Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

Sweden Has Failed Its Jews, Ambassador Says

(JTA) — Swedish authorities have failed to protect the country’s Jewish community, the Scandinavian country’s ambassador to Israel said following anti-Semitic incidents in Malmo and Gothenburg.

Magnus Hellgren said this in an interview for the Israeli daily Makor Rishon following the attempted torching of the Gothenburg synagogue and cries about killing Jews in Malmo. Both events happened amid protests over President Donald Trump’s Dec. 6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Commenting on the fear of some Swedish Jews to be seen wearing a kippah on the street due to security concerns, Hellgren told Makor Rishon: “This is the reality of the Jewish community and it’s a failure, it’s not something that should be allowed to happen.” He also said: “If a single Jew feels this way, we have failed.”

Police officers who heard the cries to shoot Jews during the Malmo rally would have intervened, but the cries were in Arabic and the “officers simply didn’t understand,” Hellgren said.

He also said the Swedish state has not given local Jewish communities the resources they asked for to provide security, and said this problem is being addressed.

Critics of Sweden’s policy toward Israel have charged that it was legitimizing attacks on Jews, including in Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom’s claim in 2015 that Israel’s actions are behind terrorist attacks  by Jihadists in France.

“To counteract the radicalization, we must go back to the situation such as the one in the Middle East of which not the least the Palestinians see that there is no future: We must either accept a desperate situation or resort to violence,” said Wallstrom during a television interview about Islamist’s murder of more than 100 people at a Paris nightclub on Friday night. Sweden is the only European country that recognizes what is calls the State of Palestine.

Hellgren said Sweden does not have an anti-Israel foreign policy.

Engage

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.