Malmo’s Jewish community warns it could disappear by 2029 over security fears
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Malmo’s Jewish community warns it could disappear by 2029 over security fears

Officials say Swedish authorities reluctant to fund security needs in wake of continuing anti-Semitic attacks

Illustrative: In this March 3, 2010 photo, a man sits behind a glassed-in reception area of the high security Jewish community center located in central Malmo, Sweden. (AP Photo/Pamela Juhl)
Illustrative: In this March 3, 2010 photo, a man sits behind a glassed-in reception area of the high security Jewish community center located in central Malmo, Sweden. (AP Photo/Pamela Juhl)

JTA — The Jewish Community of Malmo, Sweden, may need to dissolve itself by 2029 unless its current circumstances change.

Community spokesman Fredrik Sieradski confirmed to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency on Tuesday that the shutdown was a “possible scenario” following a report Friday in Expressen in which a local politician said the Jewish community had said it may “die out” in the coming decade, partly because of alleged indifference by authorities to the community’s security needs.

The debate was about a donation of more than $4 million by two philanthropists to cover security costs. The donation followed the objection of the city government’s ruling coalition, comprising the local chapter of Prime Minister Stefan Lofven’s Swedish Social Democratic Party and the Liberals, to allocate the funds from the municipal budget, Expressen reported.

Malmo’s Jewish community has declined amid frequent threats and attacks, mostly by Muslims, from 1,200 several years ago to an estimated 800 or fewer members today.

Malmo has about 300,000 residents in total, of whom more than a third were either born in Muslim countries or to immigrants from such countries, according to the municipality’s own data.

Illustrative: An anti-Semitic demonstration in Malmo, Sweden, on December 8, 2017. (Screen capture: MEMRI)

Last year, the Jewish Community of Umea in northern Sweden dissolved itself primarily over threats by neo-Nazis, but also in connection with harassment by radical Muslims, its former leader, Carinne Sjoberg, has said. It was the first time in decades that any European Jewish community dissolved itself over security concerns.

Malmo may need to follow suit unless “more is done to create change,” Sieradski said.

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