Political leaders are meeting in Copenhagen with Jewish and Muslim representatives today to examine the extent of the rise in anti-Semitism in Copenhagen and the rest of the country. The tension is being triggered by the current conflict in Gaza.
Anna Mee Allerslev, Copenhagen’s deputy mayor for integration and employment, and city council member Lars Aslan Rasmussen have invited members of the Muslim Council and Jewish Society to a preliminary meeting today, with plans to hold further meetings as soon as possible with representatives from the police department, the justice minister and other high-ranking officials.
Attacks on the rise
The Jewish Society said that they have reports of 29 physical, verbal and online attacks on Jews since the conflict in Gaza flared up in early July.
“A non-Jewish Danish man with a Star of David necklace on a Copenhagen bus was spat upon by a Middle Eastern-looking man,” read the report from the Jewish Society in Berlingske newspaper. “The perpetrator also tried to rip the necklace from him.”
Students from the Jewish Carolineskolen in Copenhagen have been advised not to wear religious symbols when they leave school to prevent them from being harassed or attacked.
There are also reports of people shouting “Jew pig” in the streets. Almost all of the assaults, according to the Jewish Society, have been committed by "people with a Middle Eastern look or name”.
Allerslev said that it is up to the police to ensure people are not harassed on the streets.
“We will do everything we can to ensure understanding and peace,” she told Berlingske.
A national problem
Rasmussen noted that anti-Semitism did not stop at the city limits and wants schools across the country to raise awareness and start a dialogue regarding the problem. He also called on the state to establish a national action plan against discrimination.