Swedish City of Malmo Cuts Ties With Arab Book Fair Over Sale of Antisemitic Literature
The southern Swedish city of Malmo announced that it was breaking ties with an annual Arab book fair that takes place there over the sale of antisemitic literature, local news outlets reported on Wednesday.
The book fair — first launched in 2017 — had received a grant of $20,000 from the municipality and may now be required to return the money. A spokesman for the fair, Mounira Alshab, said the organizers were “very sad about what has happened.”
The city’s cultural director, Pernilla Conde Hellman, told the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) — which monitors book fairs around the world for antisemitic content — that the sale of antisemitic literature was impermissible.
“It has come to our knowledge that visitors to the book fair’s website are offered to buy antisemitic literature, which is completely unacceptable,” she said. “It goes against everything we stand for and we therefore choose to immediately terminate the cooperation, and hope that other contributors such as the Swedish National Council for Culture will do the same.”
Shimon Samuels, the SWC’s international affairs director, declared himself “satisfied” with the outcome, but “urged the Malmö municipality to investigate who originally agreed to this generous support and take appropriate measures to ensure that sponsorship for any form of hatred is never repeated.”
Among the antisemitic titles being offered for sale was an Arabic translation of “The Synagogue of Satan: The Secret History of Jewish World Domination,” by the British neo-Nazi Andrew Carrington Hitchcock.