Jews in Sweden account for less than 0.2% of the population, but issues concerning them vary between negative and highly negative. The naive observer may think that Sweden is a liberal democracy, as perfect as one can get. But if one starts to list major events concerning Jews, one gets a very different picture. In this century, only one Jewish community in Western Europe has decided to dissolve itself because of ongoing neo-Nazi threats: the one in the town of Umea, which is located in northeastern Sweden.
Other major antisemitic threats come from parts of the Muslim community. In 2017, a movie was shown on Bavarian television about the visit to Malmö, Sweden’s third largest city, by the German Jewish author Henryk Broder and the Egyptian writer Hamad Abdel Samad. They met several local Jews, including the town’s American rabbi. He told them that the shrinking community had inserted bulletproof windows at the synagogue — but even this didn’t help. A bomb went off in front of the synagogue and another was thrown into the chapel of the Jewish cemetery, which was totally destroyed. He believed both attacks were perpetrated by Muslims. The rabbi has also been harassed while walking on the street. Objects thrown at him include an apple, a lighter, a glass, and a bottle.
In December 2017, three Muslim perpetrators threw a Molotov cocktail at a synagogue in Sweden’s second largest city, Gothenburg. A Swedish appeals court overturned a criminal tribunal ruling that had decided that one of the perpetrators, a Gaza-born Palestinian, would be deported at the end of his two-year prison term. The court said that he should not be deported, because the antisemitic nature of this attack could put him in danger from Israel. The court apparently preferred the imagined interests of the perpetrator over those of his victims. It seemed to matter less to the judges that if he stayed in Sweden, he might commit other crimes.