A Swedish court of appeals decided Wednesday to overturn a deportation order against a Palestinian man who was part of a masked gang that firebombed a synagogue in Sweden because it believes the man will be in danger with Israel if he goes back.
Swedish authorities in June imprisoned two Palestinian men and one Syrian man for attempting to burn the synagogue down on Dec. 9, 2017, in the country’s second largest city of Gothenburg, according to The Times Of Israel. The convicted men were part of a larger masked crowd that was protesting the Trump administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
One of the Palestinian men had his asylum application turned down after the arrest while the other two already had Swedish residency permits. (RELATED: Sweden Jails Syrian And Palestinian Refugees For Trying To Burn Down A Synagogue)
The court also ordered the one Palestinian man without residency to be deported back to the Palestinian Authority after completing a two-year sentence, the SVT broadcast reported.
The deportation order was overturned by the court Wednesday because the man “could be perceived as a threat to other Jews” and that Israel “might be interested in the matter,” the translated report states. It said the court overturned the deportation because “one can not safeguard the man’s fundamental human rights if he expels him to Palestine.”
Annika Rothstein, a political writer and activist who is also a Swedish Jew, tweeted Wednesday that the court’s decision could potentially harm her or her fellow citizens.
So not only does the Swedish appeals court say that the state of Israel may somehow retaliate against the man but also that they would rather jeopardize the safety of Swedish Jews than those of the man who tried to kill them. https://t.co/Xr22M5EZkJ
— Annika H Rothstein (@truthandfiction) September 12, 2018
Israeli’s ambassador to Sweden, Ilan Ben-Dov, took to Facebook to condemn the court’s decision Thursday, saying Israel is “deeply concerned with the Court’s highly prejudicial and politicized verdict.”
“It also excuses, and therefore legitimizes, the actions of a violent Anti-Semite as acceptable political criticism by stating that his hostility is not towards Jews in general but due to his vengeful attitude towards Israel,” he added.
The attack on the synagogue was part of a 200-person rally in which protesters waved Palestinian flags and shouted antisemitic slogans at the synagogue where at least 20 Jewish teens were participating in a celebration.
No one was injured in the attack.
The attack on Gothenburg came a day after demonstrators took the streets in another Swedish city where they shouted slogans about killing and shooting Jews, according to The New York Times.
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven condemned the Gothenburg attacks in a statement, saying, “There is no place for anti-Semitism in our Swedish society. The perpetrators will answer for their crimes.”
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