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Swedish PM Löfven responds to WJC CEO Singer’s concern over rising anti-Semitism, says government has taken ‘raft of measures to safeguard’ Jewish community Featured

NEW YORK – The Swedish government has taken “a raft of measures to safeguard the Swedish Jewish communities” and will “continue to combat anti-Semitism and all forms of racism, hatred and discrimination with full force,” Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven told World Jewish Congress CEO and Executive Vice President Robert Singer in a letter dated 12 July 2018.

Löfven was responding to Singer’s own letter of 18 June 2018, in which he expressed great concern over the “escalating pattern of violence and increased signs of anti-Semitism” in Sweden and urged the government to take firm action to protect the Jewish community.

Singer’s letter cited with specific concern the closure of the Jewish community center in Umeå amid repeated neo-Nazi threats and vandalism spanning recent years, and outlined a number of necessary measures including the allocation of funds and police resources, effective legislation to bar far-right activities, and an increase in police presence around Jewish buildings to protect the communities and their institutions.

In response, the Swedish prime minister listed steps being taken by the government to that effect including increased resources to the Swedish Security Service to prevent “domestic and international terrorism” and the recent establishment of the Swedish Center for Preventing Violent Extremism with an “extensive mandate to lead the work throughout the country."

The Swedish police has also established democracy and hate crime groups in Stockholm, Gothenberg, Malmo, and other regions, and has received increased funds to fight online hate crimes, Löfven wrote.

The government is also doubling state support to strengthen security around buildings and premises used by religious organizations, and broadening support to non-confessional Jewish associations, making more tools available and facilitating surveillance cameras use, the Swedish PM wrote.

WJC CEO Singer said following receipt of Löfven's letter that “the World Jewish Congress is pleased to learn that the Swedish government is treating the security of its Jewish communities with the necessary concern. We truly hope that under the leadership of Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, it will do everything in its power to enforce the measures being taken and follow through with its declared intentions to ‘protect the rights of all individuals and its open and democratic society.’ The only way to quell anti-Semitism and terror is standing up with a policy of zero tolerance and firm action. The World Jewish Congress continues to stand ready to assist as necessary on behalf of the Jewish community.”

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