Several of last week's opinion texts focused on the demonstrations in Malmö against Israel's participation in the Eurovision song contest. Photo: Eko. Source: Flickr.

Current debate

Week 19: Debaters disagree about the protests against Israel's participation in Eurovision

Israel's participation in Eurovision song cuntest induced extensive protester i the host city Malmo during last week. On Swedish opinion pages have dbattlers discussed about demonstrants feed antisemitism - or if they promote fred. 

- Today I believe that there is no future for Jews, either in Sweden or Europe. 

That's what editorial writer Daisy Balkin Rung writes in Southern Finland, and believes that the Hamas terrorist attack in Israel on October 7, 2023 has brought anti-Semitism to life in her hometown of Malmö and Sweden in general.  

She is endorsed by Abraham Cooper, rabbi, associate dean and director of international social work at the Simon Wiesenthal Center and chairman of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom. He writes in Dagens Nyheter that the protests that took place in Malmö against Israel's participation in Eurovision have caused concern among the city's Jewish population. He also points to a growing fear among Jews to openly speak Hebrew or wear a kippah outside the home. 

- If not - and not until - Malmö can do away with its anti-Semitism, the city should hardly be allowed to host any international events in the future, he writes. 

Other debaters point out the positives of last week's demonstrations in Malmö. Editor-in-chief Moa Berglöf draws attention to Sydsvenskan how NGOs and individuals managed to create a joyous counter-demonstration when two people burned the Koran and stomped on the Palestinian flag while waving the Israeli flag and playing Israel's Eurovision song. Instead of a fight, there was music and dancing on Gustav Adolfs torg. 

Peaceful demonstrations are a democratic tool, and there is reason to be concerned about attempts to silence or equate them with Islamophobia or anti-Semitism. Anna Johansson, Secretary General at Amnesty International Sweden, believes so. 

- When demands for a cease-fire, criticism of the Israeli government's actions, or the passive stance of other states in the ongoing conflict, are equated with support for terrorism or anti-Semitism, decision-makers and opinion-makers have embarked on a dangerous and repressive path, she writes i Aftonbladet.  

Israel in Eurovision

The party wins when the good forces take to the streets. 

Moa Berglöf, Southern Sweden 

"My Möllan has been decorated with glitter and grids" 

Catharina Jaunviksna, Dagens Nyheter 

"Today I believe that there is no future for Jews, either in Sweden or Europe." 

Daisy Balkin Rung, South Sweden 

Protesting is not antisemitism, politician 

Anna Johansson, Aftonbladet 

"Malmö should not be allowed to host more events" 

Abraham Cooper, Dagens Nyheter 

Student protests for Palestine in the US

We do not want America's anti-Semitic chaos 

Hannes Snabb and Tobias Korall, Expressen 

"Anti-Zionism gaining ground in universities is often ill-conceived." 

Ian Buruma, Southern Sweden 

Swedish support to Ukraine

"Sweden and Denmark can stop a large part of Russia's export of crude oil." 

Lars Jederlund, Southern Sweden 

Ukraine must be supported despite the nuclear war. 

Principal, Sydsvenskan 

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