Second Jewish building in Sweden attacked with firebombs

Molotov cocktails thrown at chapel in Malmo cemetery, two days after synagogue in Gothenburg hit; on Friday, marchers in Malmo vowed to ‘shoot the Jews’

Police arrive after a synagogue was attacked in a failed arson attempt in Gothenburg, Sweden, late December 9, 2017. (AFP/TT News Agency/Adam Ihse)
Police arrive after a synagogue was attacked in a failed arson attempt in Gothenburg, Sweden, late December 9, 2017. (AFP/TT News Agency/Adam Ihse)

STOCKHOLM, Sweden — Swedish police on Monday said they were probing an attempted arson against a Jewish chapel after a similar attack against a synagogue, which came in the wake of the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Two burning objects were thrown at the chapel, located at a Jewish cemetery, in Sweden’s third largest city of Malmo, the Jewish assembly said in a statement on Monday.

The Local news website said Molotov cocktails had been thrown at the building.

Malmo police spokesman Lars Forstell told AFP that the incident is being investigated “as an attempted arson” and that the motive is unclear.

No serious damage was done to the building and no one was hurt.

But the Jewish assembly in Malmo said it sees the incident as “extremely serious.”

“We strongly emphasize that we can never accept being subjected to threats and attacks,” it said in the statement.

The chapel was the target of a previous arson attack in 2009, the Local website reported at the time. A small fire started causing a little damage to the building.

In 2015 Swedish police posted officers at the cemetery after a Jewish man reported he was intimidated by passersby at the site.

Swedish police have tightened security near Jewish sites across the nation following a fire attack on a synagogue in the second largest city of Gothenburg on late Saturday.

More than a dozen men hurled firebombs at the synagogue in the southern Sweden city, hours after locals marched there against US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The synagogue did not catch fire and no one was hurt. Police have detained three men on suspicion of attempted arson.

In Malmo on Friday, around 200 protesters gathered, threatening and calling for violence against Jews, according to the Swedish daily Sydsvenskan.

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom on Sunday condemned the synagogue firebombing and the calls in Malmo for violence against Jews, saying anti-Semitism had no place in Swedish society.

Prime Minister Stefan Lofven has also condemned “calls for violence against Jews.”

This was a reference, in part, to chants about shooting Jews heard at the Malmo rally.

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

“We have announced the intifada from Malmö. We want our freedom back, and we will shoot the Jews,” some in the rally of 200 demonstrators shouted, according to the public radio station. Intifada is the Arabic-language word for a violent uprising.

“There is no place for anti-Semitism in Swedish society,” Lofven said in a statement.

In an address last Wednesday from the White House, Trump insisted that after repeated failures to achieve peace a new approach was long overdue, describing his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the seat of Israel’s government as merely based on reality.

The move was hailed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and by leaders across much of the Israeli political spectrum. Trump stressed that he was not specifying the boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in the city, and called for no change in the status quo at the city’s holy sites. The decision drew international criticism and sparked angry protests in the Middle East and beyond.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

Most Popular
read more: