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Jewish ‘Pride’ Attendees in Sweden Assaulted by Anti-Israel Mob

Attendees of an LGBTQ+ pride event in Malmö, Sweden wearing Stars of David were attacked by an antisemitic and homophobic gang that hurled insults at the victims while assaulting them, according to Swedish police and videos circulated on social media.

The incident came amid an ongoing surge in antisemitic incidents across Europe following the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel.

Swedish police confirmed on Tuesday that pro-Israel participants of the Malmö Pride Parade wearing and displaying rainbow garments and flags with the Star of David embossed on them were stopped, harassed, and assaulted while walking through the streets over the weekend. Police have opened an investigation into the case.

“The Swedish police take this type of crime very seriously and we are actively working on the current case,” a police spokesperson said, according to the Jerusalem Post.

Video circulated on social media showed men driving up alongside the pride marchers, verbally harassing them. They then exited the vehicle and were joined by others. The assailants, who appeared to be of Middle Eastern extraction, shoved the pro-Israel attendees and attempted to snatch one of their rainbow Israeli flags while calling them “f—king f—gots” and asking if they “support killing children.”

Some members of the crowd threw punches at the pride event attendees. One woman wearing a keffiyeh appeared to attempt to calm the mob from escalating the violence.

Police confirmed the video is authentic and depicts the incident they are investigating. Malmö Pride reportedly became aware of the assault on Monday and condemned the incident.

Malmö Pride is a four-day annual pride festival that culminates with a large parade through downtown Malmö.

The Swedish town of Malmö received international attention for hosting the Eurovision Song Contest earlier this year, amid backlash against Israel’s participation in the competition. Israel’s representative, Eden Golan, faced large, anti-Israel demonstrations outside of her hotel room. Facing death threats, Golan was ordered by Israeli security to remain in her hotel room when not competing in Eurovision. 

Golan, who placed fifth in the competition with her song “Hurricane,” was encouraged online by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “You’re competing not just in the Eurovision in a proud and very impressive manner, but you are competing successfully in the face of an ugly wave of antisemitism — and you are standing up to it and representing the State of Israel with huge honor,” he said in a message to Golan.

Meanwhile, Jewish members of the LGBTQ+ community have continued to distance themselves from pride events as antisemitism in Europe continues to skyrocket. In London last month, KeshetUK – a Jewish LGBTQ+ network and charity organization in the UK – announced that it would not participate in London’s pride parade, called Pride in London, after organizers accused Israel of committing “genocide” in Gaza.

KeshetUK cited safety concerns as the reason for not marching. “Against the background of what has been a challenging and at times a complex year for many Jews in the UK, including LGBT+ Jews, some of our friends and congregants have said they do not feel safe marching in the Pride in London event as they have felt in previous years,” said KeshetUK in a joint statement with the London Synagogue for British Jews.

Antisemitic incidents in Sweden have skyrocketed since Hamas’ Oct. 7 attacks on Israel, where 1,200 people were killed and about 250 were taken hostage. According to the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention, the number of reported antisemitic hate crimes increased by a factor of five between 2022 and 2023.