Jerusalem is calling on the Swedish government to increase security measures around Jewish institutions, Israel’s ambassador in Stockholm said Monday, reacting to new figures that show an increase in anti-Semitic hate crimes in the Scandinavian country.
“Many times we think that security should be tighter and the police should be present more often and more noticeably,” Isaac Bachman told The Times of Israel in a telephone interview.
At the same time, Bachman praised the Swedish government for being attentive to the problem of anti-Semitism, noting that it remains to be seen whether the trend of increasing violence against Jews can be halted.
In 2014, some 6,270 hate crimes were reported in Sweden, nearly 267 of them (4 percent) with an anti-Semitic background — a 38 percent increase from 2013.
This increase is likely related to Israel’s 2014 Operation Protective Edge, which led to a rise of anti-Israel sentiment across Europe. No figures for 2015 are available yet.
While 4 percent appears to be a relatively low figure, Israeli officials in Stockholm say that it is actually high when one considers that Jews make up only about 0.2 percent of the country’s population (There are approximately 15,000 Jews in Sweden, a country of 9.8 million). In comparison, nine percent of all hate crimes in 2014 were directed against Muslims, who make for about six or seven percent of the country’s population. Therefore, Israeli officials calculated, a Jew in Sweden is 24 times more likely to be attacked than a Muslim Swede.
Source: Times of Israel