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Police officers are pictured ahead of the Euro 2016 play-off football match between Sweden and Denmark at the Friends arena in Solna, Sweded, November 14, 2015. Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images
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Swedish Jewish Community Shuts Down As Country Goes on High Alert

On Wednesday, Jewish communities in three cities—Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Malmö—shuttered synagogues and suspended activities as authorities hunted for terror suspect

by
Yair Rosenberg
November 19, 2015
Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images
Police officers are pictured ahead of the Euro 2016 play-off football match between Sweden and Denmark at the Friends arena in Solna, Sweded, November 14, 2015. Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images

After meeting with police on Wednesday, the leaders of Sweden’s Jewish community opted to cancel all evening activities and shutter its synagogues until further notice, Radio Sweden reported. The decision applied to the cities of Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Malmö.

Sweden’s national terrorism threat level is currently raised to four out of five—the country’s highest ever—as authorities hunt for a local terror suspect in the wake of last week’s Paris attacks. Lena Posner Körösi, president of the Council of Jewish Communities in Sweden, would not say whether the Jewish community had received any specific threats, but told Radio Sweden: “As Jews, we are always more or less under threat and as a community we have had our own ‘raised threat level’ over the past few years.”

Later reports suggested that the Jewish community hopes to remain open by day, though closed by night. “We don’t know yet what will happen tomorrow or after that. We’ll take it one day at a time,” Körösi said.

In recent years, Swedish Jews have been the victims of a slew of anti-Semitic attacks, with some anti-Jewish bigotry even seeping into the elite discourse. A study by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights found that 60 percent of Sweden’s 18,000 Jews fear to publicly identify as Jewish.

Yair Rosenberg is a senior writer at Tablet. Subscribe to his newsletter, listen to his music, and follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

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