Sweden Announces October 2020 World Leaders Conference to Combat Antisemitism
Sweden will host a conference of international leaders to combat antisemitism in October 2020, the country’s prime minister announced on Friday.
Speaking at a press conference in the southern city of Malmo, Prime Minister Stefan Lofven declared that “wherever antisemitism exists, it should be combated.”
Next year’s heads of state conference — scheduled for Oct. 27-28 — will coincide with two significant dates: the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Europe from Nazi rule and the 20th anniversary of the Stockholm Declaration, the founding document of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), which assists with the commemoration and study of the Holocaust around the world.
Lofven was joined on Friday by Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh, the chair of Malmo’s municipal council, who said that the city “wants to play an important role in the fight against antisemitism.”
While the conference will likely highlight that Malmo’s status as a refuge for Danish Jews fleeing Nazi occupation, as well as a home for thousands of concentration camp survivors after the war, the city has in recent years become a symbol of the antisemitism that has plagued the 20,000-strong Jewish community in Sweden. Emanating mainly from elements of the city’s large Muslim population, the climate of fear in Malmo has resulted in the shrinking of its Jewish community by 50 percent.
Lofven’s presence in Malmo on Friday was the result of a controversy over antisemitism in the ranks of the ruling Social Democratic Party’s youth movement.
Members of the SSU youth league in Malmo were recorded chanting the slogan, “Long live Palestine, crush Zionism!” at an international workers day rally on May 1.
On Thursday, Lofven’s press spokesperson affirmed that there “should never be any doubt that the Social Democrats stand up against antisemitism.”