Anti-semitism increasing in Sweden

Anti-semitism is on the rise in Sweden. Church and state leaders have spoken out against the violence.

There have been many attacks against the Swedish Jewish community over the past few years, with two during the past week.

It is thought the most recent events are connected with United States President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

In one of the violent events last week, masked youths threw molotov cocktails through a Goteborg synagogue window at people celebrating the Hannukah festival.

Hannukah runs from 12 December until 20 December.

Three men were arrested on suspicion of attempted arson.

Two days later, two bottle bombs were discovered outside the Jewish burial chapel in the southern Swedish city of Malmo.

This is the second time in recent years the Jewish chapel has been attacked. There was an arson attempt in 2009.

In addition to the attacks, hundreds of protestors gathered in Malmo last week, publicly shouting for violence against the Jewish community.

“We want our freedom back, and we will shoot the Jews,” a radio station reported the crowd as saying.

The next day, protestors publicly burned an Israeli flag in Stockholm.

At another protest against Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, protesters called for an intifada and promised “we will shoot the Jews.”

A day later, during a demonstration in Stockholm, a speaker called Jews “apes and pigs.” There were promises of martyrdom.

Malmo’s Jewish community sees the recent events as “extremely serious.”

“We strongly emphasize that we can never accept being subjected to threats and attacks,” the Jewish assembly said.

Responding to the violence, the Bishop of Stockholm wrote to one of the affected communities, expressing solidarity.

The Bishop’s concern was echoed by Cardinal Anders Arborelius.

“It’s with deep sorrow that I have heard about the detestable attack on your parish,” he wrote.

“I just want to express my sympathy in this difficult situation. I pray that God will help and protect all of you.”

Antje Jackelen, the Lutheran Archbishop of Uppsala, said “I would like to assure you of the solidarity of the Swedish church in the fight against anti-Semitism and violence in the name of religion.”

The Times of Israel reported Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Lofven as saying “There is no place for anti-Semitism in Swedish society.”

Sweden’s Interior Minister for Justice, Morgan Johansson, is vowing to protect the Jewish community.

He said there is increased security around Jewish buildings around the country and police have been patrolling for anti-Semitic activity.


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