Some 600 Jews and pro-Israel activists gathered in the Swedish capital of Stockholm on Sunday to march for the Jewish state and support the battle against anti-Semitism.
The march, an annual event now in its fourth year, was held in the in Raoul Wallenberg Square in Stockholm, named in honor of the Swedish businessman who is credited with saving tens of thousands of Jews from Nazi-occupied Hungary during the Holocaust.
Among the participants in the event were leaders of the Jewish community and members the Swedish parliament, the Hebrew-language NRG news site reported.
A group of about a dozen pro-Palestinian protesters, sporting kefiya headscarves, held a counter-demonstration and called for a boycott of Israel. According to some reports, they also threw stones at the Israeli rally but police kept them apart from the main event.
Sweden is a liberal and tolerant country, but outbreaks of anti-Semitism and hatred of Israel there and in other…
Tzvi Avishar, director of the Over The Rainbow, the Zionist movement that organized the march, said, “the purpose of the event is to salute Israel and the battle against anti-Semitisim.”
“This is a huge success and twice as many people came as a year ago,” he noted.
According to the movement’s Facebook page, the event was a response to rising anti-Semitism in Scandinavia.
“The right of Jews to be safe in public spaces in Scandinavian countries is a basic right, which has been trampled in recent years,” the group wrote.
“Sweden is a liberal and tolerant country, but outbreaks of anti-Semitism and hatred of Israel there and in other Scandinavian countries in recent years have been extremely serious,” it said. “Many hate crimes against Jews in the country are not classified as anti-Semitism by the authorities, and, in practice, almost without noticing, in the Sweden of 2015, most Jews are afraid to be identified as Jews, and most avoid wearing a yarmulke when walking on main streets.”