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Three men of Arab origin jailed over Swedish Synagogue firebomb attack, but none will serve more than 2 years

Three Palestinian and Syrian migrants have been jailed following an arson attack on a Gothenburg Synagogue which Everyday Antisemitism reported on in October, following a protest against Trump’s decision to move the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

The men were convicted in Gothenburg District Court on Monday. Two of the men were handed 2 year sentences, whereas the youngest was sentenced to 15 months. The three are between 19 and 24 years of age. One has had an asylum application rejected and will be deported after his jail sentence.

The Judge said that the trio acted with “the clear goal of threatening, harming, and violating members of the synagogue and the Jewish community more generally”. However, the sentences for what essentially amounts to a terrorist attack on Jews in Sweden, seem far too short given the severity and malice of the crime.

The attack was participated in by up to 20 people, though as far as we can tell no other charges have been brought.

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Chapel at Jewish cemetery firebombed in Sweden, the second attack of its kind in a week

Swedish Police have announced that they are investigating an arson attack at a Jewish chapel at a cemetery in Malmo.

The attack took place on Monday, but has only just come to our attention.

Two firebombs were thrown at the building, but appear to have caused little damage. From an image of the exterior of the building, it appears that they bounced off the wall and burned out on the ground in front of the chapel.

Earlier this week we were among the first English language sources to report a similar incident in the city, where 20 masked men attacked a Synagogue in Malmo with firebombs, leaving those inside, who were attending a youth event, to take refuge terrified in the building’s basement.

After yet another terrifying escalation of antisemitic violence in Sweden, and in Malmo in particular, we restate our calls for enhanced police protection for Jewish communities in the city, where Jews are subject to the constant threat of antisemitic violence.

 

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Swedish state TV claims that the “Jewish lobby” caused Trump to move embassy

Sweden’s primary state broadcaster has been forced to apologise after claiming that “the Jewish lobby” was responsible for Donald Trump moving the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

On its report on Wednesday immediately following the announcement, the broadcaster claimed that the “Jewish lobby in the US is incredibly strong” and it “has championed this issue for a long time”.

One persistent antisemitic image is the antisemitic canard of Jewish “control” over things such as political affairs, attributing to a faceless and monolithic “Jewish lobby” a disproportionate amount of power.

Charlotta Friborg, executive editor and publisher of SVT News, said “it was an unfortunate choice of words that immediately was corrected”. However, it is not merely “unfortunate” when one unambigiously uses the language of antisemitic conspiracy theorists, but a clear and direct manifestation of antisemitism.

Sadly, such comments being sanctioned and parroted by state television will do nothing to help Jews in the country, who already face growing antisemitism from both the far right, the far left and from Islamists.

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Swedish state TV claims that the “Jewish lobby” caused Trump to move embassy

Sweden’s primary state broadcaster has been forced to apologise after claiming that “the Jewish lobby” was responsible for Donald Trump moving the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

On its report on Wednesday immediately following the announcement, the broadcaster claimed that the “Jewish lobby in the US is incredibly strong” and it “has championed this issue for a long time”.

One persistent antisemitic image is the antisemitic canard of Jewish “control” over things such as political affairs, attributing to a faceless and monolithic “Jewish lobby” a disproportionate amount of power.

Charlotta Friborg, executive editor and publisher of SVT News, said “it was an unfortunate choice of words that immediately was corrected”. However, it is not merely “unfortunate” when one unambigiously uses the language of antisemitic conspiracy theorists, but a clear and direct manifestation of antisemitism.

Sadly, such comments being sanctioned and parroted by state television will do nothing to help Jews in the country, who already face growing antisemitism from both the far right, the far left and from Islamists.

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Europe Everyday Antisemitism Featured Location Medium Protests Sweden Ξ Channels Ξ E-mail Ξ Social Media

“We are going to shoot the Jews” chanted at anti-Israel protest in Sweden

On Friday night protesters congregated in Malmö, Sweden, purportedly to voice their opposition to Donald Trump’s relocation of the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

Around 200 people attended the protest.

Among other things, protesters allegedly chanted “we want our freedom back and we are going to shoot the Jews”.

Calle Persson, a communications officer for the police, said “we take this kind of thing seriously in general. It could be an incitement for people to commit crimes”. However, it has not been disclosed if any arrests were made on the scene. If no arrests were made at a protest where people were allowed to call to “shoot the Jews”, the police response will seem tepid at best.

This incident is yet another example of the antisemitism in Sweden that is spiralling out of control, but it also demonstrates the antisemitism that is increasingly tolerated in the anti-Israel movement. As tensions in the Middle East escalate, unfortunately we are likely to see antisemites targeting Jews in the diaspora.

Protesters again congregated in the same place yesterday, where they were heard chanting “the Jews should remember that the army of Muhammed will return”, words that were repeated at a demonstration in London, too, where no arrests were made. These are symptoms of the thinly-veiled Islamist antisemitism being dressed up as acceptable political discourse within anti-Israel movements.

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Arson Europe Everyday Antisemitism Featured Location Medium Sweden Terrorism Vandalism Ξ Channels Ξ E-mail Ξ Social Media

20 masked men attack Gothenburg Synagogue with firebombs

A Jewish community in Gothenburg, Sweden, has been left in shock after around 20 masked men attacked their Synagogue yesterday night at around 10pm.

The Synagogue had been hosting a social event for Jewish students. When the Police arrived, the attendees had taken refuge in the Synagogue’s basement.

A spokesman for the local police said that “there are several molotov cocktails that have been thrown against the synagogue”. Thankfully, the building itself did not catch fire and nobody was seriously hurt.

Despite the shocking nature of the incident, the police do not seem to have any leads. In an online statement they commented that they “do not know much more than there are several molotov cocktails that have been thrown against the synagogue”.

Whilst the identity of the attackers is unknown, some have speculated that the attack could be linked to a march against Donald Trump’s policy on Jerusalem which took place earlier that day. Nonetheless, it could also easily be an attack from the far right.

Such an attack essentially amounts to terrorism against Jews in Europe. Unfortunately, with antisemitism reaching terrifying levels in some parts of Sweden, escalations of violence such as this are increasingly unsurprising. Thankfully the Synagogue was protected by its security staff who alerted the police and kept attendees safe, but this incident highlights the important of sufficient security being provided to Jewish communities.

 

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50 arrested as neo-Nazis march on Yom Kippur in climate of increasing antisemitism from Left and Right

Swedish society has had a major problem which hardly ever makes the news abroad, in the shape of the rising antisemitism increasingly evident from all sections of society.  In September this year, in an article reminiscent of Campaign Against Antisemitism’s recent UK study which found that 1 in 3 of the Jews polled had considered leaving Britain because of antisemitism, Arutz Sheva reported that in Malmo, Sweden’s third largest city with a population of 300,000 barely 500 Jews remain today of more than 2,000 who lived there in the 1970s.  The rest had left either for Stockholm or for Israel.  The European Union’s Agency for Fundamental Rights reveals that a third of the Jews of the Old Continent have stopped wearing religious symbols because of fear of attacks. From Denmark to Germany Jews are warned not to wear the Jewish kippah.  Elsewhere we read of chants in Arabic of “Death to the Jews!”  Malmo, however, seems to believe that it can deal with the problem by talking about it and argues that this is becoming successful. However, while the number of reported antisemitic hate crimes has decreased recently, Frederick Sieradzki, chair of Malmo’s Jewish community thinks that that does not tell the whole story.

“If you look at the raw statistics it can look like things are improving, but it can also be just that registered crimes are down,” he said.  And then, perhaps unwittingly, Sieradzki names the fundamental problem which faces Jews everywhere in the west, that antisemitism is becoming so normalised and embedded into the discourse that far too often it is not recognised for what it is:

“If you don’t feel like something has happened, why would you report it? That’s a problem.”

In Sweden as elsewhere in Europe, left wing antisemitism is also emerging and strengthening. In 2015 events in Umea, where a 77th anniversary of Kristallnacht was commemorated to which no Jews were invited, evidenced not only that the organisers were totally insensitive to the impact of such a decision but also a growing trend of at least minimising the importance to Swedish Jews of commemoration of the Holocaust.  Jews were not invited, according to one Jan Hägglund, a local lawmaker and member of the local (left-leaning) Workers’ Party [better known as the Social Democratic Workers’ Party (SAP), Sweden’s largest party], because the rally could “be perceived as unwelcoming or unsafe situation for them.” According to [the centrist Swedish newspaper] Norrköping Tidningar, previous rallies have included Palestinian flags and banners where the Star of David was equated with the Nazi swastika. (The reader may be forgiven for wondering at least why such displays were permitted in the first place at these events if it was believed that they would lead to Jews feeling unsafe at them).

Perhaps as a result of similar thoughtlessness and failure to apprehend or assess their impact, there are also much more recent signs of the emergence in Sweden of far right antisemitism, see here and here .   The last is particularly egregious. For all its laid-back attitude to such insult to others, it should beggar belief that Swedish officialdom should permit a Nazi rally to march past Gothenburg’s synagogue on the holiest day of the Jewish year. Following the outrage from Jewish community leaders, a court in Gothenberg  rerouted the planned neo-Nazi march on Yom Kippur farther away from its synagogue.

The Gothenburg administrative court ruling concerning the 30th September march by the far-right Nordic Resistance Movement overrode the suggested route by police. The court also shortened the route, so that the Yom Kippur worshippers will not now have to encounter the neo-Nazis.

When the march went ahead, it was marked by violence between neo-Nazis and the police. Clashes between neo-Nazis and counter-protesters led to 50 arrests, with what reports portray as quite serious clashes between the two and police, with projectiles being thrown and fireworks being ignited. Around 600 neo-Nazis marched in black body armour in a pseudo-military display of intimidation.

On our initial report on the NRM, we uncovered several explicitly neo-Nazi beliefs which are clearly directly inspired by Hitler. Similarly, the tactic of large public marches with militaristic iconography is reminiscent of early Fascism.

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Swedish anti-Israel protestors chant antisemitic Quran verse, as event organisers claim it was just criticism of Israel

A march organised by the Swedish-Palestinian Centre in Helsingborg descended into blatant antisemitism, as marchers allegedly chanted a classic Islamic antisemitic tirade.

Anti-Israel marchers allegedly used the phrase “sons of apes and pigs” in connection with Jewish individuals.

The phrase is derived from an infamous antisemitic Sura, which describes Allah turning Jews into apes and pigs. Whilst the traditional interpretations of these verses were generally less unfavourable to Jews, the phrase has become a mainstay of Islamic antisemitism.

The Jewish Community of Northwest Skåne (Judiska Församlingen i Nordvästra Skåne)  has launched an investigation into the event, and has submitted a complaint to the police. They have claimed that this rhetoric was directed against Jewish individuals, with their chair Josefin Thorell commenting:

“We can see that there are elements in these protests that are worrying and serious because they contain antisemitic insults and antisemitic claims in combination with a violent rhetoric, in a really unfortunate way”

However, the event organisers have claimed that the chant was simply directed against the Israeli state. Regardless of whether this is the case, according to the Definition of Antisemitism, “using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g. claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterise Israel or Israelis” is antisemitic. Furthermore, the fact that reports indicate that the chants were in fact directed against counter-protesters, who happened to be Jewish, makes a mockery of the claim that this was mere criticism of Israel; instead, the alleged comments clearly would involve the use of inherently antisemitic rhetoric against Jews for their beliefs.

A further investigation into the organisers found that they had previously posted antisemitic content on Facebook, including claiming that Jews would leave Israel “half naked, without anything”, eventually leading to their page being shut down by Facebook.

The police have since launched an investigation.

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Hundreds of neo-Nazis march in Sweden on May Day to “regain power from the… Zionist elite”

Several hundred members of the neo-Nazi group “Nordic Resistance Movement” were allowed to march through the Swedish town of Falun on May Day.

May Day is an ancient European festival which was selected as the “International Workers Day” in the Second International, and has ever since been associated with Left-Wing Politics. However, the neo-Nazi group were allowed to march in a formal manner through the streets, with police looking on. They were opposed by anti-Fascist protesters.

Karl-Erik Pettersson, a local social Democrat, said it “is horrendous and a threat to our democracy that a party that does not stand for the equal rights of all people is given an opportunity to be seen on this day meant for the labour movement. But our parade will be bigger than ever”.

The group is explicitly antisemitic and neo-Nazi. One of its leaders ended a speech calling on “nordic” people to rise up, and proceeded to shout “Hail Victory”.

The group has as its stated aims regaining “power from the global Zionist elite”, the forced deportation of all non-Europeans and to “racially assess” all those who came to Sweden after 1975. They claim that the “Jewish owned media” is responsible for immigration and that “Jewish racism” has been a constant since the Biblical era. A whole section of their manifesto is devoted to “Zionists”, and describes Jews as controlling world finance, describes Jews as “parasites” – borrowing, unsurprisingly, directly from Nazi propaganda, and vows to “topple” this “world order” which is portrayed as almost exclusively Jewish. They also identify “Zionism” with a “decadent” system, which is a variant on a common antisemitic canard that Jews attempt to turn cultures towards decadence and away from traditional values. Throughout the manifesto, Jews are portrayed as the roots of all the “problems” identified by the group, such as the dominance of finance, immigration, a decadent culture, and the mass media.

Ironically, this blatant neo-Nazi propaganda is interrupted at one point to proclaim that “not all Jews are Zionists and…there are Jews who stand against the Zionist endeavour for power”, which shows that even neo-Nazis who advocating racial screening in order to deport those who are not racially “pure” enough for them think they can cover their antisemitism if they purport to merely be attacking “Zionists”. Despite this, throughout their manifesto, the group employs some of the most recognisable antisemitic stereotypes from Nazi propaganda.

They also support a pan-Nordic nation, in which the Scandinavia countries form a single entity. This is of course disturbingly similar to Hitler’s aim of all Germanic people’s being united under his rule. They also wish to limit citizenship to people for whom either “both parents are Nordic citizens or if one parent is a Nordic citizen…the other is of a closely related race”.

The fact that hundreds of these people were able to march, opposed only by a few anti-Fascist protesters, through a Swedish town on May Day is extremely disturbing. Throughout their material, they present themselves as anti-establishment, purporting to oppose the dominance of financial services, supporting environmental regulations, opposing inherited power and wealth, including Monarchy, and other policies which, whilst they may not have necessarily been opposed to Nazis or other Fascists, appear to have been emphasised by the NRM to attempt to appeal to left-leaning youths who are disaffected with aspects of contemporary political life. An appearance on May Day is not merely an attempt to intimidate Jews and non-Whites, but also an attempt to legitimise their views to a left-wing audience, which is increasingly happy to engage in antisemitic discourse itself.

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Swedish Jewish Community Centre closes after threats from neo-Nazis

A Jewish community centre in Umea, Sweden, has closed following a campaign of intimidation by neo-Nazis, including swastika graffiti on its walls including the wording  “we know where you live”.

The Judisk Föreningen, or Jewish Association, in Umea has been the victim of persistent threatening emails, calls and graffiti from a local neo-Nazi group called Nordfront. The graffiti that finally triggered the closure is clearly a veiled threat, particularly in a City with as few as 50 Jewish residents.

In September 2015, the Swedish anti-Fascist organisation named Expo claimed that there was a rise in Neo-Nazism in Sweden. RT adds that there is a “similar trend” occurring in other countries and cites incidents since then which had occurred  in Paris, France, also London and Birmingham, in the UK. We have frequently commented on the rising Antisemitism in Sweden, and whilst this is often attributed to radical Islam, it is always worth noting that the threat to Jews comes not just from one sector of society, but from many, with observable problems from certain radical strains of Islam, the far left, and the far right.

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Sweden: antisemitic abuse shouted at Jews from car in Malmo

A group of Jews were harassed in Malmo last Thursday.

A car drove slowly past them while the passengers shouted antisemitic abuse at the group of Jews and their Haredi attire.

Malmo police say they’re investigating the incident as a hate crime.

They are also investigating a Swastika which was carved on the door of a Jewish man in the city.

The situation in Malmo is increasingly bad for Jews, with the authorities seemingly unwilling to take serious action to prevent further attacks against Jews in the City.

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Sweden: Malmö woman suffers from antisemitic vandalism attacks, police take no action

For the past few years, a Jewish woman in Malmö has been targeted by a hate campaign (see here and here).  Her front door has been repeatedly vandalized.  She files complaints with the police, but they allegedly take no action whatsoever.

The latest attack was a couple of weeks ago, when her door was vandalized with a swastika and Star of David.

Whilst this is easy to dismiss as mere vandalism, the persistent antisemitic graffiti amounts to a clear message – “we know you are Jewish. We don’t like it, and we know where you live”, which amounts to intimidation

 

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PewDiePie pays two men who unveil “Death to all Jews” sign live on his YouTube channel

PewDiePie, the Swedish YouTube Celebrity who is the personality behind the most subscribed-to channel on the entire site, paid two men who revealed a “Death to all Jews” sign for him in a video.

In the bizarre video, he stated that he would delete his account when he reaches 50 million subscribers. At the time, he had 49 million.

He was reviewing the website Fiverr, which you can pay someone to reveal a message of one’s choice, though it seems as if he didn’t know that this particular message would be unveiled.

He has since apologised, saying “I don’t feel too proud of this, I’m not going to lie. I’m not anti-Semitic or whatever it’s called. It was a funny meme, and I didn’t think it would work… I swear, I love Jews. I love them”, and the two men in the Fiverr video have also apologised.

This does appear to be a very poor attempt at a joke gone wrong, although the explanation could of course be more sinister. However, the mere fact that PewDiePie has so many millions of subscribers, most of whom are young, and many of whom will be or will have been exposed to antisemitic ideas, particularly in anti-Israel discourse, seeing something like this on the channel of a prominent cultural influencer could have the unfortunate effect of normalising antisemitism. Despite this, his apology is to be welcomed.

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Right wing Swedish Democrat Party may expel members for “Camp Auschwitz” flag

The right wing Swedish Democrats Party has expelled two local politicians after they shared a photograph of a man brandishing a “Camp Auschwitz” flag.

Monica and Peter Evertson, a married couple, represent the small town of Sävsjö.

Monica shared the photograph of the man, who the couple apparently camped with, on her Facebook page.

There were a string of racist comments on the image, in which commenters joked about a “negro” stealing one’s wallet. At one point a commenter said “Everything becomes so much worse when a negro is involved”, to which Monica replied “too right”.

Party Press representative Henrik Vinge said The local party organisation has been requested to invite these people to leave the party. If this call is not heeded, the issue will be brought up in the party’s membership committee on Monday. This procedure could lead to people getting their membership cancelled”.

However, firmer action would be ideal, when the couple seem to have revelled in meeting someone who was mocking the Holocaust, jovially posting about it on Facebook.

 

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Books Denmark Europe Everyday Antisemitism Featured Finland Location Medium Norway Sweden Websites Ξ Channels Ξ E-mail Ξ Social Media

Scandinavian online bookshop selling antisemitic propaganda for the fourth time

Adlibris, the leading online book retailer in Scandinavia, has been found to be selling antisemitic propaganda, including the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Adlibris had previously been called out on selling antisemitic books, and claimed to have taken action. This is at least the fourth time that the infamous antisemitic hoax text was available on its site.

The company’s information officer released the following statement:

“We have decided not to offer the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and we check every now and then if the book is on our list. However, we happen to work with distributors worldwide, and there are many self-publishers. This means we get up to 75,000 titles a month, and books registered with Amazon automatically get registered on our site too. We need to remove them afterwards and do it manually”

The book has since been removed from the site. However, several other antisemitic books are still available there, including Henry Ford’s “The International Jew”.

Whilst it is important that people are able to study these antisemitic texts in some capacity, it is potentially dangerous for them to be sold without a disclaimer of the factual inaccuracy and an explanation of the context of the text, especially as the authors present the texts as factual.

 

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Sweden: Jewish woman beaten, hospitalised by female Muslim gang

CORRECTION: the following incident has not just happened, but in fact occurred in August 2016. We have decided to keep the article up as it was not as widely publicised as an incident this severe should have been.

 

A Swedish mother of four has allegedly been attacked by a Muslim gang for wearing a Star of David necklace.

TLV Faces, a Jewish news outlet, has reported that Anna Sjogren was attacked while walking through a neighbourhood with a high Muslim population.

Sjoren told the WZO Centre for Countering Antisemitism:

“A Muslim girl saw that I was wearing the Star of David on my neck and she started swearing at me and spat in my face. I got very upset and pushed her off”

 “There were at least ten witnesses to the attack. All ten of them were wearing hijabs or scarfs in the colors of the PLO.  Some surrounding witnesses claim that I ‘tripped’ and fell and that no one hurt me. It’s just unbelievable.”

“Before we got to the hospital, one of the attackers gave me threatened me saying, ‘shut up or we’ll kill you.’”

She was apparently hit with a sharp object by another girl in the crowd. When she arrived at hospital she had been beaten so badly she could not talk or see.

Sjoren was initially afraid to go to the police, saying “I cannot go to the police. The worst thing is that they will get my name and address. They’ll know where to find me and know and know I am the Jew who reported it.”

Writing on her Facebook page, Sjoren said “The Star of David is extremely meaningful and significant. I will never take it down no matter what happens. When other Facebook users show support I will stand up proudly for Israel, I will never let any one silence me. Am Yisrael Chai. We will never forget and never forgive”.

Sjoren is due to speak to the Security Organisation of the Jewish Community on Monday.

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German children attending “Nazi youth camps” in Sweden

The Express has revealed footage purporting to show German children attending a summer camp run by far-right groups in Sweden.

The footage shows children in the woods dressed in uniforms with Sturmvogel logo. Sturmvogel is a far-right group founded in 1987 and apparently has links to Nazism and Holocaust denial. They also have links to the banned groups Wiking-Jugend and Heimattreue Deutsche Jugend.

The camps are structured in a quasi-militaristic manner, with children expected to stand in silence and salute the flag until they are dismissed.

The group holds its camps in Sweden to avoid German counter-extremism laws.

Andrea Ropke, a German expert on the far right, notes that the children are sent to the camps by their parents: “Nationalist youth education is very important to them and the camps are an important part of the business”.

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Everyday Antisemitism Politics Sweden Ξ E-mail Ξ Social Media

Swedish Politician Denies Systematic Murder of Jews at Auschwitz

At a council meeting in Alvesta, Sweden in March, Swedish Democrat, Lennart Johansson, stated that it was not Jews, but patriotic heroes of Poland who died in Auschwitz. “They died because they would defend Poland from foreign fascist invaders…I have read in Polish encyclopedias that it was so.” Johansson cited himself as a credible and knowledgable source due to the time he spent living in Poland. 

Another Swedish politician, Thomas Hedevik, of the Social Democratic party, called Johansson out for being a historical revisionist. In regard to Johansson’s attempt to undermine the tragedy of the Jews in Auschwitz and focus on ‘national Polish heroes,’ Hedevik says, “It proves that the Swedish Democrats are a purely Nazi and undemocratic party. It must be handled as such.”

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Holocaust denial flyers distributed outside Swedish school on Holocaust Remembrance Day

Outside a public high school in Hudiksvall, Sweden, Holocaust denial flyers were handed out for Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Source: CFCA

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Swedish neo-Nazis drape “Holocaust is a hoax” banner over motorway

Neo-Nazis in Sweden have draped a huge “Holocaust is a hoax” banner over a motorway and illuminated it with flares. The facist group Motståndsrörelsen erected the temporary sign over one of Sweden’s busiest roads.

Source: CFCA

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Swedish presenter who equated Israel to Nazis given top Christmas television spot

One of Sweden’s most coveted television spots, hosting the annual Christmas schedule on Sweden’s state-owned SVT, was given to Gina Dirawi this year.

Dirawi, who will also host Eurovision in Stockholm in 2016, has previously claimed that “The Israeli government does the same thing as Hitler did to its people but with other means. They are racists, they oppress, and kill people who are not like them!”

In 2012 she posting an image on her blog of the book Är världen upp och ner? by Lasse Wilhelmson, under the title, Some bedtime reading…” The book’s back cover states, “Lasse writes that Israel is the greatest threat to world peace today and Zionism the greatest threat to humanity.”

Dirawi has also called on her blog for International Holocaust Remembrance Day to be turned into a memorial day for all,  including all Palestinians murdered by the Zionists in Israel”.

Source: Times of Israel

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Everyday Antisemitism Lack of Security Sweden Ξ E-mail

Jewish community in Malmö, Sweden launches emergency appeal for security funds

The Jewish community in Malmö, Sweden, has launched an emergency appeal for funds to secure the home of Shneur Kesselman, the last remaining rabbi in the city, which is home to some 1,500 Jews. The rabbi and his family have been targeted hundreds of times. Incidents have included being pelted with bottles and being chased down by cars, forcing the rabbi to run for his life. In spite of the danger he faces in this supposedly-tolerant European city, where antisemitic incidents are a constant occurrence, Rabbi Kesselman is determined to stay to minister to his community.

The community of Malmö and Chabad Lubavitch have launched an emergency appeal for funds to relocate Rabbi Kesselman and his family closer to the synagogue and to secure their family home. For the next four hours, a group of donors has agreed to match every donation to the emergency fund. Donations can be made here.

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Everyday Antisemitism Forced Conversion Sweden Verbal Abuse Violence Ξ E-mail

Swedish Jews reportedly converting to Christianity to avoid antisemitism

Corinne Sjöberg, an Israeli ex-patriot who serves on the city council of Umeå in Sweden has told Ynet that she has met Jews who converted to Christianity to avoid antisemitism. She told the story of a Jewish boy who was forced to pull down his trousers at school in order to prove he was Jewish and was seriously traumatised. Sjöberg says her own daughter was harassed by a teacher, and it took a year until he was removed from his position. Sjöberg wears a Star of David necklace and carries sanitary wipes with her because people spit at her. This week the Jewish community was not invited to Umeå’s Kristallnacht memorial due to “safety” reasons.

Photo: Ynet

Source: New Antisemite/Ynet

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Jewish community not invited to Swedish town’s Kristallnacht memorial due to “safety”

The local Jewish community in the Swedish town of Umeå was not invited to the official Kristallnacht commemoration due to “safety” fears according to one source. However, an organiser from the Workers’ party told Swedish news site nt.se that: “In previous years, we have had a lot of Palestinian flags at these rallies, and even one banner where the Israeli flag was equated with a swastika. The Jewish community wasn’t invited because we assumed they might be uncomfortable around that sort of thing.” Members of the Jewish community speculated that the real reason might have been that the Kristallnacht memorial was transformed into a pro-refugee event rather than a memorial. The Jewish community had to hold its own memorial separately.

Source: Ynet

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Malmö demonstrators chant “Slaughter the Jews”

A demonstration in the Swedish city of Malmö quickly descended into calls to “slaughter the Jews” on Sunday. The city has become increasingly hostile towards Jews in recent years.

Watch the video.

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Everyday Antisemitism Sweden Vandalism Ξ E-mail

Stockholm library defaced with Nazi-era phrase meaning “Jews out”

Graffiti praising a far-right Swedish party has been discovered in Stockholm. The graffiti was sprayed on Fruängens library and included a swastika and the German phrase “Juden raus”, meaning “Jews out”.

Photo: Stockholm Direkt

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Prominent supporter of antisemitic writers speaks at Göteborg Book Fair

The Hungarian Free Press reports that Géza Szőcs, a Romanian poet appointed Hungary’s Secretary of State for Culture in 2010, has spoken at Göteborg Book Fair. The HFP article said that a small protest was held at the book fair over Szőcs’s past promotion of antisemitic writers and a fellow panellist voiced her dismay at having to share a platform with Szőcs.

As Hungarian Secretary of State for Culture, HFP said that Szőcs made antisemitic writers part of the required public school curriculum. He reportedly visited and praised Albert Wass, a convicted Nazi war criminal whose writings included a short story in which Jews were portrayed as a plague of rats invading the home of a good farmer.

Szőcs also apparently participated in attempts to rebury Hungarian fascist ideologue József Nyirő who called for Hungary to be “cleansed of Jewish and cosmopolitan influences.” The attendance of top Hungarian politicians at a ceremony for Nyirő prompted Elie Wiesel to return an award he had been given by the Hungarian government.