Neo-Nazis plan to march near Swedish synagogue on Yom Kippur

Swedish Jews face antisemitism both from the nationalist far right as well as the far left, whose strong criticism of Israel sometimes veers into antisemitism.

By JOSEFIN DOLSTEN/JTA
September 13, 2017 13:24
2 minute read.
The neo-nazi Nordic Resistance Movement sympathisers demonstrate in Stockholm, Sweden

The neo-nazi Nordic Resistance Movement (Nordiska motstandsrorelsens) sympathisers demonstrate in central Stockholm. (photo credit: JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Jews in the Swedish city of Gothenburg were bracing for a neo-Nazi march scheduled to pass near the city’s main synagogue on Yom Kippur.

Community leaders said they will appeal a police decision last week that would allow the Nordic Resistance Movement to march during the Gothenburg Book Fair, when some 100,000 people will gather in the city for the largest literary festival in Scandinavia.

The police had denied the far-right group’s initial request to march on the main streets of Gothenburg, which is the second largest city in Sweden and located on the country’s west coast. The alternate route offered by police would take the marchers only about 200 yards from the Gothenburg Synagogue on Judaism’s holiest day, which this year falls on Sept. 30.

Members of the Jewish community, which typically is under tight security, are worried about harassment and physical threats from the marchers, said Allan Stutzinsky, chairman of the Gothenburg Jewish community. People affiliated with the Nordic Resistance Movement were responsible for antisemitic threats that led to the shuttering in April of the Jewish community center in Umea, a city in northeastern Sweden, according to Stutzinsky. A community center is part of the synagogue complex in Gothenburg.

”The threat against us is always large, and it becomes even larger when they are marching,” Stutzinsky told JTA, adding that left-wing counter protesters may also be a threat to Jews.

Swedish Jews face antisemitism both from the nationalist far right as well as the far left, whose strong criticism of Israel sometimes veers into antisemitism.

Stutzinsky noted that Holocaust survivors and their descendants are members of the Gothenburg Jewish community.

“Almost all of our members have some sort of connection to the Holocaust,” he said. “It is obvious that it is upsetting for them to see, and maybe hear, Nazis protest close to the synagogue, when everyone is there at the Yom Kippur service.”

The community is not opposed to the group’s right to march, he said, but to the event’s location and timing.

Gothenburg’s police chief, Erik Nord, said that everyone who wanted to march had the right to do so, but that anyone who engaged in incitement would be detained, according to SVT, Sweden’s national TV broadcaster.

The Anti-Defamation League urged Sweden to “ensure that the route of the neo-Nazi march is far from the synagogue.”

“As ardent defenders of freedom of speech — even hateful speech — we would not ask for the neo-Nazi march to be banned. We do implore you, however, to ensure that the Jewish community of Gothenburg ‘feels safe and secure, and is free to flourish,'” ADL’s national director, Jonathan Greenblatt, wrote to Prime Minister Stefan Lofven in a letter posted online by Stockholm’s Jewish community.

Meanwhile, Stutzinsky said the planned march did not represent an isolated incident.

“One would have thought that World War II was an effective vaccination against anti-Semitism. But it didn’t last that long, now it’s back again,” he said.

“We have antisemitism here again like in the 1930s. We thought Europe had learned its lesson, but that’s apparently not the case.”

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, gives a speech
July 21, 2019
Jewish leaders to Labour: Our community, our country will not forgive further failure

By ILANIT CHERNICK

Cookie Settings