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October 10, 2018 3:08 pm

Jewish Group Denounces Antisemitic Arson Attack in Sweden

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Police respond to a firebomb attack at a synagogue in Gothenburg, Sweden, December 2017. Photo: TT News Agency / Adam Ihse / via Reuters.

The World Jewish Congress (WJC) on Wednesday condemned an antisemitic arson attack in the southern Swedish city of Lund the previous night in which the home of a Jewish politician was destroyed.

“The World Jewish Congress, and our president Ronald S. Lauder, stand with our affiliated community in Sweden in denouncing this antisemitic attack in the strongest possible terms,” World Jewish Congress CEO and Executive Vice President Robert Singer wrote in a letter to Southern District Police Chief Carina Persson.

Singer urged Swedish authorities to “treat this violent incident with the severity it deserves, and hope that the perpetrator will be swiftly located and brought to justice.”

“Sweden has seen a frightening resurgence in antisemitism recently, among both Islamists and neo-Nazi elements who feel empowered and emboldened to target innocent people with violent rhetoric and actions,” Singer noted. “We have witnessed this scourge rear its head numerous times across the country over the last year — including incidents that led to the closure of the community center in Umea — as well as several unfortunate incidents in Malmo in recent months. It is inconceivable that the Jews of Sweden should have to live in fear or hide their identity because of threats of physical or verbal attack.”

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“Hate crimes of any sort are completely unacceptable and undermine the critical values of democracy and tolerance upon which Swedish society is built,” Singer continued. “It is incumbent upon the Swedish authorities to make this crystal clear and to do everything in their power to prevent such attacks from happening again, and to ensure the security and well-being of every citizen.”

“Antisemitism is not just a Jewish issue,” he concluded. “The antisemitism of today will inevitably spiral to target other vulnerable minorities and have a damaging impact on all of society.”

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