10 December '15..
"We have to temporarily adapt to reality," said Swedish Environment Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Asa Romson recently, inadvertently delivering the truth about Sweden and its politics over the past decades while involuntarily making herself sound like a pathetic fool at the same time.
Swedish top politicians are on the wrong kind of roll right now, delivering a grotesque kind of theatrics that are at times sinister, at times very entertaining to watch from the outside, but most of all plainly embarrassing to many Swedes, who are increasingly shaking their heads at a leadership gone very awry. It should be added that Swedes are a stoic and extremely consensus-seeking lot who will go to great lengths before uttering any kind of dissent, but even they seem to be fed up with a leadership that is so inept, as is evident from the soaring support that the Sweden Democrats have been getting recently.
A YouGov poll from mid-September showed that the anti-immigration party holds 27.3% of voter support, making it the biggest political party in Sweden. In comparison, Swedish Social Democratic Party is trailing behind at 21.3%. Both Prime Minister Stefan Lofven and his foreign minister, Margot Wallstrom, are from the Social Democratic Party.
Lofven and Wallstrom have drawn attention recently to themselves with their insane comments about terrorism against Israelis. First up was the foreign minister, who on Friday accused Israel of conducting "extrajudicial executions" while defending itself against Palestinians committing terror attacks. Israel slammed these remarks with the Foreign Ministry responding that her statement was "delusional, rude and detached from reality. The foreign minister is suggesting the citizens of Israel simply present their necks to the killers seeking to stab them with knives. The citizens of Israel and its security forces have the right to defend themselves. In Israel, every person who commits a crime is brought in front of a judge, including terrorists. The citizens of Israel have to deal with terrorism that receives support from irresponsible and false statements like that."
The Swedish Foreign Ministry then issued a meaningless statement on Saturday morning, clarifying that "the foreign minister did not say that Israel conducts 'extrajudicial executions.' The foreign minister made a general statement about international law and the right to self-defense and the importance of proportionality and distinction. What she stated applies to all parties."
That statement is particularly meaningless, because Wallstrom has demonstrated the particulars of her ignorance of international law and the principle of proportionality by falsely implying that the latter has to do with how many casualties there are on each side.
Enter Lofven. While trying to do some much needed damage control regarding Wallstrom's disastrous forays into international law and obvious anti-Semitism, he actually managed to deteriorate things by claiming that stabbing attacks are actually not terrorism at all! "No, it is not classified as that. There is an international classification when it is, or is not. What I know is not classified as terrorism," he told Swedish news agency TT.
Lofven later called the news agency in an attempt to clarify his own comments. "I was referring to the fact it is not clear whether these knife attacks have been organized by some classified terrorist organization. But organized attacks are precisely acts of terrorism," he said.
In that case he is, unsurprisingly, either genuinely uninformed or plain lying. These terrorist attacks are highly organized, being the direct result of decades of incitement on official PA TV, including children's programs, official PA news outlets and Facebook pages, in schools, in mosques and on the streets.
Moreover, Sweden has contributed to the financing of this incitement directly by funding the PA with millions of Swedish kroner every year.
Clearly, diplomacy is neither Lofven's nor his foreign minister's core competence.
Meanwhile, speaking of what is terrorism and what is not, in London an attacker slashed bystanders at a underground station on Sunday while yelling "this is for Syria" in a terrorist attack very similar to those that are occurring practically everyday in Israel. While British media outlets do everything in their power to avoid calling the stabbing attacks in Israel terrorism, no such qualms were present when it came to their own. The Daily Mail's Mail Online wrote in a headline, "Bystander's defiant reaction to Tube terrorist's knife attack becomes online hit as #YouAintNoMuslimBruv sweeps the Internet."
Compare that to a headline in Mail Online only hours later about a stabbing attack in Jerusalem: "Palestinian attacker is shot dead after stabbing an Israeli in the West Bank just hours after a knife-wielding 'terrorist' went on the rampage in Jerusalem."
Judith Bergman is a writer and political analyst living in Israel.
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