Sweden’s new wave of anti-Semitism
By Aje Carlbom December 21 at 2:36 PM
MALMÖ, Sweden — During anthropological fieldwork here in Sweden’s third-largest city 20 years ago, I interviewed a young Palestinian man who thought it was a shame that the “Nazis didn’t get to finish their job with the Jews” during World War II. This is of course an extreme example of one man who does not speak for his community.
Unfortunately since then, Malmö — with its significant community of Muslim immigrants — has become infamous for its growing anti-Semitism, which has prompted many Jews to leave. More recently, Trump’s decision to relocate the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem has provoked attacks on synagogues in Sweden as well as openly expressed threats to kill Jews.
Earlier in history, Swedish anti-Semitism was found mainly among small groups of Swedish Nazis who expressed this hate in public, and they were and still are quickly ex-communicated from the social community by activists and policymakers from various ideological camps. Of course, it is of great importance for Swedish society that we find tenable solutions for all kinds of hate speech and discrimination, whether anti-Semitism or Islamophobia. But it seems as if it is easier for society to tackle Islamophobia than this new anti-Semitism. This arguably may have something to do with problems surrounding the perceptions of victims and perpetrators.