2009 clip of anti-Israel protest in Sweden shared as recent with anti-migrant narrative

By: Ankita Kulkarni
May 10 2024

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2009 clip of anti-Israel protest in Sweden shared as recent with anti-migrant narrative

Screenshot of a viral post shared on social media. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

The clip shows anti-Israel protests outside a Davis Cup tennis match held in May 2009. It is unrelated to the ongoing anti-Israel Eurovision protests.

Claim ID 047f8076

What is the claim? 

A 2-minute-long video that shows people pelting stones and clashing with the police is being shared on social media platforms with a claim that it shows "Islamist migrants" destroying public property in Sweden. The video shows masked people pelting stones, using paint bombs and fireworks, while some are seen vandalizing police vans.  

This claim has surfaced amid thousands of people protesting Israel's participation in the Eurovision Song Contest, being held in Sweden's Malmo City as the Middle Eastern country continues to bomb Gaza.

One user shared the video (archived here) on X (formerly Twitter) and wrote, "Muslim migrants who were given shelter in Sweden are destroying Swedish taxpayers' property because an Israeli singer took part in Eurovision. I can't think of a dumber and more ungrateful people than these (sic)." The video garnered around 303,700 views at the time of writing this story.

The video has also been shared by several right-wing accounts in India, including Megh Updates (archived here) and that of  Shefali Vaidya (archived here). Several other posts making similar claims can be viewed here, here, and here.

Screenshots of viral posts on social media. (Source: X/Facebook/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, the video is over a decade old and is unrelated to the ongoing demonstrations against Israel's participation in the Eurovision Contest.

What did we find? 

A reverse image search using a screenshot from the viral clip led us to a YouTube video shared by Sydsvenska (archived here), a daily published in Scania, Sweden. The video was posted on May 15, 2009. 

The video description, written in Swedish, roughly translates to: "During the Davis Cup tennis in Malmö, a demonstration degenerated. Hooligans destroyed police cars." We can see the same visuals and narration in this YouTube video as in the viral clip. 

Comparison between the viral video and the 2009 clip published by Sydsvenska (Source: X/YouTube/Screenshot)

We found another video on AP Archive's YouTube channel (archive here), which showed similar visuals. While the video was uploaded in 2015, the description mentioned the dateline as March 8, 2009. It also said that the visuals were from outside an arena where Sweden and Israel were playing a tennis match.

According to a report published by Reuters on March 8, 2009, anti-Israel demonstrators clashed with the police in the Swedish city of Malmö. The report added that some masked people joined a peaceful pro-Palestine protest against the Davis Cup tennis match being held between Sweden and Israel. It added that while the official organizers asked them to refrain from using violence, the masked demonstrators pelted stones at the police and used paint bombs and fireworks.   

Another report by France 24 added that as a result of demonstrations, the local authorities decided to conduct the three-day tennis match without any audience due to security reasons. 

CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) News report provided similar details of the protests and included an image of people vandalizing a police van, where the same individuals and a billboard in the background can be seen.

Comparison between the viral video and the image published by CBC News.
(Source: X/CBC News/Modified by Logically Facts)

The verdict

A video from a 2009 anti-Israeli protest against the Davis Cup tennis match is being shared with a false anti-migrant narrative in the backdrop of the Eurovision Song Contest anti-Israel protests.

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