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Hundreds attend anti-Semitism demo

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Hundreds attend anti-Semitism demo
14:28 CEST+02:00
An estimated 300 people gathered at Stockholm's Raoul Wallenberg Square on Sunday to show solidarity with the Jews of Malmö, where a Jewish community building was attacked recently.

The protest was organized by the Jewish Community in Stockholm and the Swedish Committee Against Anti-Semitism (Svenska Kommittén Mot Antisemitism).

Swedish Minister of Integration, Erik Ullenhag, was one of the speakers. When it comes to anti-Semitism, he said "the biggest danger of all is if good people stay silent".

Ullenhag pledged that the government will focus on tackling hate crimes.

Last month's incident in Malmö, in which a Jewish community building was attacked with explosives and bricks, followed a string of anti-Semitic hate crimes, including vandalism and verbal abuse.

According to accounts in local press, anti-Semitism has become part of everyday life for Malmö's Jews. In response, the community has increased security around its buildings.

Lena Posner-Körösi, President of the Council of Jewish Communities in Sweden (Judiska centralrådet), admonished Swedish authorities for playing down the threats facing Jews in Malmö.

In her speech at Sunday's demonstration she challenged Swedish politicians and opinion makers to stand up against anti-Semitism.

"Prove that the forces for good in Sweden are in a majority and that Sweden will no longer stay silent when it comes to anti-Semitism in our country, regardless of where it lies," said Posner-Körösi.

Fredrik Federley, a Centre Party MP, called anti-Semitism "more hateful and evil than other forms of hate".

He spoke of Jewish friends in Gothenburg who avoid openly wearing Jewish symbols

"My 10-month-old daughter should not have to grow up in a Sweden where people have to be scared to show who they are," said Federley.

Willy Silberstein, president of the Swedish Committee Against Anti-Semitism, said that there are plenty of people who oppose hatred against Jews.

"I am convinced that a fight against hatred of Jews is also a fight against those who despise other groups, whether Muslims, homosexuals or Romas," said Silberstein.

Last month, Silberstein was one of 400 people who took part in a "kippah march" in Malmö, where participants openly wore kippahs and other Jewish symbols.

Another kippah march - organized by Sofia Nerbrand, a Malmö resident and president of a liberal think tank - is planned for October 20th.

The Local/nr

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