Europe

Protesters in Sweden Firebomb Synagogue, Chant “Shoot the Jews”

Sweden has been rocked by a series of anti-Semitic attacks, following the announcement by United States President Donald Trump that America would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and initiate a process to move the embassy there.

Palestinian flags were waved and anti-Semitic slogans heard, when around 200 angry protesters took to the streets in Malmö on Friday. According to a report by Sveriges Radio, they were chanting: “We want our freedom back and we’re going to shoot the Jews,” among other hateful slogans.

Freddy Gelberg, a spokesperson for Malmö’s Jewish community, confirmed that people were concerned for their safety. “We are careful. You don’t want to display the Star of David around your neck or other Jewish symbols. An Orthodox Jew does not find life easy in Malmö, he is subjected (to discrimination),” Gellberg said.

Protests spiraled out of control on Saturday, when during the second anti-Jewish attack in the Nordic country in two days, 21 masked men threw Molotov cocktails at a synagogue in Gothenburg. Teens from the local Jewish community, who were attending a party inside, had to hide in the basement until security arrived. Three suspects have been arrested in relation to the attack and are said to be asylum seekers, who came to Sweden this year, two from Syria and one from the Palestinian Authority.

On Monday, Sweden hit the headline again. Two burning objects were thrown at a chapel located at a Jewish cemetery in Malmo. No serious damage was done to the building and no one was injured, but the Jewish assembly in the city said in a statement that it sees the incident as “extremely serious.” They stated, “We strongly emphasize that we can never accept being subjected to threats and attacks.”

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven and other leading politicians condemned the incidents and authorities increased security around synagogues and at Jewish institutions around the country. But the Swedish leadership, including the country’s notoriously anti-Israel foreign minister Margot Wallström, soon came under attack, when instead of focusing on anti-Semitic violence in their own country, Swedish diplomats were pushing in New York for an emergency Security Council meeting over President Trump’s Jerusalem recognition.

“The attack against the Synagogue in Gothenburg and calls for violence against Jews in Malmö are deplorable and totally unacceptable. Anti-Semitism, threats and violence have no place in our society,” Wallström said on social media. Wallström, however, came under criticism  for criticizing President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel as overt i-Semitism was growing stronger in her country.

Wallström also was part of a controversial delegation early this year, when Sweden’s “feminist government” visited Iran and, covered from head to toe, bowed in front of the ayatollahs – the leaders of a regime, which spreads virulent anti-Semitism around the world.

In April 2016 at a meeting in Paris, UNESCO passed a resolution accusing Israel of “violations” of Palestinian properties around the Temple Mount, including two Muslim cemeteries where the organization alleged “Jewish fake graves” were being “planted”. Sweden and Slovenia were the only European countries voting in favor of the resolution.

[Photo: Francois Polito / WikiCommons]