A Swedish-Egyptian author requested approval from the police to set fire to a Sefer Torah in a demonstration in front of the Israeli embassy in Stockholm, Kan News reported on Thursday.
The author’s request was in response to the burning of the Quran by a far-right activist outside the Turkish embassy in Stockholm over the weekend in protest of Turkey’s opposition to Sweden’s bid to join NATO.
The Israeli embassy in Stockholm made extensive efforts to prevent the incident and on Thursday afternoon, the author withdrew his request, according to a report by The Jewish Press. Initially, the ministry was told that the act of protest will be approved due to considerations of free speech.
“The individual who was organizing the demonstration withdrew his permit application from the police,” Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lior Havat told JewishPress.com.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Israeli Embassy in Sweden acted immediately and decisively to prevent the shocking and humiliating event from taking place,” the ministry said in a statement.
“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.”
Earlier on Thursday, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan said in response to the report: “This is outrageous. There’s a difference between freedom of speech and an ugly act. In places where they burned Sifrei Torah, they also burned people. I call on the Swedish government to intervene to prevent this outrageous incident. I’ll be contacting the Swedish embassy in the UN about the matter.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)