Jews in Sweden are finding it increasingly difficult to be openly Jewish as new figures have revealed that anti-Semitic incidents have become more and more common in the country.
Figures published by the Swedish Crime Prevention Council (Brå) show the number of anti-Semitic crimes has increased from 182 in 2016 to 278 in 2018, an increase of more than 50 percent, Sveriges Radio reports.
A Jewish mother whose children attend Jewish Hillel School in Stockholm told Sveriges Radio that as a Jew it’s difficult to be oneself fully.
“It is very, very sad that it is so. And it is, perhaps, something that makes us sometimes think about moving to another country where it would be easier to be the one we are fully,” the woman added.
She declined to give her name because of the risk of threats.
Shari Tingman, Acting Group Chief and Preliminary Investigation Leader at Stockholm Police’s Democracy and Hate Crime Group, told the broadcaster that police need to make more of an effort to understand Jewish culture.
“If the police department cannot understand the culture, how should we be able to work with what is happening out there?” Tingman said.
Sweden isn’t the only European country to see a rise in anti-Semitic incidents.
Over the summer, a 25-year-old gay Jewish resident of Potsdam, Germany was attacked by two Syrians at a Potsdam train station.
In May, anti-Semitism commissioner of the German Federal Government, Felix Klein, warned against wearing a kippah in public in Germany.
“I cannot recommend Jews to wear the Kippa anytime anywhere in Germany. Unfortunately, I have to say so, ” Klein said.