Attack on Swedish Jews triggers solidarity rallies

Attack on Swedish Jews triggers solidarity rallies

Following explosions at community center in Malmo, supporters gather in that city and Stockholm

JTA — Some 70 demonstrators reportedly gathered in Malmo, Sweden, outside the local Jewish community center last week, to show solidarity with the Jewish community following an attack on its offices.

Hundreds are expected to attend a similar event Oct. 7 in Stockholm.

According to the daily Varlden Idag, the Malmo gathering Sept. 27 took place hours after two small charges exploded outside the building and bricks were hurled at its entrance. The building sustained some damage, but no one was injured in the attack.

Malmo’s police arrested two 18-year-old men shortly after the incident, but released them hours later. They are still considered suspects in the case, as their car was seen driving away from the scene of the explosion shortly after it happened, according to the paper.

Both denied any involvement in the explosion, said Anders Lindell, a Malmo police officer and spokesman.

At least two hundred people are expected to gather Oct. 7 at Stockholm’s Raoul Wallenberg Square for a rally meant to show solidarity with Malmo’s Jews.

“This attack will only make us speak up more clearly about our right to be Jewish and appear Jewish in Sweden,” said Annika Hernroth-Rothstein, a Jewish activist. She is co-organizing the solidarity rally with the Swedish Committee Against Anti-Semitism and the Council of Swedish Jewish Communities.

Last month, Hernroth-Rothstein used Facebook to organize a show of solidarity with Israel in the Swedish capital that was attended by approximately 1,200 people.

Mona Sahlin, leader of the Swedish opposition, has said she would address the crowd at the solidarity gathering, along with several other Swedish politicians.

Members of Malmo’s Jewish community began holding marches in Malmo last year in protest of frequent harassment. Community members speak of dozens of incidents every year, mostly from members of the city’s large Muslim and Middle Eastern population.

Last month, dozens of Jews from Denmark arrived in Malmo to show their solidarity with the city’s Jews, who number approximately 1,000.

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