SWC Urges Swedish Prime Minister to Cancel Neo-Nazi Associates Stand at Gothenburg Book Fair

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"Lone-wolf recruitment - from your neighbour Norway's Breivik to Jihadi terror across Europe - all begin with the word, whether written or electronic."

Paris, 8 September 2016

In a letter to the Swedish Prime Minister, Stefan Lofven, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre's Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, expressed shock that "the far-right - reportedly xenophobic and antisemite magazine - Nya Tider (New Times) had been granted a stand at the Gothenburg Book Fair, to be held 22-25 September and expecting 100,000 visitors, especially youth"

"In May, 2014, we protested that the Party of the Swedes (reportedly a cover for the former National Socialist Party) were being granted access to schools as part of a civic education curriculum . We later commended the response to our intervention: an announced ban on anti-immigrant, Roma homosexual, Muslim and Jewish incitement in schools...We have no sign that that policy was implemented, but it is certainly now
contravened by the far right Book Fair Stand," stated the Centre.

The letter noted that "the original ban on Nya Tida was reversed on 31 August by the Fair's President, on grounds that the Stand and its scheduled Presentations, if banned, would constitute a breach of contract. Ironically, the Fair's 2016 theme is "Freedom of Expression", apparently including the freedom to incite, which would arguably make the Fair responsible for the consequences."

Samuels explained that "for 12 years I have monitored hate on the shelves of the Frankfurt Book Fair, with the support of its management. Incitement to hate and violence is prohibited in Germany, and a violation of exhibitors' commitment to the Fair. Certainly, Gothenburg contracts should do no less."

The Centre cites the claims of the respected EXPO IDAG website - "That New Times editor Vavra Suk - who is scheduled to lead events from his Stand C01: 39 at the Fair - was former editor of National Today, which in 2011 co-organized with the Swedish Resistance Movement a seminar discussing Jewish conspiracies.

- Its replacement, New Times, allegedly supported Holocaust denier Richard Williamson, writers who defend Jew-hater, Ahmed Rami of Radio Islam and French convicted antisemite, Dieudonné. The New Times was allegedly present at neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance meetings and noted for extolling the notorious Greek Golden Dawn."

The letter recalled "the mid-1980s wave of Swedish neo-Nazi violence in the haze of the unsolved murder of your predecessor, Olof Palme. Lone-wolf recruitment - from your neighbour Norway's Breivik to Jihadi terror across Europe - all begin with the word, whether written or electronic."

Mr. Prime Minister, "Your website argues that your 'country must be a leading inspirational force in the World'. Permit me to add a caveat : 'not a force for hate'...We urge you to take the necessary measures to ban this travesty and exclude hatemongers from all such events as a danger to youth and the general public," concluded Samuels.

The letter was shared with Getachew Engida, Deputy Director-General of UNESCO, who is featured as a keynote speaker at the Fair.

For further information please contact Shimon Samuels + 33 609 770158, join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter feed.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).