First published in the Israeli Hebrew weekly, Makor Rishon, the Tundra Tabloids was given the heads up by Ilya Meyer who kindly republished the entire article. The TT includes a portion of it with a link to Ilya’s blog for the rest. The Swedish Foreign Minister, Carl Bildt, has been the frequent subject here, with the most recent one focusing on his call to slice and dice Jerusalem, the capital of the Jewish state of Israel. KGS
The recent Swedish proposal to the European Union to recognize East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state was a severe hostile act against Israel. The proposal was watered down by other member countries. The attitude of Sweden which, for another few weeks, holds the rotating presidency of the European Union, may tempt Israel to hit back at the country’s government.
For several reasons, however, this strategy would be wrong. The anti-Israel campaign is led by one person, the Swedish Foreign Minister and former Prime Minister Carl Bildt, who is the dominant figure in this government. Rather than targeting the entire government or country, Israel should focus on its major adversary in the current coalition.
Bildt’s hostile record toward Israel can be easily proved. On a Swedish radio program in April he said: “It is possible to make peace without Hamas the same way it is possible to make peace without Netanyahu on the Israeli side.” An Israeli Foreign Ministry official reacted diplomatically: “He clearly does not understand the difference between the leader of an Israeli political party and a group that is engaging in the terror that threatens Europe as much as Israel.”(1)
Bildt’s anti-Israeli sentiment came to the fore again in the Aftonbladet organ affair. In August this anti-Israeli daily published an article which accused Israel of killing Palestinians in order to acquire organs for transplant. Bildt refused to condemn it, saying that there is freedom of the press in Sweden and that the government therefore cannot condemn the press. When, however, a few weeks later, Aftonbladet published an article by a member of the right wing Sweden Democrats party, Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt condemned it. Suddenly, when Israel was not concerned, it was permissible to criticize the same paper.
Ilya Meyer, a writer who has held senior positions in the Swedish Jewish community, has a blog which reports regularly – in both English and Swedish – on Sweden’s misbehavior toward Israel. He notes that the Swedish state finances almost the entire $6 million budget of an extreme pro-Palestinian group in the country, Palestinagrupperna. This body has links to various terrorist organizations. In an annual report Palestinagrupperna claimed that Bildt had told them that he agrees with them on every point in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.(2)
There are many friends of Israel in the four parties currently in the Swedish government – the Moderates, the Christian Democrats, the Liberals and the Center Party. However, the present coalition is severely trailing the opposition in the most recent polls.(3) New parliamentary elections will take place in September 2010.
The opposition consisting of the Social Democrats, Sweden’s largest party, the Green Party and the Left Party is far more hostile to Israel than the present government, with the main exception of Bildt.