Swedish Government Gives $300,000 for Jewish Community Security as Anti-Semitism Rises
The Swedish government has approved a two million krona (£200,000/$300,000) donation for increased security for Jewish congregations.
Despite being recently ranked as the least anti-Semitic country in Europe by the Anti-Defamation League, the country has seen a rise in anti-Jewish attacks and threats in the wake of Israeli action in Gaza.
Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag said: "Open anti-Semitism is worse than it has ever been. Swedes who are part of the Jewish minority are suddenly being held responsible for the state of Israel's actions.
"It's abominable that this hate towards Jews is so common, and it is our duty to fight the poison of anti-Semitism."
Lena Posner-Korosi, president of the Jewish Central Council of Sweden, who received the donation said that they were "tremendously grateful" for the donation.
She told the Local: "That the government has given us this money is a confirmation that they take our situation seriously and care about our safety."
Recent incidents of anti-Semitism include Jewish children facing Nazi graffiti at school and a man being severely beaten after hanging an Israeli flag in his window.
"That we, as Swedes, can still be so exposed... We don't deserve that. So it's worth a lot that the Swedish government gives us this support," Posner-Korosi added.
She pledged that the money will be used to provide increased security for synagogues across the country.
"The money will be used for perimeter protection. It will be used for reinforcing doors, windows, locks, adding cameras... making it more difficult to get in."
This weekend, the organisers of a demonstration against Anti-Semitism in Gothenburg were forced to cancel amid concerns of violence. JTA writes that the organisers said on Facebook: "At the last minute we learned that many Jews are afraid to come, and that there were rumors that people will come and try to destroy the demonstration and crash it to spread political messages."
On Thursday, Swedish hip-hop artist Jacques Mattar wrote that Zionists created the ISIS terror group. Posting a photo of dead bodies on Instagram, he said: "The media aren’t there. Why? The same people who created ISIS control the media: Senior Zionists."