300,000 people live in Malmo, Sweden, 50,000 of them Muslim. 760 of them are Jews and they have 1 rabbi – a fearless Chabad Shliach.
Asaf Uni, a Israeli journalist for the Blazer magazine, has written about the ongoing tension between the Muslim and Jewish communities in the light of the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.
He writes: “The next morning I joined the Shachris prayer at the ancient synagogue of Malmo and a sence of home has wrapped me. The number of congregants was exactly enough for a minyan – a scenario that’s not a given in Malmo.
“The prayers were led by Rabbi Schneur Kesselman, the Chabad Shliach in this Swedish city. As the only rabbi in Malmo, he is the given target pf anger and violence of Muslims.
“Kesselman took out a cellphone and showed me a photo of an apple thrown on the street.
“They threw this on me two days ago while driving by,” he said. “Two days earlier I was walking with my children and a young Muslim walked by us and spat on the floor.
“They do this alot,” Kesselman comments. “Spitting and screaming.”
“In the last month alone, he estimated a least 6 incidents of anti Semitism. (Half of a local report about such cases in the city are about him).
“Asked about the fear, he didn’t deny that the situation has worsened in the last two years but claimed that the media exaggerated with the way things really are.
“I read that half of the Jewish community in Malmo has run away and that is not true. I think 2-3 families have left, that’s it. The community does not live here in fear.”
“A week before my visit, firecrackers blew up the windows of the synagogue; three of them broke and signs of gunpowder were left on the wall.”