Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom, a vocal critic of Israel, opposes the anti-Israel boycott movement, Swedish opposition leader Anna Kinberg Batra told members of Knesset Monday.
Kinberg Batra said in a meeting with Israel-Sweden Parliamentary Friendship Group chairman Eyal Ben-Reuven (Zionist Union) and MKs Stav Shaffir (Zionist Union) and Amir Ohana (Likud) that before she left for Israel, Wallstrom asked her to pass on a message that she opposes the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement and boycotts of Israel in general.
Earlier this year, Wallstrom sparked outrage in Israel by calling for an investigation to determine whether Israel is guilty of extrajudicial killings of Palestinians during the recent wave of terrorism.
She made no such call following terrorist attacks in Europe this year, in which local police killed the terrorists.
Wallstrom also lamented the “disproportionate” number of deaths on the Palestinian side relative to Israelis.
Ben-Reuven responded that “Israelis who see the BDS movement in Europe, and in Sweden in particular, recoil and shut themselves off; therefore, we need support, not pressure.”
Ben-Reuven added that he would like to see future cooperation between the Knesset and the Swedish parliament.
Shaffir said that BDS hurts the promotion of a two-state solution.
Ohana told Kinberg Batra that he does not believe that there is an immediate solution to the conflict, though he wants there to be peace. Instead, he said, the aim should be cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians, like in industrial zones in the West Bank that employ both groups of people.
Last week, Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid accused Wallstrom of anti-Semitism, during a speech at a pro-Israel rally in Stockholm.
“If the Swedish foreign minister is concerned about human rights in the Middle East, she needs to talk about the Palestinians’ use of children as terrorists and human shields,” Lapid said. “She needs to talk about the discrimination against the gay community [by the Palestinians], about the Der Sturmer- like incitement spread by the Palestinian Authority, and about the abuse of women in Gaza.”
“If your attack on Jews is detached from facts and based only on bias, there is a name for it: anti-Semitism,” Lapid said.
Lapid said the Swedish government, especially Wallstrom, “is on the wrong side of history, the wrong side of morality.”