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Monday, December 16, 2013

Swedish police detain 28 after neo-Nazi attack

Swedish police detained 28 people Sunday after a group of neo-Nazis attacked an anti-Nazism demonstration in a Stockholm suburb by hurling bottles, torches and firecrackers.
Police spokesman Sven-Erik Olsson says two people were hospitalized and a policeman was injured in the back after being hit by a heavy object. 
Olsson said around 200 people participated in the planned, peaceful demonstration in the suburb of Karrtorp Sunday when they were attacked by a smaller group of about 40. Those detained are suspected of rioting and various assault charges.

The demonstration was organized by a local citizen group as a protest against increased neo-Nazi campaigning in the area. A neo-Nazi group called the Swedish Resistance Movement claimed responsibility for the attack on its website.
Nazism and anti-Semitism have entered the public discourse over the last few years as attacks on the Sweden's Jewish population have increased in frequency.

After a support rally organized by the Jewish community during the 2008-2009 Gaza War was attacked with bottles and eggs, the former mayor of Malmö, the country's third largest city said: "I wish the Jewish congregation would distance itself from Israel's violations of the civilian population in Gaza."
The Jewish practice of kosher slaughter is banned in Sweden and the parliament is currently debating a further ban on kosher meat imports. During high holidays, synagogues require significant police presence to deter attacks on worshippers.
The precarious position of Jews in Sweden was highlighted a number of weeks ago on the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht the Jewish community of Stockholm was treated to competing rallies from far-right neo-Nazis marching in support of Greece's Golden Dawn and far-left pro-Palestinian activists waving Hamas flags and sporting keffiyehs.
Sweden anti-Semitism first made the news in 2009 when riots broke out in response to the presence of an Israeli player at an international tennis tournament played in the city.

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