The organizers of an anti-Nazi event in Sweden face controversy Monday, after declining to invite the Jewish community to the event.
“Umeå against Nazism” will run in the city of Umeå on Tuesday and Wednesday, commemorating Kirstallnacht, or the “Night of Broken Glass,” the massive 1938 pogrom against Austrian and German Jews which is seen as marking the start of the holocaust.
But, absurdly, Jews will not be invited.
The organizers claim that inviting the Jewish community presents a security risk, nt.se reports, citing anti-Semitic and anti-Israel protests present at past events.
“In previous years, we have had a lot of Palestinian flags at these rallies, and even one banner where the Israeli flag was equated with a swastika,” organizer and local Workers’ Party member Jan Hägglund told locals. “The Jewish community wasn’t invited because we assumed they might be uncomfortable around that sort of thing.”
Critics claim that Hägglund’s omission must be due to the crowd he invited to the event, implying that it could only be far-left or anti-Israel – thus creating the environment which justified the “security risk.”
Meanwhile, the event’s Facebook page appears to even downplay the Jewish community’s role in the event, instead conveying a generalized, vanilla message of tolerance – not opposition to anti-Semitism.
Some local officials are holding counter-rallies in protest – including municipal worker Anders Agren, who invited the Jewish community to a ceremony which will feature the lighting of memorial candles and a moment of silence.