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Sweden funds massive boost in Jewish security

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Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag speaking about anti-Semitism. Photo: Drago Prvulovic/TT
12:38 CEST+02:00
In the face of rising religious tensions and increasing anti-Semitism, the Swedish government has approved a donation of two million kronor for increasing security for Jewish congregations.

"Of course we're tremendously grateful for the donation," Lena Posner-Korosi, president of the Official Council of Swedish-Jewish Communities (Judiska Centralrådet i Sverige, JC) 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."

Despite being ranked the least anti-Semitic country in Europe, Sweden has seen a dramatic increase in the number of threats against Jews in the country.

Last week a passerby threw a bottle at a rabbi. Jewish kids have had to face Nazi graffiti at school. And a man was severely beaten last month after hanging an Israeli flag in his window. In short, Sweden as of late has not gotten safer for Jews

"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 said.

In light of these recent developments, the Swedish government has decided to give two million kronor ($289,166) to the JC.

"Open anti-Semitism is worse than it has ever been," Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag explained in a government statement.

"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."

The donation will be distributed to various Jewish congregations for the purpose of increasing security.

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"The money will be used for perimeter protection," Posner-Korosi explained. "It will be used for reinforcing doors, windows, locks, adding cameras... making it more difficult to get in."

Posner-Korosi said that the first step will be to complete an inventory of Jewish congregations to determine where the money is needed the most.

Solveig Rundquist
Follow Solveig on Twitter.

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