Israel and Jewish groups around the world have called on Sweden to bar entry into the country of delegates to a “world anti-Zionist conference” scheduled to be held in Stockholm this weekend.
Stockholm Jews have already linked the desecration of their cemetery this week to the conference, which is being organized by a Stockholm-based Islamic broadcaster.
“With the explosion of neo-Nazi violence across the European continent, such a gathering will only add fuel to the fires of bigotry in your country,” Rabbi Abraham Cooper, of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, said in a letter to the Swedish ambassador to the United States.
In a telephone interview, Cooper noted a “special irony” in bringing together neo-Nazis and Moslems at an anti-Israel conference in the wake of the killing of three Turkish Moslems in Germany this week by right-wing extremists.
The daubing of swastikas on 52 Jewish graves in Stockholm lent added weight to his plea to Swedish authorities, Cooper said.
The European Jewish Congress, an affiliate of the World Jewish Congress, has requested its representatives throughout Europe to call on the Swedish ambassadors in their countries and ask them to convey to their government the Jewish communities’ deep concern about this conference.
The EJC also asked for Sweden to ban entry of the delegates to the conference, which is scheduled for Nov. 28-29.
Scheduled participants include Chicago Black Muslim leader Louis Farrakhan, Holocaust revisionists Robert Faurisson of France, David Irving of England and Fred Leuchter of the United States, as well as representatives of Russia’s anti-Semitic Pamyat movement and the Iranian-backed Hezbollah and Hamas Moslem anti-Israel terror groups.
In his own letter to Swedish Ambassador Anders Thunborg, Kent Schiner, president of B’nai B’rith International, wrote that “participants in this proposed conference have been refused entry by Austria, Germany, Italy, the United States and Canada.”
He asked that Sweden bar entry, as well, “and keep this contagion from further infecting the European body politic.”
Just two weeks ago, Holocaust revisionist Irving was deported from Canada after ignoring a ban on entering the country.
In New York, Jewish leaders said the conference highlighted the link between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.
“It once against puts to rest the notion that these things are easily separable,” said David Harris, executive vice president of the American Jewish Committee. “They are all people cut from the same cloth who share the same goals.”
The organizers reached out to like-minded souls, said Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League.
“They have reached out to the Holocaust deniers and tried and true anti-Semites and put them under the rubric of anti-Zionism, which has little viability,” said Foxman.
The conference plans a right-wing parade on Nov. 30, the anniversary of the death in 1718 of Charles XII, the Swedish warrior king idolized by Swedish neo- Nazis and skinheads.
Ahmed Rami, the conference organizer, said he expects 500 delegates, of whom 300 would come from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco and Sudan.
Rami has served six months in jail and has had his radio station closed by Swedish authorities for broadcasting racial incitement.