be played in an empty stadium.” 
Rabbi Cooper, Wiesenthal Center Associate Dean

Claiming ‘security’ concerns, Sweden has decided to ban fans from the Israel-Sweden Davis Cup match to be held at Baltic Hall Stadium in the city of Malmo. “An anti-Semitic double standard and political hubris, not security, are the main reasons why authorities caved to mob rule and forced the Swedish-Israel Davis Cup to be played in an empty stadium,” charged Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.  “It also accounts for why an Israeli Taendowko team was recently barred from competing in the Scandinavian nation.” 

 “The core sports value of having a level playing field for all has been destroyed. Since the Gaza incursion, The Jewish state is constantly signaled out and demonized for the sin of seeking to protect her civilians from thousands of rocket attacks. Ingalill Bjarten, vice chair for the Social Democratic women’s organization repeats the big-lie that ‘Israel is an apartheid state,’” continued Rabbi Cooper.  “She and other anti-Israel activists also compare Israelis to Nazis: ‘I think Gaza is comparable to the Warsaw Ghetto,’ she told the Sydsvenskan newspaper.  "I’m surprised that Israel – where large numbers of the populations who suffered under the Nazis can do the exact same things the Nazis did.’” Meanwhile, the Left Party's Hans Linde has called for a boycott of Israel: "I don't think Israel is a democracy worthy of the name. It's a racist apartheid state," he said. And Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, after visiting Gaza declared Israeli policies as "neither morally nor politically defensible.”
 
“Much more than Israel’s ranking in tennis is at stake.  By singling out only Israel for such unfair treatment, Swedish authorities ensure more anti-Jewish bigotry in the future and set the stage for greater threats to their own social order in the future,” Cooper concluded.
 
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