As major Swedish cities such as Malmö have become known as places where Jews are threatened, anti-Semitism in Sweden has attracted international attention. Does Sweden, however, really deserve this bad reputation or is there some misunderstanding?
In December 2017, when US President Donald J. Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, demonstrations broke out in Malmö. Protesters, often people with an Arab background, shouted, “We want our freedom back and we’re going to shoot the Jews”, and a chapel at the Jewish cemetery was attacked with firebombs. In Gothenburg, the city’s synagogue was also attacked with firebombs.
The local newspaper in Malmö, Kvällsposten, described how the Jewish congregation in Malmö — not Israelis; Swedish Jews — tries to protect itself:
“At the synagogue in Malmö, the Jewish congregation has set up poles to prevent attacks with vehicles. In addition, the building is protected by a high fence around the building. The area has been guarded for a long time by the police. As soon as the congregation holds a service, the premises are guarded by the police.”