Protection money for Jews of Sweden

By Jennifer Lipman, September 6, 2011

After more than a year blighted by antisemitic incidents, the Swedish government has announced it will provide funds to ensure the Jewish community's safety.

The Swedish Integration Minister said around £386,000 would be allocated to boost security numbers for the small Jewish population.

Erik Ullenhag said the money was necessary because without it there was "a risk" that people would not "dare visit synagogues in Sweden".

In July it emerged that a Hollywood production company had pulled out of a planned film shoot in Sweden because of the spike in antisemitic hate crimes.

In recent years, particularly following the Israel-Gaza conflict of late 2008 and early 2009, synagogues have been targeted by vandals and Jews have reported being harassed. Last year the human rights organisation the Simon Wiesenthal Centre issued a travel advisory, urging Jews to avoid visiting Sweden.

The problem has been particularly pronounced in the city of Malmo, where last July a synagogue was damaged when a firecracker was left outside the building.

Sweden has a Jewish population of around 20,000.

Last updated: 2:53pm, September 6 2011