The Swedish government has poor timing—and it raises questions about their Middle East policy. The same day they announced they had recognized the “State of Palestine” to—in the words of Foreign Minister Margot Wallström—“give our support to the moderate forces and the lead of President Abbas,” the party of Abbas called for a “day of rage” in Israel and abroad.
Palestinian Media Watch translated a report from the WAFA Palestinian news agency in which the Fatah political party called for its “fighters” and the “masses of the Palestinian people to aid the Al-Aqsa Mosque” and Jerusalem. The statement urged a “day of rage” on Friday in opposition to “any attack on the holy places,” a common libel against Israel. And that’s not the worst comment the Palestinians gave this week.
The Swedish government, whose decision to recognize a “State of Palestine” was announced on their website and explained in a webcast by Wallström, said they believed that the Palestinians had met the three legal requirements for recognition: “a people, a territory, and a government.” Two of those three elements are in doubt, however.
The territorial claim comes as the Palestinians do not have full control of any territory other than the Gaza Strip, and the Swedes did not limit their statement to Gaza. The Palestinians also claim the Biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) and half of Jerusalem.
In addition, the government condition comes as the leadership of Abbas—the “moderate” according to Wallström—is in union with Hamas terrorists.
Those partners in Abbas’ government, by the way, praised on Wednesday the attempted assassination in Jerusalem of Jewish religious rights activist Yehuda Glick. The Ma’an News Agency reported that Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum further called for more attacks and “to defend al-Aqsa mosque and Palestinian rights no matter what the sacrifices would be.”
The complicated situation in the Middle East led Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman to strongly criticize the Swedish recognition of Palestine. A statement from Lieberman posted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website said the move “is an unfortunate decision which strengthens radical elements and Palestinian recalcitrance.
“Such measures only serve to bolster the Palestinians’ unrealistic demands and delay an agreement. The only way to reach an arrangement between Israel and the Palestinians is for the parties to conduct sincere negotiations.”
Palestinian Media Watch statement © Palestinian Media Watch – www.palwatch.org
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, October 30, 2014)