Sweden’s upcoming Davis Cup tennis match against Israel will be held behind closed doors, Malmö city council ruled on Wednesday. The decision follows a vocal campaign against the match in protest at the situation in the Middle East.
The match was scheduled to be played from March 6th to 8th at the Baltiska Hallen venue, which can hold 4,000 spectators. Police had said the match could go ahead and that the public could be admitted. The decision to ban the public was made by the council’s sports and recreation committee on Wednesday afternoon.
A Social Democrat and Left Party-led motion to have the match played in an empty hall was passed by five votes to four.A “Stop the Match” campaign has been underway in Sweden since Israel’s offensive in Gaza erupted last December, and thousands of demonstrators are expected to rally outside the Baltiska Hallen during the match, according to campaign organizers and police. […]
But local Moderate Party representatives were furious at the outcome of the vote, arguing that the match could have gone ahead with spectators and heightened security:”I don’t think we should allow anti-democratic forces to decide how we run sporting events,” John Roslund, a Moderate Party member of the committee, told The Local.”Both police and council officials have said that the match could go ahead,” Roslund added.
The Davis Cup match between the two countries hit the headlines in January when a prominent Social Democrat in southern Sweden likened Israel to apartheid South Africa and Nazi Germany in calling for a boycott. “Israel is an apartheid state. I think Gaza is comparable to the Warsaw ghetto,” said Ingalill Bjartén, the vice chair for the Social Democratic women’s organization (S-kvinnor) in Skåne in southern Sweden, to the Sydsvenskan newspaper.“I’m surprised that Israel – where large numbers of the population suffered under the Nazis – can do the exact same things the Nazis did.”
NO. It’s racists, anti-Semites and bigots like SDP politicians, Ingalill Bjartén, that actually enjoy the fact that the conflict between Israel and the Arabs exist, it affords them the great opportunity to display their anti-Semitism under the guise of being “just critical of Israeli policies”. We have anti-Semitic Social Democrats (SDP) and Greens here in Finland who mirror exactly Ingalill Bjartén’s anti-Semitic views.
It would be great if some Swede highlighted Ingalill Bjartén’s anti-Semitism, by using the EUMC’s own working definition of what constitutes anti-Semitism here in the EU. It would serve to draw attention to a very disturbing phenomenon within the Left-wing, that it contains some of the worst racists of our time. That is exactly the point I made with prof. Gert Weisskirchen, OSCE Representative on Combating Antisemitism, while he was visiting the Finnish Foreign Ministry in Helsinki a couple of years ago, when Finland was readying itself to assume the presidency of the OSCE. KGS
NOTE: It was first reported that Sweden had asked the Israeli team to stay away from the tournament, then after the TT checked through some back channels who are in the know, it was revealed that the Swedes and Israelis were discussing security arrangements only.
NOTE: Esther informs the TT that the Israeli team asked to stay away was not the tennis team, but the Taekwando team.