ANALYSIS: Fury in Israel at Swedish FM’s Remarks

Israel is furious over remarks made on Friday by the Swedish Foreign Minister, Margot Wallstrom, who said that “Israel kills Palestinians without a trial.” The Israeli Foreign Ministry responded with the statement that “these are scandalous remarks by an audacious, delusional woman who is disconnected from reality.”

The Swedish minister was interviewed by the media in her country and equated the response of Israeli soldiers to terror attacks that Palestinian murderers try to carry out against them to executions without a trial.

Wallstrom attempted to be balanced, and to the question of why she was not roundly condemning the Palestinian attacks, she said that she condemns violence on both sides, and that each side absolutely has the right to defend itself. “But the Israeli response against the Palestinians is terrible and must not happen,” she stressed. “I say this at every opportunity and not only about Israel, but about everywhere in the world where people are executed without trial.” She then reiterated her opinion that what Israel is doing is execution without trial, and that the response to the attacks is not proportional, and that this is indicated by the number of people killed on the Palestinian side compared to the number of Israeli fatalities.

“The Swedish foreign minister suggests that Israeli citizens should present their necks to murderers who are trying to stab them with knives. Israel’s civilians and security forces have the right to defend themselves. In Israel, every person who commits a crime is brought to court, including terrorists. Israeli citizens have to deal with terror, which is given a tailwind by irresponsible, false statements such as those issued by the audacious minister,” said Israel’s foreign ministry in its reaction.

Israel’s ambassador to Sweden, Yitzchak Bachman Lavi, publicized a statement that “Israel’s moral standards in the war on terror are at least as high as those of the other Western states dealing with the same threat. Israel succeeds in preventing civilians from harm far better than other Western states. The focus on the way in which terror victims defend themselves diverts attention from the true horrors of terror. Instead, the terrorists and inciters must be condemned and prevented from carrying out their acts, and then there will be no need for self-defense.”

Last night, the Swedish foreign ministry publicized a response to the reaction of Israel, stating that “The Foreign Minister did not say that Israel is carrying out ‘executions without trial.’ The Foreign Minister made a general statement regarding international law and the right for self defense and the importance of proportion and discretion. Her words were directed at both sides.”

Hamodia’s reporter notes that just a few weeks ago, the same Swedish Foreign Minister drew a parallel between the Islamic State attacks on Paris and the frustration of the Palestinians in Yehudah and Shomron who “see that they have no future.” Israel summoned the Swedish ambassador for a rebuke over these remarks, which will probably happen again in light of these latest statements.