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Copenhagen, Denmark. No longer a safe haven for Jews
Copenhagen, Denmark. No longer a safe haven for Jews 

Danes alarmed by rising anti-Semitism

Rise in physical, verbal assaults in Denmark is in line with claims by Jewish communities that anti-Semitism is on the rise throughout Europe. Local Jews urge authorities to take action

Published: 03.03.13, 14:16 / Israel Jewish Scene

VIDEO – Danish officials say they’re alarmed by the frequency of anti-Semitic attacks. The rise in physical and verbal assaults in Denmark is in line with claims by Jewish communities that anti-Semitism is on the rise throughout Europe.


At a forum staged by Copenhagen City Council, Danish Jews urged the authorities to take action.


Video courtesy of jn1.tv


Claus Bentow and his family only feel completely secure in their apartment in a middle class area of Copenhagen. Here Bentow and his sons can freely wear their skullcaps. Outside they are forced to hide their religious identity. Like other Jewish families, they’ve been advised not to send their children to public schools.


World War II
‘Danes saw us as friends, neighbors, not as Jews’ / Ronen Bodoni
Many people saved individual Jews during Holocaust, but in Denmark, rescue was practically a national campaign. Within two weeks, 7,000 citizens were smuggled to neutral Sweden. When Nazis came to take Jews, they found empty homes. A rescuer and a survivor reveal their story
Full story

At a special forum designed to raise awareness about rising anti-Semitism, Bentow dismissed official figures that said there was about one attack a week in Denmark. He said the figure was much higher as so many assaults were not reported because of the perceived impotence of police investigations.


The audience listened in sorrow as a boy with a Muslim father and Jewish mother described what happened to him in a Muslim quarter of the city.


"I heard someone call me a Jewish pig, go to hell, throw a stone at me," said 16-year-old Moran Jakob. "I tried to protect my girlfriend of course because they tried to hit her, and one of them took a little knife and stabbed me in the leg."


After Israel’s clashes with Palestinians in Gaza, the Israeli ambassador to Copenhagen has warned visiting Jews to be extremely discreet and not to wear religious symbols in public.


What distresses Jews is that during World War II, Denmark saved their community by smuggling its members to Sweden. Now Denmark is no longer a safe haven.


One of the impacts of this growing anti-Semitism is that an exodus of Jews has begun. They are moving to countries where Jews can live in comparative safety such as Israel, the United States and Britain.



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