Philanthropists donate $4 million for Jewish community security in Malmo
search

Philanthropists donate $4 million for Jewish community security in Malmo

Lennart Blecher, who is Jewish, and Dan Olofsson, who is not, say they want to give support at a time when Swedish politicians don’t want to do anything

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 — Two philanthropists donated more than $4 million to security for Jews in Malmo, Sweden.

Lennart Blecher, who is Jewish, and Dan Olofsson, who is not, decided to donate the total sum to “instill some hope in the Jewish population, so they feel that even if the politicians do not want to do something, there are people who are prepared to stand up for them,” Olofsson told Dagens Nyheter Sunday.

The announcement prompted some criticism about the community’s need for philanthropy to cover its security costs, which the municipality does not fully cover.

“It is unreasonable that a members of the Jewish community should finance basic security arrangements to protect themselves against attacks,” journalist Sofia Nerbrand wrote in an op-ed about the donation published Monday in Dagens Nyheter. “It’s a fundamental task for state and municipality.”

The donation came amid preparations for an international conference on fighting anti-Semitism planned by the government in Malmo and plans to open Holocaust museum in the Swedish city.

Malmo, a city where a third of the population is from Muslim countries, has several hundred Jews and dozens of anti-Semitic incidents annually.

On May 1, supporters of the country’s ruling party chanted about “crushing Zionism” at a rally in Malmo, whose previous mayor led the procession.

The incident on a march for workers’ rights by the Swedish Social Democratic Youth League — a branch of Prime Minister Stefan Lofven’s party — prompted an outcry by Malmo’s Jewish community. Lofven also condemned the chants.

Join us!
A message from the Editor of Times of Israel
David Horovitz

The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.

We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.

Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.

Become a member of The Times of Israel Community
read more:
comments