UPDATE: Based on Wiesenthal Centre Antisemitic Findings “Malmö ends collaboration with the Arab Book Fair which it seeks to close definitively.”
October 28, 2020
“Malmö municipality must investigate those behind the original support and take appropriate measures to ensure that sponsorship for any form of hatred is never repeated.”
PARIS - Based on the letter by Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, to the Swedish Prime Minister, Stefan Löfven, and the Jewish community, revealing antisemitic texts promoted through the Arab Book Fair, the City of Malmö has suspended its collaboration with the Fair and is seeking to close it down definitively. [see Malmö official statement here]
The city’s Cultural Director, Pernilla Conde Hellman stated: “It has come to our knowledge that visitors to the book fair's website are offered to buy anti-Semitic literature, which is completely unacceptable... It goes against everything we stand for and we therefore choose to immediately terminate the cooperation... and hope that other contributors such as the Swedish National Council for Culture will do the same.”
The Cultural Director continued, “The City of Malmö has contributed SEK 150,000 [US$ 17,000] in project support to the Arab Book Fair... We will review whether we can reclaim the already paid support.”
Samuels expressed satisfaction, but “urged the Malmö municipality to investigate who originally agreed to this generous support and take appropriate measures to ensure that sponsorship for any form of hatred is never repeated.”
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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).