Swedish columnist Paulina Neuding testified before the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) with concerns for the Jewish community of Malmö, Sweden.
Mälmo city officials outlined plans in 2019 to allocate around $2 million to initiatives, including educational programs, that protect the Jewish community. The Government hopes to host an international conference on combating antisemitism and plans to open a Holocaust museum in the Swedish city.
However, these events have been postponed following the outbreak of COVID-19.
In recent demonstrations against Rasmus Paludan, leader of Denmark’s far-right party, protestors in Malmö allegedly shouted: “Khaybar Khaybar, oh, Jews, Muhammad’s army will return!”
The offensive chants are a direct reference to the massacre of the Jews in Khaybar, northwestern Arabia, in 628 C.E. Several cars were set alight and at least ten people were arrested throughout the protest.
Jewish residents have expressed fear when openly wearing symbols of Judaism in public spaces and many, as Ms Paulina Neuding stated, feel as though they must actively censor their identities. The Swedish columnist highlighted how residents have taken measures in schools and the workplace to protect community members from targeted abuse and harassment, for example, the instillation of bulletproof windows in Jewish kindergartens.
At the end of 2019, it was found the population of Malmö had dropped over the past decade from 3,000 residents to approximately 1,500.
According to government statistics, antisemitic hate crimes in Sweden have reportedly rose by a record 53% over the past three years.