Jerusalem Post on September 29, 2012, reported that community representatives express shock over attack; Jewish organizations offer support for Sweden’s approximately 700 Jews. Excerpts below:
Swedish police have arrested two men in connection with an explosion that rocked a Jewish community building in Malmo.
The explosion took place early morning on September 28, according to Fred Kahn, chairman of the board of the Jewish community of Malmo. “There was an explosion and someone also threw a rock at the windows at the entrance to the community house,” he said.
The two suspects are 18 years old and have no prior criminal record, according to the daily Skanska Dagbladet.
The suspects are denying any involvement in the explosion and an attorney will be appointed to represent them.
Kahn said: “We are shocked by this incident, which was definitely a deliberate attack. The community has upped its security arrangements, but we are continuing as usual. The Jewish kindergarten is going to stay open and all services will continue.”
The Jewish community in Malmö was previously the target of anti-Semitic attacks. Earlier this year, a rabbi was physically assaulted and in 2010, a group of Jews were attacked by Swedish Muslims during a peaceful protest in support of Israel. Also in 2010, an explosion outside Malmo’s only Orthodox synagogue shattered the building’s windows.
Malmo Jews say they are routinely harassed in the city of 300,000 residents, which has a large immigrant community from the Middle East.
“For a number of years now, Malmo has been a hotspot for anti-Jewish activities,” Lauder said. “There is real fear among the Jewish population of Malmo, and it is growing – not least because not a lot has been done to address the issue,” he added.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center expressed solidarity with the 700-member strong Jewish community in Sweden, attacking Malmo’s mayor for “continued indifference, the ban on cameras…and the lack of police presence” which allowed the attack to occur. The center also warned that the blast could “set a precedent” for more sophisticated explosive attacks.