Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström Saturday supported her country’s vote in favor of a UN cultural agency resolution declaring Israel an occupying power in Jerusalem. She held that the resolution was balanced and emphasized the importance of Jerusalem to the three monotheistic religions.
Wallström said her government had acted properly in the vote, explaining that there was supposed to be a consensus among European countries in the vote but it had been broken. Following the vote, the Swedish ambassador was summoned to a reprimand in the Foreign Ministry.
But the Swedish move drew criticism not only from Israel but also from many in Sweden. The leader of the opposition Liberal Party, Jan Björklund, slammed the government and said: “Sweden reached an agreement with the dictatorships of the Arab world, according to which it will come out with result in hostile statements against Israel. This is a disgusting move.”
Israel’s ambassador to Sweden, Isaac Bachman, published an article on the independent Swedish website Nyheter24, in which he attacked the Swedish government under the title “Sweden has lost its moral compass.”
Wallström has previously accused Israel of conducting “extrajudicial executions” of Palestinians in the midst of attacking Israelis and seemed to imply that there was a connection between Islamist terrorism in Europe and the “desperate situation” of the Palestinians.
She has been snubbed by the Israeli government on two separate trips to the region when no member of it would agree to meet with her.