The neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement targeted Jews in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Iceland with antisemitic campaigns throughout the week leading up to Yom Kippur - the holiest day in the Hebrew calendar.
Websites belonging to the neo-Nazi movement reported actions taken by the group in almost 20 different cities. Pictures allegedly showing the actions taken by the group show members confronting Jewish worshipers and standing in front of synagogues, antisemitic posters placed in public areas and flyer distributions in public areas.
The movement wrote that it was choosing on Yom Kippur to "make the Nordic people aware of foreign customs and Zionist ruling plans throughout the Nordic region," with posters displayed in multiple countries attacking kosher slaughter, circumcision and the custom of kaparot.
The group also claimed that Jews obtain "proactive forgiveness for all the lies and injustices that they will commit until the next Yom Kippur," an antisemitic trope which has existed since the Middle Ages.
The Supreme Court of Finland issued a cease-and-desist order to the Nordic Resistance Movement last week, marking the first such order issued since the 1970s, according to the Helsinki Times.
The court determined that the objectives of the organization were in violation of the foundations of a democratic society.
“Writings published on the organization’s webpage have targeted various population groups in a way that has to be considered ethnic agitation and therefore criminal. In addition, the use of violence linked to the organization’s activities has to be considered a part of the organization’s operations,” said the court, according to the Helsinki Times.
“Some of the activities were directly in violation of the criminal code. The operating methods that were considered unlawful represented a substantial part of the organization’s operations, and [the organization] only engaged in a limited amount of other types of activities,” added the court.
World Jewish Congress (WJC) President Ronald S. Lauder condemned the coordinated campaign against Jews in the affected countries saying, "This Yom Kippur marks the second year in a row that antisemitism has reared its ugly head in Europe. Last year, we saw a murderous antisemitic attack targeting the synagogue in Halle, Germany, and this year, the modern-day successors of the Nazis of the 1930s and 1940s, known as the Nordic Resistance Movement, have mounted a vile and vicious campaign of hate against Jews in Northern Europe."
"The Nordic Resistance Movement represents a violent, racist, antisemitic ideology, and should be outlawed. Perpetrators of this type of incitement against Jews, horrifically disseminated on the most solemn day of the Jewish year, must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law," added Lauder.
The WJC president called on all Nordic governments to "follow Finland's example" and ban the movement.
"It is the responsibility of governments and law enforcement to ensure that Jewish religious and community institutions have suitable police protection, to enable Jews to practice freely, without intimidation or fear. National parliaments must ensure that there is a suitable legal framework to address all expressions of hate and intolerance. Until the respective governments take these forceful steps, we cannot truly say that we are fighting the scourge of antisemitism,” stressed Lauder.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center's Director for International Relations Dr. Shimon Samuels contacted the prime ministers of Sweden, Denmark and Norway after the antisemitic campaigns were reported.
“We demand an immediate investigation and condemnation of the perpetrators. Indeed NMR, a pan-Nordic neo-Nazi movement – based in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Iceland – must be banned (as has been the case in Finland),” said Samuels in a letter to Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen.
“When NMR Hitler-style youth tried to destroy our Centre’s exhibition ‘People, Book, Land: the 3,500 Year Relationship of the Jewish People with the Holy Land’ at the Almedalen Festival in Visby... they were driven back by members of the Swedish Christian Friends of Israel Association."
“We were shocked to learn that an Oslo police magistrate, reportedly, had the temerity to call 'freedom of expression' the posters accusing the Jews of 'cruelty against animals, abuse of women and pedophilia'... This is a direct threat to the Jewish communities of, so far, three Nordic countries... Clearly Oslo police require an education on controlling hate," stated a letter Samuels sent to Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg.