Sweden: Left, Muslims bigger threat to Jews

Sweden: Left, Muslims bigger threat to Jews

The extreme-right is too busy with Muslims.


A central source in the Stockholm branch of the Jewish Security in Sweden organization (JSS) says that it's difficult to estimate how many antisemitic crimes go unreported, but it's at least double. The reported hate crimes against Jews increased by 400% during the Gaza war.

The JSS guards Jewish cemeteries, synagogues and Jewish events. In Stockholm, 25% of the Jewish community's membership taxes go towards security. A JSS source says the synagogue in Helsingborg and the funeral chapel in Malmö were subjected to arson attacks, cemeteries were desecrated, and besides that there's graffiti and vandalism, but also violence and threats.

According to the police, 10% of antisemitic crimes include violence. JSS claims that there's a hate crime a day against Jews in Sweden. The source say they work closely with the police and coordinate their work.

Lena Posner-Körösi, head of the Jewish Central Council, says the threats come from more and newer players.

"I've gotten hate mail from autonomous groups from both Right and Left, even the Christian extreme Right, I also see the threat from the Muslim extremist groups increased."

A source at JSS says that ten years ago the extreme Right was the greatest threat, but now the extreme-Left and radical Muslims groups pose a bigger threat to Jews.

The threats to the Jewish community are changing, a problem which is made worse since threats from different groups are handled by different institutions.

The autonomous Islamic groups are dealt with by the Security police's contra-terrorism group, a different department than for Right and Left extremist groups. Ahn-za Hagström, an analyst focusing on White-Power groups, says that hate crimes and antisemitic crimes are more often spontaneous acts by individuals, rather than organized. She says that today White Power groups focus more on Muslims, leftist extremists and internal ideological battles than Jews.

She says the crimes against Jews from White Power groups are wearing a swastika or other symbols and shouting Sieg Heil.

In September the US State Department said there were 600 cases of hate crimes in Sweden, 26% of them antisemitic, and 45% Islamophobic.

Danish Chief Rabbi Bent Lexner says that some Jews will recognize the increase of hate crimes in Sweden, but he thinks there's only a few at present.

"But it's always difficult to determine. Some Jews have a view that everything which has to do with violence and threats, comes from the radical Muslim circles, and that also happens to fit their political context. But it can well be that it's not the whole truth," he says.

Sources: Broderskap (Swedish), Kristeligt Dagblad (Danish)

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