Originally published in Israel Today
Sweden on Friday announced its intention to become the first major European country, and one of over 100 nations worldwide that, despite their claims to support peace in the Middle East, have put an Israeli-Palestinian agreement further out of reach by unilaterally recognizing “the State of Palestine.”
In his inaugural speech before parliament, new Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Loefven (pictured) stated, “The conflict between Israel and Palestine can only be solved with a two-state solution, negotiated in accordance with international law.”
Loefven then inexplicably supported Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’ campaign to bypass bilateral negotiations by unilaterally establishing an independent, sovereign State of Palestine.
“A two-state solution requires mutual recognition and a will to peaceful co-existence. Sweden will therefore recognize the State of Palestine,” said the Swedish leader, completely ignoring that leading Palestinian groups still don’t recognize Israel’s right to exist and regularly engage in terrorist violence against the Jews.
Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzahi Hanegbi speaking to Israel Radio on Saturday said that whatever his intentions, Loefven had only managed to put a genuine, lasting peace further out of reach.
“The more international support the Palestinians receive without being required to negotiate and without paying their due in mutual concessions, the less likely an accord becomes,” explained Hanegbi.
Israel’s ambassador to Sweden, Issac Bachman, said he believed Loefven made the remarks in an effort to appease the Scandinavian country’s vocal and growing Arab Muslim minority.
Bachman also pointed out that Loefven’s party, the Social Democrats, is “pro-Arab, pro-Islam and anti-Israel,” and so the new prime minister had very little problem playing to that particular constituency by throwing the Jewish state under the bus.
The Palestinian Authority was, unsurprisingly, thrilled by the turn-around in Sweden’s foreign policy.
“We hope that all countries of the European Union will take the same courageous and remarkable decision, as there is no reason not to recognize the Palestinian state,” said chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat.
PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi likewise thanked Sweden for its “commitment to justice and the requirements for peace,” and, in her ongoing effort to turn the peace process on its head, insisted that “conditioning recognition of the State of Palestine on the outcome of negotiations with Israel is equivalent to making our right to self-determination an Israeli prerogative.”