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Comments on Ynet News regarding Israeli criticism of Swedish FM

Watch the interview here:

‘Swedish FM links Paris attacks to Palestinian radicalisation’, Interview in Ynet News, 18 November 2015.

Here are the questions as they were posed in the pre-interview and the answers that were then given:

1. What is your opinion about the foreign minister’s remarks about the connection between the event in Paris and the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians?

– FM Wallström was commenting on radicalisation of young people in general and not attempting to link the Paris attacks and the Israeli-Palestinia

– However, generally, Islamist extremists worldwide use the situation of the Palestinians as an example when they try to justify their single narrative about Muslims in the world being humiliated and mistreated.

– I know that the current Swedish government’s position vis-à-vis Israel has been perceived by Israelis as anti-Israeli and pro-Palestinian. However, this is not the intention of Sweden’s policy. In general, Sweden and Swedes like Israel. The recognition of Palestine last year was a pro-peace gesture, not an anti-Israel one. Sweden believes that by strengthening the Palestinians it contributes to less asymmetry between the parties – and thereby making future negotiations more likely to succeed.

2. What do people in Sweden think about the rn conflictecent events in Paris? Does Sweden plan to change its immigration policy?

– Swedes are devastated about the Paris attacks and grieve with the people of France. Swedes are now also becoming more worried about the risks of similar attacks happening in Sweden as well. Actually, as we speak there has been a bomb scarce against the parliament building in Stockholm (was later dismissed).

– However, many Swedes believe we have a moral duty to accept all the refugees coming, even though we barely have housing for them. At the same time, Sweden has realised it needs a better order and organisation of its reception, when people arrive at our borders. Since a week, for this reason, Sweden has introduced reinforced border controls.

3. Do you agree with those arguing that the EU has to change its entire attitude towards immigration, immigrants and its open borders?

– First of all, the EU needs to share the burden a
mong all the member states. Now, Germany and Sweden are taking almost all the refugees. Germany takes about 800.000 per year and Sweden about 100.000.

– Then, I must say, I don’t see that we in Europe have a very big choice here. Where shall all these fleeing people go? Those of them who only remain in one of the neighbouring states in the Middle East don’t appear

– Finally, what happened in France is not primarily about immigration problems but rather about failures in integration. Of course (relatively) open borders is a problem in terms of control of the migration flows, but many of the young people committing or planning to commit violent acts in Europe are already here – and have been sincethey were born. This is a problem of home-grown terrorism with links to inequalities, racism, xenophobia and other societal problems. It is not primarily a problem of foreigners coming from the outside to attack Europe.

Read/watch more

Swedish FM Margot Wallström’s interview on SVT Rapport about the Paris attacks and Palestinian radicalisation

‘Israel protests Swedish FM’s comments allegedly linking it to Paris attacks’, i24News, 16 November 2015.

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