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EJC president: Sweden a center of anti-Semitism

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Sweden has become “a center of anti-Semitism,” the president of the European Jewish Congress, Dr. Moshe Kantor, told The Jerusalem Post Tuesday night, ahead of a ceremony at the European Parliament in Brussels to commemorate the Holocaust.

Sweden, previously a calm country where there was no anti-Semitic problem just a few years ago, is a center of anti-Semitism,” Kantor said. He added that it was “unthinkable that in the 21st century Jews need to move from the city of Malmo to Stockholm and elsewhere.”

The Swedish government, he said, is the only government in the European Union refusing to talk about anti- Semitism in its borders with the European Jewish Congress – an umbrella organization of communities from across the continent.

Kantor said he had repeatedly contacted the office of Swedish Prime Minister Fredik Reinfeldt, but has received no reply.

“It’s a conspiracy of silence. They apparently think that if they say nothing, the problem will go away but we know it persists,” Kantor said.

Markus Friberg, press secretary of the Swedish prime minister, told the Post he could not provide Reinfeldt’s reaction in time for this edition, but noted that Sweden “invests four million Swedish crowns in increased security for the Jewish community. [Sweden’s] Jewish Central Council will have most of the money, 3.5m., at its disposal.”

Sweden’s integration minister, Erik Ullenhang, said: “Anti-Semitic expressions and other behavior based on racist beliefs are never acceptable in a democratic society.” The extra funding for security owed to the fact that “the Jewish congregations are today forced to take extra precautions to ensure that people dare to visit synagogues, Jewish meetings etc. in Sweden.”

Asked about new cross-European trends of modern anti-Semitism, Kantor said that research, which he initiated by Tel Aviv University’s watchdog on European anti-Semitism, shows numerous Iranian-funded NGO’s are “behind the publication and encouragement of anti-Semitism.”

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