Swedish mayor who opposes anti-Israel vitriol attacked

Police suspect background is Mats Green’s efforts to prevent sale of ‘Burn, Israel, burn’ T-shirts inside a city-owned center

'Burn, Israel, burn' T-shirt
'Burn, Israel, burn' T-shirt

JTA — A Swedish mayor working to stop anti-Israel propaganda from being sold at a municipal cultural center was assaulted.

Mats Green, mayor of Jonkoping, was lightly wounded in an attack April 7 outside his home when two men struck him and kicked him, the news site nyheter24 reported.

Green, a politician from the center-right Moderate Party, said he could not identify his attackers. But local police suspect the background to the attack is Green’s efforts to prevent the sale of T-shirts emblazoned with the slogan “Burn, Israel, burn” at the Socialist Book Cafe, a shop operating inside a city-owned cultural center. The shirts sell for about $40.

For three years, Green has argued that the shop undermines the city’s values and should move out. The matter will be brought to a vote by the city council on April 26.

“It seems there is a majority for ending the cafe’s activity under city auspices, so right now the debate is escalating,” Green said. “It is important that such calls, to destroy a country and its people, not appear on municipal grounds. I don’t want our city to be associated with anti-Semitism in the same way that has happened in other cities in Sweden.”

In Malmo, municipal authorities have been accused of allowing rampant anti-Semitism.

The Socialist Book Cafe did not reply to requests for comment.

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