October 7: Readers weigh in on Sweden’s recognition of ‘Palestine’

Sweden's new center-left government will recognize the state of Palestine, Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said on October 3.

By
October 6, 2014 23:36
Sweden's Prime minister Stefan Lofven (standing C) announces his new government during a Parliament

Sweden's Prime minister Stefan Lofven (standing C) announces his new government during a Parliament session in Stockholm October 3. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Sir, – I was stunned to read about the new Swedish leader (“Liberman slams Swedish prime minister for vowing to recognize ‘Palestine,’” October 5). It totally proves how ignorant and hasty he is in creating such a drastic statement. Being new to his government he should have studied the history of the Middle East, as well as consulted his cabinet.

Let us remind Stefan Lofven that before the Six Day War there was no Palestine. Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Iraq planned to eliminate Israel. After this brutal and unjust war, territories were taken from three of these nations (the most natural instinct to do). Israel never, ever occupied land from “Palestine” because there never was any Palestine.

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N.E. SAMUEL
Yavne

Sir, – Laughingly, Sweden has joined the famed people of Chelm known for their stupidity and ignorance. It has recognized a country that doesn’t exist, has no borders and a president who isn’t.

Furthermore, Sweden contradicts itself by stating: “A twostate solution requires mutual recognition... Sweden will therefore recognize the State of Palestine.”

Since even the Swedes say that the two sides have to agree, how can anyone recognize a state before that occurs?

URI HIRSCH
Netanya

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Sir, – Any student of history will immediately recognize the schizophrenic but happy Swedish mentality that wishes to recognize Palestine as an independent state.

While considering themselves an integral part of 21st century Europe, they completely forget how they excused themselves from fighting the Nazi menace in 1939 and declared themselves a neutral country. This was pragmatic for the Swedes but hypocritical in the extreme as now when they recommend a political status that threatens us all with its supposed legitimacy.

STANLEY COHEN
Jerusalem

Sir, – Sweden has stated that it recognizes the state of Palestine.

I can only say that there is no state of Palestine and that there has never been such a state in all of history.

It is extremely hostile of Sweden to do this to a legitimate state called Israel, which was declared as a state legally by the United Nations – for whatever that is worth. The Arab nations at the time declared war on a legal state and Israel won the war. The Arab nations have never accepted that Israel won a war of extermination and continue to try to exterminate it in every possible way.

It is impossible to conceive that in its hatred for Israel, Sweden could want to cause another major war in the Middle East by trying to force the Israeli nation to do what no Arab nation has ever done – create a Palestinian state. Only real negotiations based on reality and law can create such a nation.

No country would help create a nation that is committed to its destruction. Hamas has vowed to do this time and time again.

Sweden’s statement could make World War III inevitable.

THELMA SUSSWEIN
Jerusalem

Sir, – Article 13 of the Hamas charter says, “There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through jihad,” while article Article 7 says, “The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews, when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say, O Muslims, O Abdullah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.”

Should we conclude that by supporting the “State of Palestine,” where Hamas is in the unity government, Sweden supports the killing of Jews? Is this what Sweden stands for?

MLADEN ANDRIJASEVIC
Beersheba

Sir, – I find it amazing that Parkinson’s Law has reached global diplomacy in the international community (whatever that anonymous group is supposed to be).

Two articles in the October 5 Jerusalem Post prove it is still valid – “Liberman slams Swedish prime minister for vowing to recognize ‘Palestine,’” and “Condemnations of Givat Hamatos housing plan pour in from EU, elsewhere.”

Parkinson’s Law states that when a complex problem comes to a committee for a solution, the committee passes it or turns it down immediately, with no discussion, because no one wants to show his or her ignorance or intellectual failings on the matter. In our current world-crisis mode, nothing has really been done.

Furthermore, world has so many major problems that, unfortunately, there are no statesmen around of any quality to provide answers. However when a simple problem comes before the committee, as Parkinson stated, everyone has an opinion on what color to paint the bicycle sheds, so lo and behold, everyone has an answer.

Behold, we have two bicycle sheds.

BOB GOLD
Jerusalem

Sir, – Sweden has been strongly criticized by the OECD, the Council of Europe and various UN bodies for failing to recognize the rights of its own indigenous people, the Sami.

Sweden has signed on to almost all conventions on human rights that the UN has adopted – except for ILO Convention 169. This particular convention guarantees the rights of the Sami (e.g., their entitlement to own and use their traditional land, water areas and natural resources located in Sweden). Sweden, however, feels justified in criticizing Israel and recognizing Palestine as a state.

I call upon the Swedish government to recognize the rights of the Sami people on Swedish soil.

I am also extremely troubled by Sweden’s decade-long hostility toward Israel. Could it be that it recognizes that the Jewish people are the indigenous people of the Land of Israel?

ERWIN PAVEL
Ra’anana
The writer has Swedish citizenship

Sir, – We know that in one way or another we must apologize to Israel and its Jewish population because of our new socialist government’s disgraceful statement.

We do not stand behind the statement about recognizing Palestine as a sovereign state. We are in sorrow and want to apologize.

The left-wing parties’ hatred against Israel and Jews is very well-known in Sweden, but it is hushed up. Please know that there are many Swedish people who are deeply distressed over the statement.

MIKAEL and ANNA SODERLUND
Jonkoping, Sweden

Sir, – As context for its announcement to recognize the state of Palestine, Sweden’s 66-year-old vendetta against Israel over the death of Count Folke Bernadotte should have been mentioned in your October 6 editorial “Swedish mistake.”

Zionist fighters murdered the count in 1948 as he worked to negotiate a peace settlement between Arabs and Israelis.

In 2013, when I attended the annual memorial observance in Jerusalem hosted by the government of Sweden and the Folke Bernadotte Academy (FBA), my boss and other Israel-focused UN officials were invited to speak about the count’s peaceful legacy.

He was indeed a hero. He saved thousands from Nazi concentration camps and sought a peaceful solution to the Arab-Israeli crisis. He deserved to be honored.

However, I was shocked when the Swedish representatives used the occasion as a springboard to chastise the Israeli government for not punishing Bernadotte’s assassins. Although FBA is a propeace organization, Sweden holds a grudge for that 1948 paramilitary operation. It is further evidenced by the timing of Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven’s announcement – as Jews everywhere had turned off their televisions and radios for Yom Kippur.

MARK WEINER
Washington, DC

The writer, as a major in the US Air Force, served as military assistant to the head of mission of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization

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