Stockholm, 16 March 2011
In a letter summarizing its Malmo meeting with Mayor Ilmar Reepalu, the Wiesenthal Centre expressed disappointment at "his obfuscation of responsibility in regard to his Jewish citizens, passing the fault for any public apprehension - including those we heard among Muslim and Roma leaders in his city - onto "Stockholm", "the police", etc."
The Centre's Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, noted that :
"- your charge that the exclusion of spectators from the Sweden-Israel Davis Cup heat in an empty stadium was instigated by the police, has been emphatically denied by Malmo law enforcement.
- your comment, as reported by media following our meeting, regarding 'the powerful Wiesenthal Centre's influence', is redolent of conspiracy theories current against Jews in the 1930's.
- your import of foreign conflicts into Malmo political discourse has exacerbated inter-community tensions and the potential risks, in particular, to your Jewish citizens."
The Centre had expected "that a democratically elected mayor who has a obligation to all his citizens would take the lead in encouraging all political factions, all decision-makers on social action from civil society to law enforcement, to take the necessary measures for protection of minorities."
The Centre reiterated the proposals it had made at the meeting :
"- telephone helplines for victims of hate-crimes, sponsored by the municipality but manned by representatives of the respective minorities
- resources for a hate-crime monitoring and investigation unit
- a municipal programme to offer all high-school pupils the opportunity for a guided tour of the synagogue, the Islamic Centre and an appropriate Church to demystify stereotypes of 'the other'
- your full support, at every relevant political and administrative instance, for a government take over of funding for the security of communal institutions at risk."
"Mr. Mayor, the status quo is intolerable. We still hope that you will seriously begin to address these matters before the first review of our 'travel advisory' comes up in June," the letter concluded.