Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström sparked outrage in Israel on Friday when she accused the Jewish state of carrying out extrajudicial executions of Palestinian terrorists.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry issued a statement calling Wallstrom’s comment “scandalous, delusional, rude, and detached from reality.”
“The [Swedish] foreign minister suggests that Israeli citizens simply give their necks to the murderers trying to stab them with knives,” the Israeli Foreign Ministry said. “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.”
Wallström made her comments while addressing the Swedish parliament to respond to claims made by three fellow lawmakers that Swedish foreign policy was pro-Palestinian and discriminatory against Israel. According to the Swedish newspaper Expressen, Wallström was asked in the Swedish parliament by Liberal MP Mathias Sundin why she has not condemned the recent wave of Palestinian terrorism in Israel in similarly strong terms.
Wallström responded that Israel has “the right to defend itself,” but then went on to say that the response could not be “extrajudicial executions” or a reaction that was “disproportionate,” with the “number of dead on the other side greater than the original death toll by several factors.”
Israeli Ambassador to Sweden Isaac Bachman responded to Wallström in an interview with Expressen, saying, “To focus on the actions terrorism victims take in self-defence only serves to draw attention away from the horrors of terrorism. Instead, we should condemn and act to stop the perpetrators, the financiers and the inciters of terrorism.”