Sweden

Swedish Twitter experiment goes awry with Jewish comments

By Jennifer Lipman, June 13, 2012

A project that gives ordinary people control of a Twitter account representing Sweden has erupted in controversy after this week's curator let loose a stream of posts that could be seen as offensive to Jews.

Sonja "Hitler" Abrahamsson, as she refers to herself, was put in charge of the @Sweden account on Monday in the latest stage of the Swedish Institute's Curators of Sweden project.

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Ort aids tribute to an ex-pupil who died alone

By Jessica Elgot, May 10, 2012

Long-lost family of a German-Jewish refugee who died alone in his Maida Vale flat will gather on Sunday for the stone-setting.

In December 2010, British Ort was contacted by police searching for relatives of Franz Joseph Nebel, whose body had been found some months earlier.

British Ort executive director Dr Noga Zivan said police had found a reference to Ort at the flat - Mr Nebel had attend

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Obama sends antisemitism tsar to Malmo

By Nathalie Rothschild, April 26, 2012

Hannah Rosenthal, Barack Obama's special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism, has travelled to Malmö, Sweden, for a closed-doors meeting with the city's mayor who has been accused of fomenting hatred of Jews.

Ilmar Reepalu recently told Swedish magazine Neo that the far-right Sweden Democrat party has "infiltrated the Jewish community in order to push its hatred of Muslims".

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Swede TV host: 'Israel guilty of Holocaust'

By Nathalie Rothschild, November 10, 2011

The Swedish public television broadcaster SVT has stoked controversy by hiring a blogger with a history of making extreme anti-Israeli remarks.

Gina Dirawi, a 20-year-old of Palestinian descent, has landed the biggest gig on Swedish television: hosting the music talent show Melodifestivalen.

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Fear of hate crime sparks film pullout

By Nathalie Rothschild, July 21, 2011

A Hollywood production company has cancelled plans to film a movie in Sweden because of a recent spike in antisemitic hate crimes.

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Now the Malmö mayor opposes Jewish studies

By Nathalie Rothschild, May 5, 2011

Swedish school pupils will have the opportunity to take Jewish studies as an optional subject starting from this autumn.

After a lengthy consultation period, the Swedish government has commissioned the National Agency for Education to formulate a study plan for the new course, which will be available to pupils in years seven to nine (ages 13 to 15).

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European Jewish communities on 'brink of extinction'

By Jennifer Lipman, October 15, 2010

The president of the European Jewish Congress (EJC) has warned of “a very dark period for the Jews in Europe.”

Moshe Kantor said: “Small Jewish communities are facing a situation where they are being physically, verbally and psychologically threatened by fundamentalist elements and their extreme left-wing cohorts on one side and the far-right neo-Nazis on the other.”

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Swedish comedians stand up for Judaism

By Nathalie Rothschild, September 28, 2010

While stand-up comedy has been common in Sweden since the late 1980s, Swedish-Jewish stand-up is a new phenomenon. Spearheaded by performers Aron Flam and Jonatan Unge, comedy by and about Jews is becoming an unexpected, and big, hit.

Mr Flam (pictured) and Mr Unge, both in their early 30s, met at a Jewish summer camp in the Stockholm archipelago and later co-authored a sardonic book of quotes and facts about death. Since their stand-up debuts in 2007, both have become regular guests in Swedish TV studios, asked to comment on everything from Jewish identity to Swedish politics.

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Swedish synagogue attacked

By Jennifer Lipman, July 26, 2010

Members of the Swedish Jewish community have expressed sadness after an attack on a synagogue in the city of Malmö.

Security has been stepped up after a bomb threat was left at the synagogue and the following day a firecracker exploded outside, shattering three windows.

It was reportedly the second threat to the synagogue in as many weeks.

In March 2009 there were violent anti-Israel demonstrations in Malmö when an Israeli tennis team arrived to play Sweden in the Davis Cup.

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New British envoy to Israel challenged

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 22, 2010

The man soon to be Britain's first Jewish ambassador to Israel was given a warm reception on Wednesday when he met the Manchester community.

Matthew Gould spoke at King David High School as part of a UK tour before leaving for Tel Aviv in eight weeks' time.

But it was not an easy ride for the Foreign Office high-flyer.

Almost as soon as he finished his hour-long address, he was challenged for not having spoken about the EU's attitude to Israel.

Another member of the audience questioned the viability of a two-state solution for Israel, a firm British government position.

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