Sweden to fund protection for synagogues


(JTA) — The Swedish government has allocated $622,000 in its fall budget to increase security at the country’s synagogues.

The funding for 2012 is for stepped-up police protection, but could be used to purchase security cameras as well, The Local newspaper reported.

The allocation will go to “increase security and reduce vulnerability for the Jewish minority,”  according to a statement from the office of Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag.

Sweden has been accused of not taking anti-Semitism seriously. Last December, the Simon Wiesenthal Center advised Jews to avoid traveling to southern Sweden following a series of anti-Semitic incidents. 

“Jews are one of our national minorities, and the state has a responsibility to ensure that people can go to synagogue and engage in Jewish activities and feel they have the security they believe they need," Ullenhag told the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper. "That’s a fundamental human right.”

According to the Swedish National Council on Crime Prevention, Sweden had 161 anti-Semitic incidents reported in 2010.

Approximately 20,000 Jews live in Sweden, according to The Local.  

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