Simon Wiesenthal Center: New Outrage in Sweden as it Once Again Fails to Protect its Jewish Citizens

APRIL 4, 2017

The Simon Wiesenthal Center has denounced Swedish authorities for again failing to protect its Jewish citizens, this time in the northern town of Umea(pictured). The Jewish community association has announced it is closing following a series of Neo-Nazi threats, which included swastikas with messages like "we know where you live."

The BBC reported that members of the Jewish community said the authorities were unable to provide enough security and Community spokeswoman Carinne Sjoberg said some people no longer dared to come to the center.

Sjoberg reported that the Neo-Nazi group Nordfront was behind the hate campaign, she said, initially targeting her but then other members of the community too. The last straw came at the weekend when the windows of a member's car were broken.

"…Members started to feel they didn't want to bring the children," she told the BBC, adding, "My mother and father are (Holocaust) survivors, so this is not OK. Enough is enough. It was like stepping into their shoes in the 1930s."
Umea was in the headlines two years ago when organizers of a march to mark the anniversary of Kristallnacht, failed to even invite the Jewish community.

“This is but the latest shameful episode when Swedish authorities fail to provide for the basic safety of its Jewish citizens,” charged Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading Jewish Human Rights NGO. “This time, it is neo-Nazis operating with impunity in northern Sweden, threatening Jews.”

“It has been years since our Center put out a travel advisory on the southern city of Malmö, where authorities still refuse to deal with ongoing threats from extremist Muslims against the community’s Rabbi and the shrinking Jewish community.

“These intolerable situations where authorities do virtually nothing to stop overt anti-Semitism are a black mark on all of Sweden.

“The Swedish people should be asking themselves and of their governmental leaders, a fundamental question: Why is it that neo-Nazis and Islamists feel free to threaten and bully innocent people, while Jewish citizens are left to their own devices to protect their families and their communal associations?” Rabbi Cooper concluded.

For more information, please contact the Center's Public Relations Department, 310-553-9036, join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter feed.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).