Sweden connects Paris massacre with 'Palestinian desperation'
Swedish כoreign minister, who has previously clashed with Israel, caused outrage in Israel by drawing a link between the terror attacks in Paris and the feelings of Palestinians. The Israeli Foreign Ministry has invited the Swedish ambassador for a discussion in order to clarify the comments.
Another diplomatic spat between Sweden and Israel erupted this week after Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström seemed to imply that there was a connection between Islamist terrorism and the "desperate situation" of the Palestinians.
The director general of the Foreign Ministry, Dr. Dore Gold, on Monday invited Swedish ambassador to Israel Carl Magnus for an urgent discussion to clarify Wallström's comments.
Wallström's remarks aroused significant ire in Israel. Wallström has in the past been heard to make statements against Israel and has also been entangled in a dispute with Saudi Arabia. On this occasion, during an interview on Swedish TV channel SVT2 on Friday shortly after the Paris attacks, she was asked if she is concerned about the radicalization of Swedish youth who fight with Islamic State.
"Of course we have cause for concern, not just in Sweden but throughout the world, because there are so many being radicalized," Wallström replied.
"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," she added.
The following day, Wallström published an official response on her Facebook page in which she condemned the terror attacks in Paris, writing: "These are actions against democracy and an open society. We must oppose terror and those responsible must go before the law."
The Swedish foreign minister also said that the underlying causes of terror must be tackled as well and that a long-term approach is necessary. She also called for a strengthening of the measures that the international community can take against extremism and fanaticism.
"We must stand together to preserve democracy and humanistic values," Wallström wrote.
The Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem issued a sharp rebuke to the Swedish foreign minister's remarks: "The Swedish foreign minister's statements are appallingly impudent.
"(She) demonstrates genuine hostility when she points to a connection of any kind between the terror attacks in Paris and the complex situation between Israel and the Palestinians," the statement continued.