Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday slammed Sweden’s Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom, who on Friday accused Israel of “executing” Palestinians. “Anyone who wants peace in this region must condemn Palestinian incitement, just as I am doing now,” Netanyahu said at Sunday’s Cabinet meeting, and “not encourage it” as Wallstrom did.
“What the Swedish Foreign Minister said was shocking,” Netanyahu said, in response to comments by Wallstrom on Friday. Wallstrom was asked about Palestinian attacks on Israelis, which she condemned – but then added that Israel was clearly executing Palestinians, because the death toll among Israelis was so much lower than among Palestinians.
Palestinians were wrong to conduct terror attacks against Israelis, Haaretz quoted Wallstrom as saying, but “ the response cannot be [this way], and I say this in other situations as well, where the response becomes so that there are extrajudicial executions, or that it becomes disproportionate so the numbers of dead on the other side is greater than the original death toll by several factors.”
In response, Israel’s ambassador to Sweden, Yitzchak Bachman, said that “Israel’s moral standards when it comes to fighting terrorism are at least on par with other Western nations coping with the same threat. Instead, we need to condemn the terrorists and act against them, against those who fund them, and against those who incite to terror.”
In a statement, the Foreign Ministry said that “the Swedish Foreign Minister is suggesting that Israeli citizens offer up their necks to murderers, who would stab them with their knives. The citizens of Israel have to deal with terrorism that receives support from irresponsible and false statements like that. The statement is scandalous, surreal, impudent, and detached from reality.”
“Apparently, the Foreign Minister expects Israel to offer themselves up to Palestinians who want to kill them,” Netanyahu reiterated at the meeting. “That will not happen. We will continue to defend Israelis from terror.”