Netanyahu slams Swedish FM’s ‘foolish and immoral’ comments
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Thursday night responded for the first time to the latest inflammatory comments of Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom against Israel, which were made on Tuesday.
Wallstrom called to investigate the Jewish state for “executing” Palestinian Arabs, in an attempt to delegitimize the actions of security forces killing Arab terrorists as they conduct an attack. Killing the terrorists is often a matter of life or death in preventing further victims, as in many cases the terrorists continue attacking after being shot.
“This is a scandalous statement, it is immoral and wrong,” Netanyahu said in response, speaking at a press conference for foreign journalists in Israel.
“Someone defends themselves from an attacker who wants to murder them with a knife, and shoots him,” he described. “This is an absurd and foolish statement.”
In response to Wallstrom’s statements, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely announced on Wednesday that Swedish officials are no longer welcome to visit Israel. Yisrael Beytenu chairman MK Avigdor Liberman went a step further, calling on Israelis to boycott the Swedish international furniture chain IKEA.
Later on Wednesday, Israel’s Foreign Ministry summoned Swedish ambassador to Israel Carl Magnus to be reprimanded over Wallstrom’s comments.
“EU is changing the political reality”
In his session with the foreign journalists on Thursday, Netanyahu stated that Israel is maintaining good relations with Europe, despite the steps the European Union (EU) has taken against the Jewish state, such as labeling Jewish goods from Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights.
“There is an intolerable situation here in which the (European) Union labels our goods. The Union is encouraging illegal Palestinian construction in the territories in order to change the political reality.”
Netanyahu also spoke about Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked’s (Jewish Home) new NGO transparency law targeting foreign funded radical leftist groups, saying, “this is a very reasonable demand in a democratic state.”
“In the United States the laws on this topic are even firmer. The vote that came up in Israel is connected to transparency, and that is the heart of democracy,” he said.
“This is a logical matter, and it’s too bad there are those who hold a double or triple standard against us. That isn’t acceptable to us.”
Netanyahu in his remarks also noted for the first time on the appointment of Dani Dayan as ambassador to Brazil. Brazil has refused to accept the appointment given that Dayan lives in Samaria and formerly was head of the Yesha Council.
“Dayan is still my candidate for the role, and he is definitely fitting,” concluded Netanyahu.