‘We will shoot the Jews. We declare intifada from Malmo’: Sweden is rocked by soaring anti-Semitism as Middle East migrants ‘bring strong views from home countries’

Wednesday, December 20, 2017
By Paul Martin

Increase of attacks on Jews in Sweden after Trump’s Jerusalem declaration
There have been arson attacks and protesters shouting anti-Semitic slurs
But many Jews in Sweden say that abuse has been going on for years
Jewish congregation in Malmö has person working full time with security issues

20 December 2017

Anti-Semitic attacks and protests have been taking place across Sweden since Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, but Jews in the Scandinavian country say they have been under attack for years.

Last week saw an arson attack on a synagogue in Gothenburg and an attempted arson attack at a Jewish cemetery in Malmö, Sweden’s second and third-largest cities respectively.

Demonstrations involving hundreds of people in Malmö and the capital Stockholm saw protesters shouting anti-Semitic slurs and threatening terror attacks on Israel.

Two days after the United States recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, around 200 people attended a demonstration in Malmö at which some participants chanted anti-Jewish slogans.

Participants shouted: ‘We have declared an intifada from Malmö. We want our freedom back and we will shoot the Jews’.

A demonstration in the capital Stockholm this week saw hundreds carrying Palestine and Turkish flags chanting ‘we march on Jerusalem, millions of martyrs’ and ‘Oh Jews, the Army of Muhammad will return.’

The crowd gathered for a speech in Arabic, during which the speaker branded the Jewish people ‘the descendants of cows and pigs’, after which participants burned the Israeli flag with the Star of David.

In recent weeks, Jews in Sweden have spoken to local media of being subjected to hate speech, attacks and insults against them – and say that it did not start on December 6.

The Jewish congregation in Malmö only has 450 members, but as of last year, they have a person employed full-time to deal with security issues.

Svante Lundgren, senior fellow in Jewish Studies at Lund University links antisemitism in Malmö to the rising numbers of immigrants from the Middle-East.

‘There is strong antisemitism in many countries in the Middle-East and as a result there are people who are brought up with it, not just hatred of Israel but of all Jews,’ he told Kvallsposten.

‘There is a lot of research in this field and what you see is that some people from the Middle-East bring strong anti-semitic views form their home country.

He adds that this is not true of all people with this background, and says that there are serious issues with anti-Muslim views in Malmö as well.

‘There’s a big proportion of people who are foreign and in many areas there are social issues. When there are people who does not get integrated into society it can be easier for them to turn it into hatred against a single group.’

‘This has been going on for many years, often it’s verbal abuse: people shouting abusive words and swearing both in Arabic and Swedish,’ the rabbi in Malmö, Shneur Kesselman, told Kvallsposten.

‘They honk their horns and give the finger and I have been a victim physically with people throwing things from passing cars in the street.’

Speaking anonymously for fear of reprisals, a female teacher reveals that anti-semitic attacks and hatred against Jews have forced her to keep her religion a secret.

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