(JTA) – A Swedish reporter who walked around Malmo while wearing a kippah to test attitudes toward Jews was hit once and cursed at by passersby before he fled for fear of serious violence.
Sveriges Television on Wednesday aired secretly recorded footage from Petter Ljunggren’s walk through Malmo, which documented some of the incidents that occurred within the space a few hours.
In one scene, Ljunggren – who, in addition to wearing a kippah was also wearing Star of David pendant – was filmed sitting at a café in central Malmo reading a newspaper, as several passersby hurled anti-Semitic insults at him.
Elsewhere, one person hit his arm, the reporter said on camera, though this was not recorded. One of the people who cursed Ljunggren called him a “Jewish devil,” “Jewish shit” and another told him to “get out.”
One person on a scooter approached Ljunggren to warn him to leave for his own safety. In the heavily Muslim Rosengard neighbourhood, Ljunggren was surrounded by a dozen men who shouted anti-Semitic slogans as eggs were hurled at his direction from apartments overhead. He then fled the area.
The experiment was part of a 58-minute documentary titled Jew-hatred in Malmo. The walk was a repeat of a similar experiment conducted in 2013 by journalist Patrick Riley, though Riley reported that he received only strange looks and drew giggles from onlookers when he walked by wearing a kippah.
Dozens of anti-Semitic incidents are recorded annually in Malmo, a city where first- and second- generation immigrants from the Middle East make up one-third of a population of roughly 300,000. Several hundred Jews live there.
Fred Kahn, a leader of the local Jewish community, told JTA that most incidents are perpetrated by Muslims or Arabs.
Hanna Thome, a municipal councillor for culture and anti-discrimination, told the Expressen daily that she was shocked by the events documented by Ljunggren.
“There is much more to do, and both the municipality and the police have a great responsibility. But I also want to emphasize that there is great solidarity in the city,” she said in reference to several so-called kippah walks, where Jews and non-Jews marched through Malmo’s street while wearing yarmulkes to protest against anti-Semitism.