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October 30, 2014 2:54 pm

Israel Pulls Envoy After Swedes Recognize Palestinian State; FM: Middle East Not Like Ikea Furniture (VIDEO)

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Israel Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman. Photo: MFA

Israel Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman. Photo: MFA.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday announced that it was recalling its ambassador to Sweden, Isaac Bachman, over Sweden’s decision to recognize a Palestinian state.

“The Swedish government needs to understand that relations in the Middle East are more complicated than a piece of furniture from IKEA that you put together yourself, and it should act with responsibility and sensitivity,” Minister Avigdor Lieberman said, referencing the famed Swedish furniture chain.

Lieberman termed Sweden’s move “an unfortunate decision which strengthens radical elements and Palestinian recalcitrance.”

“Such measures only serve to bolster the Palestinians’ unrealistic demands and delay an agreement. The only way to reach an arrangement between Israel and the Palestinians is for the parties to conduct sincere negotiations,” according to Lieberman.

He assailed the move as “a declarative measure that can cause much damage and bring no benefit.”

Earlier in the day, Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom officially recognized a Palestinian state, stating that the entity met “criteria of international law,” including “a [Palestinian] territory, a people, and government.”

“Today the government takes the decision to recognize the state of Palestine,” Wallstrom said in a statement published in the Dagens Nyheter daily.

“It is an important step that confirms the Palestinians’ right to self-determination,” she said.

A Swedish boycott Israel-poster. Photo: Jacob Rask.

However, it was unclear if the recognition only covered the West Bank under control of the Palestinian Authority, or if the rival Islamic Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip was part of the putative nascent state.

Despite agreeing to a “unity government,” both groups are in deep conflict over control of both areas, and deny each others validity as fitting representatives of the Palestinians.

“President Abbas welcomes Sweden’s decision,” and called the decision “brave and historic,” according to his spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina, speaking with AFP.

New Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven had supported a Palestinian state earlier in October, but Swedish Ambassador to Israel Carl Magnus Nesser at the time attempted to walk back the prime minister’s comments, according to the JNS News Service. Nesser said such recognition would only follow extensive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Yet that is not the case with Sweden’s latest announcement on the issue.

On October 5th, Lieberman said that incoming “Prime Minister Stefan Löfven must understand that no declaration and no measure by an external party can serve as a substitute for direct negotiations between the parties and a solution that will be part of an overall arrangement between Israel and the entire Arab world.”

Meanwhile, Löfven, is under fire for appointing a politician described as an “Islamist” to his cabinet.

Newly appointed Swedish cabinet minister Mehmet Kaplan is accused of "Islamist" sympathies

Mehmet Kaplan, 43, was appointed the Minister of Housing and Urban Development, after serving two terms as a Member of Parliament representing the Green Party.

The anti-Israel Kaplan, 42, was among the so-called human rights activists who took part in a six-ship flotilla at the end of May, 2010, led by the Mavi Marmara ferry.

For Swedish Jewry, death threats, daily anti-Semitic attacks, and harassment are causing many of the shrinking 20,000-member community to say “enough,” and seek to establish their futures elsewhere.

“I and my friends decided to leave,” 22-year-old Victor Borslöv-Reichmann, told Israel’s NRG in August, after getting his 11th death threat after posting pro-Israeli views on his Facebook page.

Borslöv-Reichmann, a student of International Relations and Economics from Gothenburg, suggested some other preferable countries.

“I’m thinking of emigrating to Berlin, Tel Aviv or Haifa,” he said.

Watch a a video report on the growing threats against Jews in Sweden:

[iframe width=”480″ height=”360″ src=”//” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>]

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  • Jeff

    The new Swedish government is doing exactly what Islamic terrorists love about Europe. They know that European officials will fearfully try to appease them in hopes of keeping the masses quiet and throwing Israel under the bus is easy to do and quite acceptable in the continued antisemitic climate of Europe. Malmo Sweden is an extremely dangerous place for a Jewish person.- England is chomping at the bit to do the same. Dark perilous times for European Jewish communities

    • Agree with u. Sadly we have an idiot of an unelected politician here in the Republic of Ireland trying to do the same.

    • It is ridiculous to suggest European governments, in their increasing number of resolutions and actions, are driven by anything other than a desire for justice for Palestinians and deep frustration at Israel’s refusal to ease up on their visiouos military campaigns and illegal settlement expansions. Israel has shown no sign of moving towards a state solution and officials have speaken of putting the peace process in formaldehyde. The UN is proving powerless given the disproportionate influence of the US there, so governments like Sweden are recognizing Palestine on their own…. and the rest of us are joining the BDS movement.

      • Cindy N.

        Russell: You speak in very vague terms. What exactly has Israel done that you find so intolerable? Let’s see… they pulled out f Gaza completely in 2005 and were rewarded with thousands of rockets fired at them. At Hillary Clinton’s urging, they allowed cement to enter Gaza for the building of homes, schools and hospitals—Instead it was used to build terror tunnels. Israel’s self-defense this past summer resulted in a ratio of 1:1 civilian/terrorist deaths with Hamas responsible for over one thousand of its own people being killed—Either to silence them so they wouldn’t reveal where the tunnels were or through their own rockets- 1 out of every 3 which landed in Gaza. The US/NATO forces have killed 4 civilians for every one terrorist in their air bombings…. and Israel was working in a much more densely populated area. Seems like extreme precautions were taken on the Israeli’s part. I’m guessing you are also protesting settlements being built. So….you are OK with Arabs coming into Israel, but not Israelis into Palestine. You are defending the Arabs that left Israel— most of their own free will following the advice of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, but you say nothing about the 850,000 Jews kicked out of Arab countries in 1948. Seems to me like you are nothing more than an anti-Semitic hypocrite and I only wish that you and the BDS would boycott everything that comes out of Israel. But you can’t—-Because that would set you all back 200 years.

  • Shame on Sweden!

    By recognizing the Palestinian state where Hamas is in the unity government Sweden condones the killing of Jews.

  • Eric R.

    This is a start, but I think Israel should go further – sever diplomatic relations with Sweden and throw all Swedish Nazi propagandists – sorry, I mean journalists – out of the country.

    Further, any Swedish diplomat trying to enter Israel as part of another group – EU or UN – should be barred.

  • BUTSeriously

    Sweedenistan is not fooling anyone. They will become Islamisized, not Israel.

  • The Swedish government ought to be embarrassed by officials talking about International law of which they are obviously totally ignorant.
    It would behoove those who talk for a hitherto honorable nation, trying to influence events and ‘world opinion’, to brush up on their knowledge of international law.”¨
    The state of Israel was created by the LEAGUE OF NATIONS, who in 1922 within the frame work of the Treaty of San Remo, authorized the ‘The British Mandate for Palestine,’ with the express directive to ‘facilitate Jewish immigration and settlement by the Jews of their home land.’ The charter of the League further states that ANY people achieving independence/nationhood via a mandated authority becomes automatically the sovereign master of the entire territory of the mandate.”¨
    This makes Israel the sovereign of the entire area West of the River Jordan, including of course Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, and the much maligned ‘settlements’ totally legitimate building projects of a sovereign state on its land.
    The Palestinians HAVE self-determination under the Palestinian Authority of Mahmud Abbas. Self-determination does NOT imply the right to a separate state; only an administration that serves the will of its people. And what have they ‘determined’ to be? but an unproductive, cantankerous people who sow hatred wherever they go. That is why they were expelled by the late King of Jordan, because even there, where they had previously enjoyed citizenship, they caused nothing but unrest and tried to topple the rightful sovereign.

  • William Moskowitz

    The link to the article is broken if you try to tweet it.