ADL demands Swedish PM ‘respect’ Israel

January 15, 2016  

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on Friday sent a letter to Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, asking that he ensure a greater level of respect for Israel after Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom’s latest inflammatory comments on Tuesday.

ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt complained over the way Wallstrom called for an investigation of Israel for “executing” Palestinian Arabs, in an attempt to delegitimize security forces defending civilians from Arab terrorists.

“We urge you to ensure that official Swedish statements demonstrate respect for, and knowledge of, Israel’s proven commitment to the rule of law, support for its security challenges, even as it faces armed threats on a scale which Sweden is fortunate not to know,” wrote Greenblatt.

“Surely if such attacks were occurring with regularity on the streets of Stockholm, there would be a comprehensive effort to ensure the security of city streets and to stop the perpetrators from carrying out their attacks,” he said.

“Swedish government officials should take the time to educate themselves about legitimate Israeli defense against terrorists.”

Sounding a warning note about the rising level of anti-Semitism in the Nordic country, Greenblatt added, “Sweden, which served as a place of refuge for Danish and Norwegian Jews during World War II, now has a reputation as a place where Jews are fleeing from due to anti-Semitism, specifically in Malmo. Swedish media further inflame both anti-Israel bias and anti-Semitism with comparisons of Israel to Nazis and blood libels.”

Wallstrom’s comments have led to a backlash in Israel, with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Thursday calling the statements “foolish” and “immoral,” a day after Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely announced that Swedish officials are no longer welcome to visit Israel. 

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