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Sweden hosts global forum to fight antisemitism

Israeli President Isaac Herzog speaks via video link during the Malmo International Forum on Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism - Remember ReAct, in Malmo, Sweden, on October 13, 2021. (Jonas EKSTROMER / TT News Agency / AFP)
Israeli President Isaac Herzog speaks via video link during the Malmo International Forum on Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism - Remember ReAct, in Malmo, Sweden, on October 13, 2021. (Jonas EKSTROMER / TT News Agency / AFP)

Delegates from dozens of countries, religious groups and big tech gather in Sweden for a conference to battle antisemitism, which is on the rise in the Scandinavian country that harbored Jews during the war.

It brings together more than 400 people, including the head of the European Council Charles Michel and representatives from 40 countries, the United Nations, Jewish organizations and social media giants TikTok, Google and Facebook.

The meeting is being held under high security in the southern city of Malmo, where a strong police presence is seen.

“Remembering is not enough. As the last survivors of the Shoah (Holocaust) leave us, antisemitism lives on,” Michel tells the International Forum on Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Anti-Semitism.

“That is why we must do more than just remember. We must act. We must react now.”

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, who is leaving office next month, has made the fight against antisemitism one of his last big battles.

He has vowed better protection for Sweden’s 15,000-20,000 Jews.

Reports of anti-Semitic crimes in the Scandinavian country rose by more than 50 percent from 2016 to 2018 from 182 to 278, according to the latest statistics available from the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention.

They account for six percent of reported hate crimes, it adds.

Experts attribute the rise in reported anti-Jewish crimes in large part to the growth of social media, and say the perpetrators are varied and found among both immigrants and “ethnic Swedes.”

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