I thought of starting this post with the words “Tis the season to bash Israel”, but I realized that every day is Bash Israel Day, at least in Scandinavia. Sweden certainly has become one of the main centres of Muslim-inspired antisemitic activity.
In which case here is the latest bash-Israel news:
When we learned that the head of the Swedish Opposition was coming to Israel we presumed that she would take an opposing stance to the ruling party, since that is what Opposition parties generally do. That would have implied that she would be pro-Israel. Alas, it was not to be, and Israel is furious that Swedish Opposition leader Anna Kinberg Batra failed to make even one pro-Israel statement during her visit.
Israeli officials on Tuesday accused Sweden’s opposition leader of failing to make any pro-Israel statements during her recent visit, arguing that she misled them in presenting herself as a friend who is visiting to counter the Stockholm government’s hostile stance toward Israel.
“We are disappointed with the visit of Swedish opposition leader [Anna] Kinberg Batra in Israel,” a senior official in Jerusalem told The Times of Israel. “Before the visit, she presented herself as a close friend and gave us to understand that she would use her visit as a platform for positive statements about Israel. She did not deliver the goods.”
Israel was disgracefully attacked last winter by the Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom who used a modern-day blood libel against Israel, so it was a nasty shock to receive a similar cold shower from the opposition.
The article continues:
Given Kinberg Batra’s status as leader of the opposition, and her ostensible indications that she would criticize her government’s hostile stance toward Israel and express herself positively about the country, she was given high-level meetings in Jerusalem, including with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the official said.
But during her stay over the last few days, Kinberg Batra did not make “any significant comment” that would demonstrate a fundamental difference between her views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and those of Wallstrom, the official noted, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Israel expected that she would be different in her approach to Israel and this didn’t happen.”
In fact, in an interview published Sunday, she vowed to criticize Israeli settlements as “unacceptable,” while stopping short of issuing any criticism of the Palestinians.
Surely this should be considered a disgraceful breach of protocol!
Meanwhile, Margot Wallstrom’s attempt at extending an olive branch to Israel was angrily shrugged off:
Kinberg Batra, the leader of the center-right Moderate Party, on Monday told Israeli lawmakers at the Knesset that prior to her arrival, Wallstrom, the Swedish foreign minister, asked her to relay the message that she opposes the BDS movement, which calls for boycotts, divestments and sanctions against Israel.
But Jerusalem shrugged Wallstrom’s ostensible olive branch off as meaningless. “It is indeed a strange state of affairs that the Swedish foreign minister has to convey messages to us through the head of the opposition,” the senior official said.
Israel’s Yesh Atid MK Yair Lapid participated in the Swedish Zionist Federation’s 5th annual pro-Israel demonstration a couple of weeks ago, the first Israeli MP ever to do so. At the rally he directly accused FM Margot Wallstrom of antisemitism:
Appearing at a pro-Israel rally in Stockholm on Sunday, Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid accused the Swedish foreign minister of anti-Semitism, for attacking Israel in a way that did not reflect the reality on the ground.
“If the Swedish foreign minister is so worried about the state of human rights in the Middle East, she should talk about the use of children as terrorists or human shields, the discrimination against the LGBT community in the Palestinian Authority, the incitement disseminated by the Palestinian Authority against Jews akin to [Nazi propaganda newspaper] ‘Der Stürmer,’ the exploitation of women in Gaza, and the human rights situation in Iran,” Lapid told the 500-strong crowd who turned out for the annual “Taking Back Zionism” rally.
In the wake of last November’s terror attacks in Paris, she also identified the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as one of the factors explaining why “there are so many people who have become radicalized” — comments Israel called “appallingly impudent.”
“If an attack on Jews is divorced from the facts, and based solely on prejudice, that has a name — it’s called anti-Semitism,” Lapid said at the rally in Raoul Wallenberg Square.
“Raoul Wallenberg fought against it 70 years ago and saved my father,” he said.
Lapid’s father, the late journalist and lawmaker Yosef “Tommy” Lapid, was a Holocaust survivor who spent much of the war in the Budapest Ghetto.
It is dismaying to consider how low Sweden has descended from the days of its heroic Raoul Wallenberg, who, it was recently revealed, was executed on the orders of Stalin.
Meanwhile, Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been visiting the Netherlands, and there too, Israel-bashing played a major role when, in yet another flagrant breach of diplomatic protocol, a Dutch MP refused to shake Netanyahu’s hand:
The Times of Israel reports:
Kuzu, from the pro-immigrant DENK, or Think, party, points to his Palestinian flag lapel as Netanyahu goes past, and Netanyahu defers as both nod in understanding.
Kuzu, 35, was born in Istanbul. He was one of the founders of Kuzu, which is made up of migrants to Holland.
In 2014, he led a failed parliamentary effort for Holland to recognize Palestine.
It seems that anti-Israel stances are a prerequisite for being a politician in some European countries. During Netanyahu’s visit the former Dutch FM Dries Van Agt said that Netanyahu should be arrested as a war criminal:
Former Dutch Prime Minister and longtime pro-Palestinian activist Dries van Agt said Binyamin Netanyahu is “a war criminal” who should be prosecuted during his visit this week to the Netherlands.
Van Agt, who in 2012 said Jews should have had a state in Germany instead of the Land of Israel and who in 2008 spoke at rally in Rotterdam that featured a speech via satellite by Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, spoke about Israel’s Prime Minister this Monday during an interview with the NPO 1 public television channel.
“There’s a war criminal coming to this country,” said Van Agt, 85, who presided as the Dutch Prime Minister for five years until 1982 for the centrist Christian-Democratic Appeal party.
“The occupation and expansion… building of settlements, of occupied territory, this is according to the Rome Statute, which is… the setup… the statute on which the international criminal court is based, in so many words, a war crime,” Van Agt said in a rambling television interview.
“So why should we receive someone who continues with such things, we could have sent him right away to the international criminal court, that would have been better,” he said of Netanyahu.
Netanyahu himself was not backward in coming forward in defence of the settlement enterprise in Judea and Samaria when he told the Dutch parliament that it is the Palestinians’ refusal to accept any Jewish state anywhere in Israel which is the core of the conflict, and not Jewish houses in the Israeli heartland:
Most of the press conference was dedicated to questions regarding the Israeli-Arab conflict and the refusal of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
“Their problem is not the West Bank,” said Netanyahu, “their problem is our very existence.”
“We left the Gaza Strip, and what happened there? Hamastan. The Palestinians want also Akko, Jaffa, and Tel Aviv.”
“The Palestinians and Mahmoud Abbas do not accept the existence of the State of Israel. The Palestinians celebrate the murderous terrorism, whether in Israel or around the world, and they name their streets after the murderers.”
“The central problem is that the Palestinians do not accept and do not want a Jewish state [to exist].”
The Prime Minister added that even projects that would benefit the Palestinian Authority were hampered by Arab irredentism.
“I want to build a road or a bridge that will connect Ramallah to Bethlehem and shorten the trip [between them]. And who doesn’t accept [the project]? The Palestinians. Why? Because they are bothered by Maaleh Adumim, with its 50,000 residents.”
“The settlements are not the problem in the Middle East; when we left Gaza the conflict didn’t end. The whole world sees the changes in the Arab world that don’t bode well for peace.”
It never ceases to amaze me how seemingly enlightened world leaders can see what is going on in the Middle East, the mass-murders, the slaughter, the torture, expulsion, arrests and wholesale massacres of innocent civilian populations, and yet be exercised only over a few hundred houses built for Jewish families on territory which was agreed in the Oslo Accords should be under Israeli control.
There is no other explanation other than plain old antisemitism.