Malmo Sees Tripling of Anti-Semitic Incidents

Troubled Swedish City a Hotbed of 'New' Hatred

DRAGO PRVULOVIC

By JTA

Published August 01, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Sweden’s third-largest city, Malmo, has seen a near tripling of reports of anti-Semitic attacks, according to official figures.

According to the Sydsvenskan local daily, Swedish police recorded 60 hate crimes against Jews in 2012, up from an average of 22 in 2010 and 2011, and during the first six months of 2013, police reported 35 such attacks in Malmo, putting the city on a pace to break last year’s record.

But the increase may reflect greater willingness to report on the part of victims, according to Fred Kahn, chairman of the board of the Malmo Jewish community, which numbers a few hundred people.

“There was some increase in hate crimes, and to combat it the Jewish community is reporting more,” he told JTA Thursday. “I think we are reporting a lot more and we are also feeling more confident.”

About 30 percent of Malmo’s 300,000 residents belong to families of immigrants from Muslim countries, according to city statistics. Radical members of that population are responsible for most attacks against Jews, the Jewish community has said.

Malmo’s former mayor, Ilmar Reepalu, who left his post in February after 28 years in office, has blamed the rise in anti-Semitism on Jews and has advised them to distance themselves from Israel to remain safe, among other comments that he made in recent years that were widely interpreted as being anti-Semitic.

Since he left, “authorities are more alert to the needs of the Jewish community,” Kahn said.

Last year, Hannah Rosenthal, the Obama administration’s former special envoy for combating anti-Semitism, said Reepalu’s words were a prime example of “new anti-Semitism,” where anti-Israel sentiment serves as a thin guise for hatred of Jews.

In neighboring Finland, the Simon Wiesenthal Center asked President Sauli Vainamo Niinisto to intervene to stop the publication of anti-Semitic texts and cartoons in Magneettimedia, a freely-distributed paper published by Juha Karkkainen, owner of a large chain of department stores.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Kosovo's centuries-old Jewish community is down to a few dozen. In a nation where the population is 90% Muslim, they are proud their past — and wonder why Israel won't recognize their state. http://jd.fo/h4wK0
  • Israelis are taking up the #IceBucketChallenge — with hummus.
  • In WWI, Jews fought for Britain. So why were they treated as outsiders?
  • According to a new poll, 75% of Israeli Jews oppose intermarriage.
  • Will Lubavitcher Rabbi Moshe Wiener be the next Met Council CEO?
  • Angelina Jolie changed everything — but not just for the better:
  • Prime Suspect? Prime Minister.
  • Move over Dr. Ruth — there’s a (not-so) new sassy Jewish sex-therapist in town. Her name is Shirley Zussman — and just turned 100 years old.
  • From kosher wine to Ecstasy, presenting some of our best bootlegs:
  • Sara Kramer is not the first New Yorker to feel the alluring pull of the West Coast — but she might be the first heading there with Turkish Urfa pepper and za’atar in her suitcase.
  • About 1 in 40 American Jews will get pancreatic cancer (Ruth Bader Ginsberg is one of the few survivors).
  • At which grade level should classroom discussions include topics like the death of civilians kidnapping of young Israelis and sirens warning of incoming rockets?
  • Wanted: Met Council CEO.
  • “Look, on the one hand, I understand him,” says Rivka Ben-Pazi, a niece of Elchanan Hameiri, the boy that Henk Zanoli saved. “He had a family tragedy.” But on the other hand, she said, “I think he was wrong.” What do you think?
  • How about a side of Hitler with your spaghetti?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.