Anti-Semitic hate crimes in Sweden rise by 53% to all-time high
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Anti-Semitic hate crimes in Sweden rise by 53% to all-time high

Swedish Jews suffered 280 attacks in 2018; overall, number of racist assaults in country jumps 69% since 2016

Police arrive after a synagogue was attacked in Gothenburg, Sweden, December 9, 2017. (Adam Ihse/AFP/Getty Images/via JTA)
Police arrive after a synagogue was attacked in Gothenburg, Sweden, December 9, 2017. (Adam Ihse/AFP/Getty Images/via JTA)

JTA — The number of anti-Semitic hate crimes recorded in Sweden rose to a record high last year, jumping 53 percent over the 2016 figures, government statistics show.

The 2018 report, which the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention published Thursday, listed 280 anti-Semitic hate crimes that year compared to 182 in 2016. The latest numbers are the highest on record since at least 2006, when the Council began collecting aggregated data.

Overall, the number of hate crimes with a racist or xenophobic motive rose by 69% over 2016 in Sweden to 4,865 cases last year, the report stated.

The council decided not to publish hate crime figures for 2017 without explaining the decision. In one attack from 2017, the Jewish assembly synagogue in Gothenburg was firebombed by approximately 10 men protesting Israel’s policies.

Anti-Semitic attacks accounted for 4% of all hate crimes in 2018. The Jewish population of 20,000 comprises approximately 0.2 percent of Sweden’s population.

Anti-Muslim hate crimes accounted for 8 percent of the hate crimes recorded in 2018, a proportion slightly lower than that minority’s estimated share of the population in Sweden.

The report did not specify the identity of perpetrators of hate crimes against Jews, but it did say the data include “cases both when the offender belongs to the majority population and when the offender belongs to another minority group.”

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