U.S. anti-Semitism Envoy: Europe's Jews Still Face Threat

On visit to Sweden and Denmark, Ira Forman also says it's time to worry about viability of small Jewish communities in Europe.

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Italian police outside a synagogue in Rome on January 12, 2015, as Europe went on alert after the Paris shootings.
Italian police outside a synagogue in Rome on January 12, 2015, as Europe went on alert after the Paris shootings.Credit: AP

There is a threat of violence against Jewish groups in Sweden and other parts of Europe, U.S. special envoy against anti-Semitism said on a visit to the Swedish city of Malmo on Monday.

"I have reason to believe that there is a threat of violence against Jewish groups in Europe, and those threats definitely exist in Malmo too," special envoy Ira Forman said at the city's Jewish Association, according to Swedish English-language news website The Local.

On Friday in Stockholm, he questioned the viability of small Jewish communities in Europe.

"If current trends continue, and they're not good we have to worry about small Jewish communities in Europe and their very viability," Forman said, according to news agency AFP.

After a Jewish volunteer standing guard outside a bat mitzvah in neighboring Denmark was shot to death in an attack on a Copenhagen synagogue last month, Sweden issued directives requiring police officers guarding Jewish buildings to carry machine guns, The Local said.

But it said Forman told Swedish news agency TT that "security will not solve the underlying problems of anti-Semitism."

Forman is scheduled to visit Copenhagen from Tuesday to Thursday, JTA reported.

Jewish community leaders, politicians and commentators in Israel, Europe and the United States have been debating the future of Jewish communities in Europe since the two shootings by Islamic fundamentalists in Paris in January. The attacks killed 12 people at the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and four Jewish hostages at the Hyper Cacher kosher market, which reopened Sunday.

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