JERUSALEM — Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström generated outrage in Israel when she linked ISIS terrorism to Palestinian “despair.”
“Of course we have cause for concern, not just in Sweden but throughout the world, because there are so many being radicalized,” Wallström said during an interview broadcast on Swedish television. “And again, it reminds us of the situation in the Middle East, where the Palestinians see that there is no future for them and have to either accept a desperate situation or resort to violence.”
Israel’s Foreign Ministry quickly issued a harsh rebuttal. “Anyone who engages in a foolish attempt to connect attacks by extremist Islam with the difficulties between Israel and the Palestinians is misleading himself, his people, and international public opinion,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Emanuel Nahshon.
“The words of the Swedish foreign minister are appalling in their chutzpah. The Swedish foreign minister is systematically and unilaterally biased against Israel, and is demonstrating genuine hostility when she points to any connection between the attacks in Paris and the problems between Israel and the Palestinians.”
Dr. Dore Gold, Director-General of the Foreign Ministry, stated that any claim linking ISIS to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not only unfounded but dangerous, because it could be used to justify Palestinian terrorism.
Gold also slammed Sweden for being one of the countries spearheading the move to label products made in Israeli settlements, a measure that, according to Gold, will not only impede the chances of peace but harm many Palestinians employed by Israeli businesses in the West Bank.
Sweden also drew ire from Israelis for being the first Western European nation to formally recognize a “State of Palestine” in October of 2014.