When Swedes are to remember the victims after the Holocaust, enormous security measures are being taken. Swedish Jews talk about growing anti-Semitism.
Salomea Gosenius (21) is scared every time she goes to the synagogue in Malmö. Mira Malm Kelber (21) refuses to hide her Star of David, but it makes her experience agitation.
Gosenius’ sister was beaten down in the schoolyard a few years ago. It happened after she spoke to some boys who made the Nazi salute and shouted “Sieg Heil”.
She herself hid for a long time that she is Jewish. Gosenius thinks she owes her great-grandmother to stand up. She lived in Poland during the war, but survived the Nazi extermination.
Mira Malm Kelber’s father was born in Ukraine in 1940. He lived his whole life with trauma from the war, and came to Sweden as a refugee in 1968. She has started a Jewish youth association in Malmö. She also believes it is a duty to the family to stand out as Jewish.
Jewish youth say that the incitement increases when the news picture is marked by the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.
Massive security measures
Wednesday was a memorial day for the victims of the Holocaust in Sweden. It is no coincidence that the largest event was added to Malmö. The city has a big problem with anti-Semites. At the same time, it is a city with a large immigrant population and armed conflicts between criminal gangs.
Memorial ceremonies and seminars on anti-Semitism are held for two days.
The list of participants includes world leaders such as UN Secretary-General António Guterres, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. They will meet both the Swedish royal couple and the outgoing Prime Minister Stefan Löfven.
Therefore, parts of the city center were blocked off as early as Tuesday afternoon.
The police must, of course, take care of the heads of state from almost 40 countries. But they must also be prepared for the city’s Jewish population. It says a lot about the situation that booksellers who sell Jewish literature, covers to their storefronts.
The synagogue in Malmö is one of Sweden’s largest. It is common for the police to impose strict security measures during the holidays. The danger of terrorism in connection with the marking is considered very great.
Increased during the pandemic
Wednesday present the online newspaper Expo a survey that showed that anti-Semitic remarks have increased on social media in the past year. In collaboration with organizations in Germany and the UK, they have researched social media such as Tiktok, Instagram, Facebook, Parler, Reddit, Telegram, Twitter, Youtube and 4chan.
The conclusion is that the media platforms are not doing enough to weed out anti-Semitic propaganda.
The pandemic has given rise to many kinds of conspiracy theories. In such a climate, anti-Semitism almost always increases.
Fear that conference will be doormat
A Facebook spokesperson said in a response that “anti-Semitism is completely unacceptable, we do not allow it anywhere on Instagram”. TikTok’s spokesperson stated that the company condemns anti-Semitism and works actively against the spread of hatred.
Facebook manager Sheryl Sandberg has been invited to talk about the fight against anti-Semitism at the seminar.
It seems the newspaper Aftonbladet’s commentator Mattias Beijmo is as if the cancer association were to invite the tobacco producer Philip Morris to a seminar.
He fears that the whole conference will be a doormat where Facebook can wipe its shoes. Beijmo recalls the new revelations of how social media like Facebook rewards polarizing content.
Moving to Israel
Prime Minister Stefan Löfven thinks it is good that Malmö is hosting a conference on anti-Semitism. It is precisely the fact that the city has such a big problem with the harassment of Jews that makes it particularly important. He says that prejudice exists throughout Sweden.
– It has been decided that here in Malmö they do not want anti-Semitism, I think that is good, he says.
For many Swedish Jews, that is not enough. This weekend had Today’s News a great report about a Jewish family. They did not dare to come forward with a name and picture. The parents have experienced anti-Semitism since the school days. When the daughter told them the same thing, they decided to move to Israel.
– I wish Malmö was for everyone, but that’s not the case anymore, says the daughter.