Anti-Israel protestors planned to burn Torah Scroll before Holocaust Remembrance Day
It was announced on Thursday by Kan Reshet Bet in its morning edition that an anti-Israel protest which included the public burning of a sacred Torah scroll in front of the Israeli embassy in Stockholm was successfully blocked by the Israeli Foreign Ministry. The protest was organized by an Egyptian author living in Stockholm who requested from police to hold it in front of the Israeli embassy in Stockholm in the coming days.
“We acted immediately and decisively in order to prevent the shocking and humiliating event from taking place,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
“The individual who was organizing the demonstration withdrew his permit application from the police,” Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lior Havat told JewishPress.com.
“The actions included, among other things, contacting the top of the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Stockholm Police, as well as the Swedish Embassy in Israel, and activating Jewish and other organizations.
“As a result of our actions, the event at this stage is frozen.”
Kan reported that the Israeli Embassy had initially been told the Swedish government would likely permit the demonstration and the burning of the Torah for reasons of freedom of expression.
Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, responded to the news in an interview on Kan: “This is outrageous. There’s a difference between freedom of speech and ugly deeds. In the past, we have seen that in places where Torah scrolls are burned, people are eventually burned. I call on the Swedish government to intervene and halt this shocking event. Tomorrow I will be contacting the Swedish embassy in the UN regarding the matter.”
Friday is the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Many historians place the beginning of the Holocaust on November 9, 1938, known as Kristallnacht. Anti-Jewish pogroms destroyed 267 synagogues throughout Germany, Austria and the Sudetenland. Some 1,200 additional synagogues were desecrated.
The demonstration was described in the media as being in response to the burning of a Koran by a Danish far-right party during a police-sanctioned demonstration on Saturday. The protest was in protest of Turkey’s opposition to Sweden’s bid to join NATO and was held in front of its Swedish embassy. There was no known connection between the burning of the Koran and Israel or Jews.
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