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Swedish anti-Israel protestors chant antisemitic Quran verse, as event organisers claim it was just criticism of Israel

A march organised by the Swedish-Palestinian Centre in Helsingborg descended into blatant antisemitism, as marchers allegedly chanted a classic Islamic antisemitic tirade.

Anti-Israel marchers allegedly used the phrase “sons of apes and pigs” in connection with Jewish individuals.

The phrase is derived from an infamous antisemitic Sura, which describes Allah turning Jews into apes and pigs. Whilst the traditional interpretations of these verses were generally less unfavourable to Jews, the phrase has become a mainstay of Islamic antisemitism.

The Jewish Community of Northwest Skåne (Judiska Församlingen i Nordvästra Skåne)  has launched an investigation into the event, and has submitted a complaint to the police. They have claimed that this rhetoric was directed against Jewish individuals, with their chair Josefin Thorell commenting:

“We can see that there are elements in these protests that are worrying and serious because they contain antisemitic insults and antisemitic claims in combination with a violent rhetoric, in a really unfortunate way”

However, the event organisers have claimed that the chant was simply directed against the Israeli state. Regardless of whether this is the case, according to the Definition of Antisemitism, “using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g. claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterise Israel or Israelis” is antisemitic. Furthermore, the fact that reports indicate that the chants were in fact directed against counter-protesters, who happened to be Jewish, makes a mockery of the claim that this was mere criticism of Israel; instead, the alleged comments clearly would involve the use of inherently antisemitic rhetoric against Jews for their beliefs.

A further investigation into the organisers found that they had previously posted antisemitic content on Facebook, including claiming that Jews would leave Israel “half naked, without anything”, eventually leading to their page being shut down by Facebook.

The police have since launched an investigation.