The Jewish congregation of the southern Swedish city of Malmö has warned that rising antisemitism is turning the city into a no-go zone for Jews.
The congregation sent a letter to the city, warning that the numbers of Jews have decreased dramatically from 842 members in 1999 to 387 members in 2019 and runs the risk of disappearing entirely in the future, Nyheter Idag reports.
“The Jewish congregation will soon disappear if nothing is done drastically. Malmö is already a no-go zone for Jews around the world. When Malmö is mentioned in the media around the world, it is far too often related to antisemitism. A Google search for ‘antisemitism Malmö’ gives 215,000 hits. Unfortunately, current initiatives are not enough,” the congregation said.
WATCH: Hundreds Chant ‘We Want Our Freedom Back and We’re Going to Shoot the Jews’ at Rally in Malmo, Sweden https://t.co/0avA1a6yRZ
— Jack Montgomery (@JackBMontgomery) December 10, 2017
Svante Lundgren, an associate professor in Judaism at CTR, the centre of theology and religion at Lund University, admitted in December of 2017 that migration from countries in the Middle East with a history of antisemitism fuelled the rise of incidents in the city.
“Of course it is so that most people with this background are not antisemitic but there is a group that is, and then they have brought their hatred away from home. In Malmö, we have a large part of the population who are from abroad, and in many places, there are social problems,” Lundgren said.
The comments came after an incident in the city following U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcement to move his country’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem in which pro-Palestine protestors shouted: “We have announced the intifada from Malmö. We want our freedom back, and we will shoot the Jews.”
“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],” Freddy Gellberg of the Malmö Jewish congregation said at the time.
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Earlier this year, there were several other antisemitic incidents in Sweden including the stabbing of a Jewish woman in Helsingborg, reportedly by a Muslim man, and a case at a school in Gothenburg where a student was told to refrain from giving a pro-Israel speech in order not to offend other students.