18:11 GMT16 January 2021
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    The Swedish government has allocated SEK 10 million ($1.1 million) and unveiled a series of measures designed to raise awareness and combat anti-Semitism.

    Presenting a series of steps to fight  anti-Semitism, Swedish Education Minister Anna Ekström said that this evil is as “alive and well”, as it was in the Middle Ages; only the vocabulary has changed.

    “Anti-Semitism is alive and well in our time. It is often encountered in new expressions, where phrases like “cultural Marxism” or “globalism” act as code words. But these are still the same stereotypes that have been recurring since the Middle Ages. This is part of European history, and it is a shame to me that in the 21st century, with so much knowledge, we are still there,” Anna Ekström, who also is responsible for Remember-React, the government's international forum for the Holocaust Remembrance and the fight against anti-Semitism, tweeted.

    ​Earlier in January, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven stressed a rise in anti-Semitic sentiments in Sweden, which he ascribed to mass-scale immigration from the Middle East. Fredrik Sieradzki of the Jewish Information Centre in Malmö earlier described this dynamic as Sweden “importing a conflict originating in the Middle East”.

    To address this issue, the government plans to hold an international conference on anti-Semitism in Malmö, Sweden's third-largest city.

    Furthermore, SEK 10 million ($1.1 million) will be allocated to a national initiative to “increase knowledge in school and society” about anti-Semitism, which has been described as a rising problem in Sweden.

    In February, the Swedish government has doubled its funding allocations for Holocaust remembrance to SEK 10 million, which will be split between the Swedish Committee against Anti-Semitism (SKMA) and the Forum for Living History. The money will mainly go to schools to organise education trips to different concentration camps.

    “Each new generation needs to fight for democracy, against anti-Semitism, Antiziganism and all forms of racism,” Centre MP Linda Modig told the newspaper Göteborgs-Posten.

    Also, the University of Gothenburg has been commissioned to produce an overview of relevant research on how anti-Semitism and other forms of racism are counteracted by the education system.

    Lastly, the Total Defence Research Institute (FOI) has been commissioned to produce a report on anti-Semitism in social media and other digital environments, the newspaper Expressen reported.

    In recent years, Sweden's Jewish diaspora of about 20,000 has been increasingly signalling xenophobic attacks.

    “In Malmö, insecurity among Jews has reached a level that many seek refuge from there. In other parts of Sweden, Jews do not dare to wear Jewish signs or even say who they are,” former MEP Gunnar Hökmark, currently the chairman of the think tank Stockholm Free World Forum, wrote in a recent opinion piece, stressing that these are not isolated incidents, but parts of a large picture.


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