As printed in Nordic Reach, issue 32 in June, 2010:

There exists today a collective naiveté throughout portions of the Swedish media, academia and political institutions concerning issues facing minorities in our country. Specifically, in retaliation to international events, certain groups feel justified in harassing the Swedish Jewish community, holding it collectively responsible for Israeli politics. Though we do not feel that today’s Swedish Government is anti-Semitic, in the same way that Zola sought to express concern of false accusations and misrepresentation of justice by the government, we hope to raise awareness of a lack of commitment to protecting the liberties of Jewish Swedes.
Communities across the country have now been forced to invest in security precautions that consume almost a quarter of their annual budget. Places of worship, community centers, organizations and individuals are all too often the victims of intolerance and the targets of hate. The Swedish government has been cool to stem the recent rise in hate crimes directed toward its Jewish citizens. From ignorant comments by city officials to a general aloofness for the plight of Jewish citizens, it is now clear that in today’s Sweden, anti-Semitism is widely accepted and tolerated by the political establishment.
The current situation is uncharacteristic of our tradition of tolerance and sets a deplorable and disturbing precedent for how we deem minority groups ought to be treated. This article is written to provide historical context, raise awareness of a societal problem and provide a perspective on contemporary issues facing the Swedish Jewish community.

Early Contact
There had been sparse contact between Swedes and Jews as far back as the Vikings. Gustav Vasa employed the Jewish physician, Phillipus Wulff, as a medical advisor to the Court. In the age of enlightenment, the politique, Queen Christina, similarly invited, Benedictus de Castro, another Jewish physician to visit and stay at the Royal Palace. Unlike other parts of Europe, and perhaps due to the negligible Jewish presence, in Sweden there was relatively little public distain directed towards Jews, though the Swedish Clergy at the time strongly opposed Jewish immigration and supported strong anti-Jewish settlement laws despite liberal voices from the crown, the bourgeois and the noble classes. It would seem that the religious institution’s qualms with Jewish immigration was predominantly concern for their religious practices rather than their ethnic identity. Some Jewish families chose to convert and were subsequently granted rights. Efforts of mass conversion were poor and religious freedom was ultimately respected, though it would take time.

Leading statesmen during the 18th century contemplated granting a group of Sephardic Jews from Amsterdam the right to settle and to conduct business in Sweden. It was believed that the “Portuguese Hebrews,” as they were called to distinguish them from other Jewish groups, would benefit the country financially because of their fabled wealth and dexterity in commerce and trade. Cities such as Amsterdam and Istanbul had already immensely benefited from Jewish immigration. These Jewish communities were established after bloody inquisitions on the Iberian Peninsula, which resulted in the persecution of the Jewish and Moslem populations and a mass exodus of hundreds of thousands of Jews from what had previously been the Moorish Spain. In Hebrew, “Sefardim” means Spanish and refers to these groups that would come to settle along the Mediterranean and as far away as England and the colonies in the New World. Few came to Sweden ultimately; however, the discussion did introduce Sweden to the idea of wider immigration. The kingdom had already experienced economic growth through skilled Walloon families, lead by Louis de Geer, who settled the iron-making region of Uppland.

It was not until 1775 that Jews were permitted to live in Sweden and maintain their religion. Aaron Isaac, a skilled artisan from Mecklenburg, is regarded as the first Jewish person to permanently settle in Sweden. Through his contact with Swedish officers, Isaac was able to demonstrate his engraving prowess to the upper classes and even fell in favor with the Swedish King, Gustav III. Numerous attempts were made to convert Isaac, thereby legally permitting him to settle, but he would not sell out his faith. It is said that the king was so impressed with Isaac’s strong conviction and perseverance that he granted him the right to practice his faith. It was not long before Aaron Isaac was allowed to invite others to come work and establish a minyan (requirement of 10 adult males needed for religious worship).

Jews in Sweden
Today, the Kingdom of Sweden enjoys a vibrant and integrated Jewish community, the largest in northern Europe. Through neutrality during World War II, Sweden successfully protected its own Jewish population and those of neighboring countries, not to mention the thousands of Jews saved by Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg.
Though there have been incidents of anti-Semitism, historically, the Jewish situation in Sweden can be classified as a positive development of increased rights and improved social standing within society. Because of integration and encouraging legal rights, Sweden has seen a remarkable growth in Jewish immigration over the past hundred years, including refugees from Tsarist Russia, the Shoah (Holocaust), Poland, Hungary, and more recently the Middle East and Latin America. Many renowned Swedish institutions have Jewish roots, including Nordiska Kompaniet, Hasselbacken, Oscarsteatern and the introduction of everyday condiments such as “Boston Gurka” through Felix. It is important to highlight the integral role that the Jewish community has played in Swedish intellectual, cultural and business life, not as Jews but as Swedes.

Jewish life in Sweden was sparse until 1775, when stringent immigration laws were liberalized to offer Jews the possibility to permanently settle in the country through an affirmation of monotheist creed (mosaiska trosbekännelsen). Under a royal decree in 1782, Jews were permitted to settle, work and worship only in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Norrköping. It was not until 1838 to 1870 that Jews were emancipated and granted wider civil rights. One should note that many of the professional restrictions were not uniquely placed on Jewish citizens, but also all non-Lutherans.

Much of the positive policy changes came about through help from the Swedish Crown, including Gustav III and Carl Johan XIV. The Jewish community made great strides in integrating and improving its social position in Sweden by enacting changes that would maintain a strong religious identity and simultaneously assimilate the community as Swedish. Historically, the Jews were viewed as foreign nationals, part of the “Jewish Nation.” To combat this, congregations, such as those in Stockholm, chose to translate prayers into Swedish, incorporate the use of organ music and update services through inspiration from the contemporary Lutheran liturgy. In many instances references to the establishment of a return to a Jewish homeland were omitted and religious institutions moved to more central places within the city.

Olan, a Swedish researcher during the 1920s, refers to Jewish citizens as “Israelites” and “Hebrews,” demonstrating an attitude of the day that being Jewish meant not only a faith in Judaism, but also being a part of a foreign, outside group. Similarly, laws of the day required all Jews to belong to one of the country’s congregations.
Today’s understanding of being Jewish has matured, and it is widely accepted that diversity permits members of various faiths, races and backgrounds to be a part of the same Swedish community. Such stances towards immigration as exist today are the product of progressive discussion and decision-making. It would seem that the tolerance and stability of a neutral country is exactly what makes Sweden an attractive destination yet today. Accordingly, the largest increase of Jews in Sweden came following the two world wars.
David Fischer, a researcher on Jewish life in Sweden, points out that initial government apprehension to accepting large numbers of foreign refugees during the war were in part out of concern that a sudden influx could incite anti-Semitism and have negative ramifications for the native Jewish communities, a point in part lobbied by the community itself. To help the victims of persecution, the Jewish community of Sweden went to great philanthropic lengths and was highly successful in aiding thousands of Jews that sought refuge in Sweden before immigrating elsewhere such as the United States, Canada or Israel.
According to congregational records and experts on the issue, like David Schwarz, the Jewish population of Sweden is estimated to be about 22,000. This figure represents generations of respect and openness, something that is now increasingly under threat as newer immigrant groups are permitted to maintain prejudices from the societies they chose to leave.

The Contemporary Jewish Community in Sweden
During the summer I took the opportunity to travel to Stockholm and discuss certain current events and issues facing the three largest Jewish communities in Sweden. My impression was that with the exception of Malmö, day-to-day life in Sweden for Jews was generally agreeable and without much widespread overt anti-Semitism. Unfortunately, security precautions were a necessity for all congregations and represented a burdensome 20 to 25 percent of the communities’ budgets. Sadly, the Swedish Government does little to support security infrastructure at places of worship and seems, ironically, more open to funding Yiddish language and culture initiatives rather than helping provide security for the Jewish communities. Ostensibly, the government has met with leaders and expresses concern for the situation, yet little has materialized. The security issue represents an obscene burden for any Swedish citizens to shoulder and is a disgrace to be tolerated.
Previous administrations recognized the societal ill of anti-Semitism and under Prime Minister Göran Persson, a holocaust awareness curriculum was added to the nation’s school system. Today’s conditions represent a matter of concern that can hopefully be swiftly addressed with initiatives and statements from the government that security will continue to be a fundamental right afforded to all citizens.

Home to the largest Jewish community in northern Europe, Stockholm, as a cosmopolitan and regional hub, has offered many opportunities in terms of work, religious freedom and social mobility. I recently met with the president of the Jewish community of Stockholm. “Being Jewish in Stockholm is like being Jewish in any other European city,” explains Alf Levy. “You choose what to participate in … and skip what you don’t.” This statement also points to the trend that in many parts of western Europe being religious is more contentious than adhering to a religion itself. The Jewish community in Stockholm offers a myriad of organizations and institutions that serve the religious and social needs of the city's 5,500 members, including three synagogues, a museum, a theatre, schools and sports club.

When asked about Jewish life in his city, George Braun, president of the Jewish community in Gothenburg, said “The positive situation [in Gothenburg] can be attributed to good working relations with local and municipal officials, such as the mayor, Göran Johansson.” The community’s strong relationship with the mayor, whose personality and influence has enabled quick and positive developments, including the recent dedication of a Holocaust memorial statue in a prominent public space, an interfaith dialogue between the city’s religious leaders and a partnership with local educational institutions that annually brings some five thousand students to the synagogue.

Recently, an unfortunate minority of the city’s Moslem immigrant youth has been responsible for reprehensible transgressions against the Jewish community including threats, vandalism and violence. Encouragingly, when the mayor of the city misrepresented the situation, regional, national and international news media were quick to press the matter further and has even resulted in what Fred Kahn, president of the Jewish community in Malmö, emphasizes are certain positive outcomes following the disappointing chain of events. In a recent phone interview Kahn points to the recently established “dialogforum” and “joint statements by Malmö’s religious institutions denouncing violence directed towards Jews in the wake of Israel’s military actions” as progressive and necessary steps the communities have themselves taken.

In the same way that it took the fortitude of the leaders of the American Civil Rights Movement, minority communities now need Sweden’s leaders, at all levels of power, to speak out against prejudice and highlight shared societal goals. As was previously noted, the media, too, shares responsibility in accurately portraying the truth behind situations. It must be made clearer that opposing views are a healthy function of civil society regardless of controversy or unpopularity; however, violence should never be tolerated against Swedish citizens.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has seen tensions rise between Jewish and Moslem groups in the Middle East and Europe. Legitimate criticism of Israel has unfortunately been tainted by rare but troublesome undertones of anti-Semitism. In public discussion on the issue, it is worrying that the distinction between Jewish, Israeli, and pro-Israel are not made more apparent. This shortcoming by the country’s academia, mainstream media and political establishment has lead to Sweden’s Jewish communities having to live in fear of unwarranted reprisals of Israeli politics, which are often slammed by the country’s main news media sources.



Aftonbladet’s Allegations of Organ Trafficking

In August 2009, one of Sweden's largest daily publications, the left-leaning Aftonbladet, ran an article by Donald Boström implying that the Israel Defense Forces were implicated in the killing of Palestinians in order to provide organs for the Israeli medical establishment.
"Our Sons Are Plundered of Their Organs," as the piece was called, was heavily criticized in the Swedish media, and several papers denounced it as anti-Semitic. Boström also insinuated that ties existed between alleged IDF activities and the international illegal organ market, following the exposure of an organ trafficking ring in New Jersey, which included Jewish individuals. The article was at best in poor taste, and played off historical themes of Jewish blood libel and international conspiracies. Many in Swedish journal circles believe the article should never have been printed as there was no evidence to support the heinous allegation laid forth.
In an editorial of another Swedish paper, Svenska Dagbladet, the resignation of those responsible was called for. Carl Bildt, the Swedish Foreign Minister, explained that the Swedish government refused to comment on the article, claiming legal factors prevented such action. When the Swedish ambassador to Israel published a condemnation of the text, she was forced to retract it and a memo was sent through the diplomatic corps threatening serious consequences for those who commented on the issue. Though the government does not claim responsibility for the media, freedom of the press must be accompanied by journalistic integrity. Swedish-Israeli relations suffered from the affair. Since Sweden held the rotating presidency of the European Union, the EU's role as a broker in the Middle East peace process also suffered.
The affair created an echo in international media. The Italian government tried to get the Swedes to join in a common condemnation of anti-Semitism. The Swedes still refused. Mr. Bildt, unfortunately, did the Swedish people a great disservice in failing to competently distance our government's position from the allegations of the left-leaning publication or fully explaining the unique freedom of the press laws that exist in Sweden, which are some of the oldest in the world.

Sadly, the previously mentioned article is not the only recent incident of concern. The city of Malmö made international headlines earlier this year when local political ”strong man,” Mayor Illmar Reepalu, unleashed a litany of unfortunate political gaffes that not only denied the documented rise of anti-Semitism in the southern Swedish city and equated Zionism with anti-Semitism, but he also insinuated that international Jewry were in some way responsible for the internal affairs of the state of Israel.
The city has for the past years seen an influx of immigrants from the Middle East, from which a vocal minority has directed hate and violence toward Malmö’s Jewish population. Social issues stemming from recent immigrant communities are well known and have even been covered by the American cable channel, Fox News, in a segment on the now infamous Rosengård section of Malmö. Though the city has gone to great lengths to accept large numbers of immigrants, it would seem that very little responsibility has been taken to either integrate the community into wider Swedish society or help the newly arrived populations understand what tolerance means in the west. This certainly can not be solely blamed on the mayor; however, his comments do little to further respect and acceptance in a city where a third of the population is immigrant.
The Estonian-born Mayor Reepalu, a Social Democrat, established himself in 1994 as a political institution in Malmö akin to Mayor Daley’s cult of personality in Chicago. Through a series of articles on the modern plight of Malmö’s Jewish population, Andreas Lovén exposed Reepalu’s misguided opinions in the centrist Skånska Dagbladet. Even as the mayor recognized that the rising insecurity can partially be attributed to immigrants from the Middle East, he also blames the Jewish community for what he perceives as a lack of initiative to distance itself from Israel. This comment seems to justify violence against those who would support Israel, claiming that the victims of violence have themselves to blame. He insists that Malmö “neither accepts anti-Semitism nor Zionism.” To clarify what this statement implies is that violent persecution of a group of people is tantamount in abhorrence to the aspirations of that group of people for security in the form of a homeland of their own.
During a time where intolerance has lead young Jewish Swedes to flee Malmö, the city's mayor seems more inclined to comment on foreign affairs than the troubles facing many of his constituents, explains Fredrik Sieradzki, an active member of Malmö’s Jewish community. Sieradzki summarizes the fall out of “Reepalu-gate” and echoes key positive outcomes of the incident in Judisk Krönika, a prominent Swedish Jewish publication.
Sieradzki explains that the incidents have had a cohesive effect on the Jewish community, and due to the mass media attention, Jewish victims of anti-Semitism that previously felt obliged to speak out anonymously or not at all have as a result become emboldened to speak up[1].
In mid-February, Mona Sahlin, the current leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Party, met with leaders of the Jewish community in Malmö in order to mitigate the political fumbles of her fellow party member. Reepalu felt he had been misunderstood and misrepresented by the international media storm that rightly pressed the leader of Sweden’s third largest metropolitan area. In Danish TV2, the mayor portrays himself the victim of “the Israel Lobby,” an unfortunate comment which the Jewish community has expressed grave disappointment over. Concern over the security of Swedish citizens and their right to freedom of religion and political persuasion does not require an international conspiracy.

The Gaza Flotilla
Without regard to details, almost instantaneous condemnation of Israel’s actions has become the standard in mainstream Swedish media and political apparatus.
When news broke that one of the five ships of “the Freedom Flotilla” refused Israeli demands to divert their course to the southern port of Ashdod (where their humanitarian cargo would be unloaded and distributed to civilian population via land), Jonathan Stanzcak, a Swedish point person for the group, described the Israeli Navy’s invitation as “uninteresting [because] the ships were destined for Gaza.” Thus it becomes glaringly obvious that the mission of the ships to Gaza was not just humanitarian, but also provocative propaganda. Israeli commandos, most of them 20-year-olds, boarded the Turkish Mavi Mamara and were met with violence and weapons, including stun grenades, chains, metal bars and axes. Hardly the appropriate behavior of so-called “peaceful activists.”
Events spiraled widely out of control resulting in the tragic loss of nine lives. Mass demonstrations were held across Europe not only in protest of the recent events, but also aimed at de-legitimizing and undermining the State of Israel. Perhaps it was strategic to provoke Israel on the day that her greatest ally, the United States, observed Memorial Day. In Stockholm, thousands flocked to Sergelstorg and marched on the Israeli Embassy. Politicians across the political spectrum queued to the speaker’s microphone relishing their chance to denounce what they saw as disproportionate and unwarranted Israeli reactions. Within hours, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, called the events “unacceptable,” while even Prime Minister Reinfeldt initially cautiously remarked on the tragic loss of life and later added that he too felt the Israeli’s actions were “unacceptable.”
Regrettably, the events unfolded in international waters and needlessly risked the lives of Israeli commandos and tragically claimed the lives of activists. It would seem that only Uppsala Professor Emeritus, Göran Lysén, pointed out that these accusations and condemnations are based on the assumption of peacetime international law rather than the grim reality of warfare between Gaza and Israel.
“Gaza exercises a policy that is not only comprised of calls for annihilation, but also [consists of] acts of violence that make it hard for a credible peacetime situation to have existed between Gaza and Israel,”[2] he said.
On September 12, 2005, Israel ceded control of Gaza to the Palestinian Authority and forcefully removed Jewish families living in the territory. Many in Israel ask themselves what the purpose of this act was, if not for a peace that seems to have resulted only in the constant battering of civilian populations by Hamas militants and international condemnation.
The Economist in early June reported that in 2008 alone, 1,750 rockets hit Israel.
Sweden and much of the world seem naïve and ignorant to the fact that not only is Gaza lead by a terrorist organization, but also the Hamas government rejects any and all peace agreements with the Jewish state, calls for the complete annihilation of a democratic state and her citizens, and frequently fires Qassam at civilian targets throughout southern Israel.
One need only look to the city of Sderot to understand the horrific and intolerable war-zone reality that many in Israel must endure. Should the world really be shocked that both Israel and Egypt block supplies to violent regimes such as these, that schools teach anti-semitism and incite even young children to support and carry out terrorist acts. Anyone who has seen Farfour, the hatemongering perversion of Mickey Mouse that teaches young children intolerance and distain for other faiths, cannot ignore the troubling, deplorable mores being propagated by the ruling party of Gaza. We recently learned that Hamas has refused to accept any of the humanitarian aid transported from the ships via land. In a part of the world where such basic necessities are used as political favors to “inspire” government support, these developments certainly do not come as a shock.

History and statistics have shown us that hate and violence toward Jewish people is an international problem, one that is increasing in Sweden. In many areas, communities live in secrecy, invest in security precautions and often fear being recognized as Jewish. In recent years, there has been a significant rise in the number of attacks, including personal threats, vandalism, desecration of places of worship and beatings. Much of the recent increase can be traced to certain groups' misguided belief that there is a sort of Jewish consensus and that individual Jews should be collectively held responsible for the actions of the State of Israel.
In his June 4, 2010 article in Svenska Dagbladet, Willy Silberstein, president of the Swedish Committee Against Anti-Semitism, comments on one example of today’s rise in anti-Semitic remarks in “Antisemitismen slår ut i full blom”(Anti-Semitism in full bloom). Though his comments seek only to raise deep concern for the reproduction of ignorant comments and their possible ramification for Jewish Swedish citizens, Silberstein is slammed by Pierre Schori, Marianne Lindberg De Geer och Mikael Wiehe, who charge that he lacks appropriate comments on Israel.
Social Democrat, Veronica Palm, in her blog asks, “I wonder who the Chosen will burn next?” One cannot help but wonder what reaction such a statement intends to inspire. Silberstein points out that the term, “the Chosen,” refers not to the State of Israel but the entirety of the world’s Jewry. Clearly, such absurdly offensive remarks by a politician demonstrate either a wider acceptance of anti-Semitism or just plane ignorance. Others, including Torbjörn Tännsjö, have recently insisted that unless individual Jews and Jewish organizations explicitly distance themselves from Israel, they can only blame themselves for negative reactions. Silberstein makes clear that legitimate criticism of Israel does not necessarily imply anti-Semitism, but rather that incidents often follow current events involving the Jewish State. The point of raising awareness of anti-Semitism is not to further some sort of Israel agenda, but rather highlight the instances in which our democratic values of tolerance are in flagrant disregard and threaten our society and way of life.

Viewpoint and conclusion:

When the Swedish Foreign Ministry takes a strong stance against Israeli actions, it is legitimate, but it must be sure to do so in a manner that clarifies the government’s support for the existence of the State of Israel, a two-state solution that allows for peace and respect for religious minorities. It should also be sure that its airing of grievances is not misconstrued as justification for violence against Jewish citizens, or harassment of pro-Israel voices.
Though I have chosen to highlight some of the issues facing the Jewish community, they should be seen as endemic of a much wider and troubling dilemma: the failure to successfully integrate recent immigrants into Swedish society. Though I have on numerous times reached out to both the Swedish Ministry of Integration and Gender Equality and the Ministry of Justice, I have yet to receive a response about what is being done to help the Jewish communities that have become victimized. We elect people to lead, not to pander to hateful tendencies within a minority of our country’s inhabitants. All leaders in free and open societies carry the burden of balancing popularity and righteousness, something which can not be overlooked. If we can no longer expect public officials to protect those they represent then we must also question their aptitude to serve in office. I am optimistic that voices from the Swedish communities abroad will help our government further the discussion on integration by tapping into a wealth of knowledge and experience in interacting with other cultures.

The government must take drastic steps to publicly and accurately condemn violence against minority groups in Sweden. It should follow up with initiatives that protect religious freedom and engage the various minority communities to develop dialogs and forums of ideas, discussions and respect.
“Religious freedom is a vital element of a democracy. This is something that Raoul [Wallenberg] stood up for and defended,” explains Michael Wernstedt, grandnephew to the famed humanitarian Swedish diplomat. As Swedes, we can be proud of our country, which today can boast one of the world’s most developed, pluralistic and open societies. Nearly one in ten living in Sweden today is of immigrant background, the largest groups being Finnish, Iraqi, former Yugoslav, Polish and Iranian. It is clear that the demographic make-up of different minority groups requires different forms of support from the government in terms of integration. Some come to Sweden as highly-educated professionals, others as asylum seekers, yet they share a desire to live in an open society that allows for greater opportunities and freedoms. With a stable economy, high political activism, an emphasis on education, and realistic attitudes and responses towards immigration and integration questions, Sweden could certainly avoid the problems that mar many of the other European member states.

In a way, Sweden has the unique chance to become a European America in the most positive sense of the word, a destination for peoples regardless of color, creed, or class. None of this is possible, unless today’s issues surrounding anti-Semitism are dealt with. Furthermore, if our country can no longer lead by example as a developed, free, and progressive society, then our national credibility is undermined and our high regard abroad will no longer be relevant.

The term is often misused and sometimes invoked in a pejorative sense to draw upon the idea of an international conspiracy. Zionism simply describes the self-determination for Jewish people to live free of persecution. A sovereign national state, it is argued, would provide such security.
Essentially, the modern movement has its roots in the latter part of the 19th century. It was an era that saw nationalism profoundly redraw Europe’s borders, including unifications and the breaking up of empires. Though traditionally the unity of the Jewish people throughout the diaspora has been a theme of both religious and cultural texts, however, Zionism as a political movement can be attributed to Theodor Herzl, a secular, assimilated Jewish journalist from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The aspirations of a homeland, as he lays forth in Der Judenstaat (1896), were certainly a reaction to historical events such as the Dreyfuss Affair in France, pogroms in Tsarist Russia and a history of anti-Semitism throughout most of Europe. It should be noted that at the time, Jews living in Arab lands enjoyed much greater liberty and security than European Jewry. In fact, one need only look at the sizable, historic Jewish communities in Baghdad, Istanbul and Tehran (non-Arab) to see the possibility of living in relative harmony with the Moslem world. It seems that it was not until the founding of the State of Israel that the general situation of Mizrahi or Oriental Jews became deplorable.
Israel today is a multi-national, multi-ethnic, democratic state that is the result of waves of immigration from around the world, bringing with them culture, science and values that have come to shape the Jewish State, which in actuality is a fifth Moslem.

[1] Sieradzki, Fredrik. 2010. Reepalu-gate stärkte Malmöjudarna. Judisk Krönika 2. 34-36
[2] Gaza för alltså en politik, som inte endast består av ord om utplånande utan griper även till våldshandlingar av bland annat militär natur, varför det är mycket svårt att se att något fredstillstånd hitintills alls skulle ha rått mellan Gaza och Israel. Förklarade krig, i vilket vissa parter inte avlossat ett skott, har ändå medfört att krigets lagar blivit tillämpliga.