Sweden’s new center-left government has proclaimed its intention to recognize the state of Palestine, according to The New York Times:
The prime minister of Sweden, Stefan Lofven, declared in his inaugural address on Friday that Sweden would take the step, without specifying when, though he also emphasized that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can be resolved only through negotiations “in accordance with the principles of international law.”
Sweden would be the first major member of the European Union to recognize Palestine, although some East European countries did so during the Cold War, before they joined the union. Israel fears that Swedish recognition could lead other major European countries to follow suit, a trend Israeli officials argued would pre-empt the results of future negotiations over a Palestinian state within agreed borders.
The linkage that has so bedeviled thinking on the Middle East—that the Palestinian cause was somehow animating all Arab rancor—has been definitively destroyed in the past year, as the region has descended into chaos over nothing to do with Israel or the Palestinians. It’s a pity that the Swedes are persisting in this tired old line of reasoning.
The recent Israeli-Palestinian conflict has revealed virulent anti-Semitism in Sweden, particularly among the large immigrant Muslim populations of cities such as Malmö. We hope this declaration is not the start of a broader European trend, where politicians rattled by anti-Semitic exhibitions think it best to placate these factions using misguided policies rather than condemn their bigotry.