“Tired of being called a Jewish Whore”

Daniel just came home with the free newspaper Metro, that he takes on the bus every morning. He had me read a letter that a young Jewish mother had sent in to Metro. It had made him mad, it made me feel like I had to show my support some way.

She wrote that she is an ordinary Swedish mum with small children but as she said “obviously also a Jewish Whore” according to teenage boys in Malmö. It was not the first time that she has been called this by teenagers and them laughing in a mocking tone. As a matter of fact she said that it happens more and more often. Her questions in the letter were, what do parents do about this?  Are they the ones that teach their children to look at Jewish people in this way? And if not, what is their reaction to it? Pride or a feeling of failure? Her 4-year-old that sat in a pram at the time, asked her what they had called her and she felt so ashamed that she had answered that she didn’t hear what they said.

My answer? “The neighbourhood ‘boys’ all call me a whore because I have seven children. In my book, a whore is a woman that is selling her body for money or having sex with lots of men without discrimination.  I belong to a religion that does not allow sex outside marriage and I did not have my first child until two years after the wedding.  All my children were born in wedlock and with the same man, so to be called a whore is worse than an insult. And whose fault is it that youths use these sort of expressions? The grown ups of course since we are the ones that are suppose to put up borders and be examples for what is appropriate behaviour in a civilized society. We are supposed to imprint in our children that we must show each other respect. But how many people show each other respect in the year 2013? It’s about everything from stealing someone’s else’s parking space that they have been standing waiting for with blinker on, to jumping a queue, parking in handicap parking without a permit to do so, to not letting people have the faith that they want to. I guess one is allowed to call other persons whatever today.

When it comes to the vulnerability of Jews in this country, it is scandalous and whose fault is it? MEDIA’S! This country is pro-Palestine. And it is not a secret.  Just look at how news from Israel and Palestine are reported. When Palestinians have bombed Israel, it gets a couple of seconds of attention. They do not show the mourning, the bloody bodies, the men marching to the cemetery and the woman that scream. But when Israel answers, we get fifteen minutes of maximum grief shown. When media show us the picture we should have of things to be politically correct, the docile Swedish population follow big brother and believe what big brother tells us. We are not allowed to think differently. It doesn’t occur to people that all media attention is angled for a specific purpose or goal. There is not a single Swede that sits down afterwards and study Jewish history and to understand Israel you have to study Jewish history. There is no other way to understand what is going on down there. I am not Jewish but I am totally pro-Israel. Because I have studied! There must be a place for them to escape to when the persecutions become too bad. They have never ceased and they get worse every year in Europe. Or perhaps I should say, that what has been hidden below surface since the war, has now been allowed to re-surface thanks to that society and media say that it is all right.  You are supposed to hate Israel. And Israel and Jews are regarded as synonymous. It doesn’t matter to the Swede of today that the Swedish Jews might never even have set their feet in Israel, they are supposed to be collectively punished as usual. Like we would be punished for what Swedish-Americans get up to in the USA? What Sweden needs is a course in every year of school, what it means to have religious freedom in our country. That it is punishable by law to call people names, to smear their reputation, and to spread lies about them. That we can’t expect tolerance and respect, if we don’t show it ourselves. The school needs to implement rules and to give a social education, now when parents are failing to do so.  If parents can’t raise their children to become good citizens that do not violate other people and their rights, then school needs to do that task. Rebecca and other Jews should not have to flee our country and go to live in Israel. Are we going to become a new Poland?”

I signed it with “angry mum” but I doubt they will publish it or anything of it. It’s not politically correct to be pro-Israel as I wrote in the letter to the editor. I am in a minority in this country for various reasons. I have studied Judaism as far back as I can remember. And it all culminated when I took a course at the University here in Lund. I watch every documentary from Israel or about Judaism that I can, even though Swedish television shows them at un-Christly hours. When noone else will watch.  And I have visited various Concentration camps and museums in Europe. If one has read and seen as much as I have, one can’t be anti-Israel. It is impossible. The problem of course being, that so few have done this or bother. And when one doesn’t bother, one becomes like the German population that just followed Hitler blindly without questioning a thing. What one doesn’t question, one agrees with. That is just how it is. One can’t swallow propaganda. One has to question it or at least get informed so one can make a wise decision. Today we can’t allow ourselves to be indifferent or lukewarm. We have to take a standpoint. We can’t remain selfish and feel that the only thing that matters is the little world around us. That is a coward way. And selfish of course because people around us like this young mother Rebecca, must know that they are not alone, that we are not all bad, that we do care. In many cases, we can not do anything to help. Just show moral support. Or voice opinion when we find out things that are unjust. We are heading for a frightening future. Populist parties are getting more and more popular. They say that history does not repeat itself. Well, if it is not going to repeat itself, we all need to do something to prevent it. I read a book a year ago or so called the shame of Europe. It was covering basically every European country and telling how these anti-Semitic and many times also anti-Islam political parties are growing like weeds in Europe and even sit in the European parliament. But who has put them there? Who has made them grow? Regular people like you and me, that have watched the angled, warped news on TV, that feel as insecure about the future as the brown shirts did in 1920s Germany. The parties grow. And people around them accept their violence. There are more and more reports on what Jobbik is up to in Hungary. But noone seems concerned. When are parents, schools, big brother, going to get concerned? It doesn’t start with a Hitler getting to power. It starts on the street with youths mocking Jews, with youths calling them names. The next step is beating Jews up and destroying Jewish institutions and synagogues. In Malmö, in southern Sweden, bombing of these have already started! Not just started but has been going on for a while. Anti-semitism is totally accepted and the authorities give permission for Palestinians to march against Israel, on the streets, and to burn the Israeli flag. A couple of years ago, I went to the police station to get a passport for a child of mine, and on the lid of the loo, was a glued on sticker that was an anti-Israel sticker. I tried to remove it but it was so stuck that nothing could remove it, not even a knife. In a police station! I am afraid for the Jews. But I am afraid for myself as well. Because if one religion can be persecuted, so can another. If one race can be so, then everyone and everything can.

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