Sweden under fire as police greenlight another Jewish holy book burning protest

Israeli representatives and a senior rabbi has condemned the decision


Top Israeli figures have expressed outrage after Swedish police granted permission to allow a woman to burn a Jewish holy book.

For a second time, authorities in Stockholm granted permission for the burning to take place outside the Israeli embassy.

The event took place on Friday afternoon but the woman only burned a piece of paper.

In an application, the female protester stated in her application that the gathering is a “manifestation for children’s rights in Sweden that are systematically violated.” 

The protest comes just two weeks after a man planned to burn a Jewish holy book and Christian bible outside the embassy. It was later called off.

The news of the applications has led to widespread outrage and condemnations from across Israel.

Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said: “I’m appalled by another threat to burn a Torah in Sweden. “Threats to harm holy books and Torahs must stop.

“Soon I will speak with Sweden’s foreign minister and make clear to him that we expect the Swedish government to prevent these events, which could harm relations between our countries.”

Minister of Jerusalem Affairs and Jewish Heritage Meir Porush added: "We must act to prevent the burning of the Hebrew Bible in Sweden in every way, and also make it clear to the Swedish government that the continuation of the legal situation that allows the burning of holy books is unacceptable. 

“An enlightened country does not allow a terrible desecration of the most sacred things."

Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, the Rabbi of the Western Wall and the Holy Places in Israel, said: "I am astonished and deeply disturbed by the Stockholm police's second approval of the burning of the Bible.

“The Swedish authorities' weak response, merely uttering empty words about freedom, pales in comparison to the heinous actions – both those that have already occurred and those that may come. This is not what freedom should look like; it represents a loss of moral direction.

"I implore the Swedish authorities and all those who cherish human freedom of expression to reconsider.

"There is still time to act. Not for the sake of the scriptures do I make this plea, as they have been burned countless times by those who harbour hatred toward Israel, and no force in the world has been able to prevent it."

A spokesman for the Swedish police said that negotiations are underway with the woman in order to prevent her from actually committing the act, but that the approval for the burning has actually been given.

Meanwhile, a recent string of public Quran desecrations by a handful of anti-Islam activists in Sweden - and more recently in neighbouring Denmark - has sparked angry demonstrations in Muslim countries.

Ulf Kristersson, Sweden's prime minister, said police had received several permit applications for the burning of religious texts in the country next week which he fears could escalate tensions further.

Kristersson told Swedish news agency TT he was "extremely concerned" about a new wave of desecrations.

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