NewsHate crime accusations fly after Malmö synagogue incident

Hate crime accusations fly after Malmö synagogue incident

Screenshot / @aronverstandig
Screenshot / @aronverstandig
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4:24 PM EST, November 7, 2023

Swedish media expressed their disgust at the incident that occurred on Saturday in Malmö. An Israeli flag was set ablaze during a pro-Palestinian demonstration in front of a local synagogue; however, the police did not react.

"We are aware that at least one Israeli flag was burned," admitted Rickard Lundqvist, a police spokesperson, in a conversation with "Sydsvenskan".

A video of the pro-Palestinian demonstration at the Malmö synagogue on Saturday showing a protestor setting the Israeli flag on fire has been viewed widely on social media. Despite this, the police maintain that they have not received any official notice of potential criminal activity, thus no action will be taken. They do not see any grounds to initiate a criminal investigation.

"This is a hate crime," asserts a shocked journalist from "Aftonbladet" outraged by the stance of the Swedish police. "While we can freely criticize Israel, the Swedish Jewish community should not be held accountable for the ongoing conflict in the Middle East. Consequently, setting an Israeli flag on fire in front of a synagogue is not a political criticism. Instead, it's hate crime against Swedish Jews," writes the journalist in the paper.

According to the columnist, the police's decision not to launch an investigation is "pathetic". "How unprepared is Sweden in protecting its minorities?" he questions, criticizing the inaction of the services. He emphasizes that burning the Israeli flag in front of the synagogue is a clear threat, a form of assault, and an attempt to intimidate the Jewish community in Sweden.

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