Tobias PeterssonThe writer is a spokesperson and political researcher for the Swedish pro-Israel NGO Perspective on Israel (Perspektiv på Israel)
A photo on Facebook showing Swedish Social Democratic MEP Marita Ulvskog holding up a poster of arch-terrorist Marwan Barghouti has stirred up feelings in Sweden. Barghouti is convicted of three terror attacks in which five Israelis were murdered.
Many Swedes are now disgusted and see Ulvskog’s action as a proof that the Swedish MEP and her party are supporting terrorism. But little do they know that support for terror is common in the Left and Social Democratic parties in Sweden and that many Palestinian associations in Sweden support terror organisations and terrorists of such organisations.
To be honest I was not really surprised to see the MEP Ulvskog with a poster of Barghouti. A year ago she took part in an art project in support of Palestinian prisoners. In this art project she and other European politicians were photographed behind bars, in solidarity with the Palestinian ”political prisoners”. Her new photo with the poster of Barghouti just proves what kind of ”political prisoners” the European MEPs were supporting last year: Terrorists, nothing more or less.
But Ulvskog was not the only one from her party supporting Palestinian terror convicted prisoners recently. Last Saturday Palestinians in the Swedish city of Uppsala held a manifestation for the currently hunger striking Palestinian terrorists in Israeli jails. A local branch of Ulvskog’s party sent a letter of solidarity with the terrorists, which were read out loud in this pro terror event. And on Labour Day this year Palestinian associations marched in several cities in support of Palestinian prisoners.
In Malmö the Left Party invited the terror organisation DFLP to participate and speak in their Labour Day event. DFLP supporters were seen in the event holding up signs of Marwan Barghouti (Fatah), Ahmed Saddat (PFLP) and Samer Issawi (DFLP), all three convicted terrorists.
In recent weeks demonstrations in support of Palestinian terrorists have been arranged in Gothenburg, Uppsala, Stockholm and Malmö. These demonstrations follow a string of terror gloryfying events in Sweden:
In 2015 and 2016 several hundred Muslim children in Sweden were given terror promoting textbooks by a number of Palestinian associations. In these textbooks terrorism against Israel is glorified and the involvement of children in terror acts is presented as morally right.
A pro terror event was held in November last year in the small town of Åmål where Palestinian terrorists who use kitchen knives to attack Israelis were praised. Children were forced to sing songs with lyrics such as ”destroy Zionism” and ”we have thrown the stones at soldiers and the police and we have launched rockets against our enemies”. The children were also encouraged to sacrifice their blood and souls to ”liberate Palestine”.
The local branch of the Left Party organised this event which was officially described as ”a day for integration” so that they could use public municipal facilities for it.
In January a Palestinian association in Malmö was allowed to rent the municipal facility called Garaget to host what was called a ”cultural evening”. The ”cultural evening” ended up being a terror glorifying anniversary for Fatah and a celebration for a newly released convicted Hezbollah spy, who now calls himself an ambassador of the Palestinian prisoners. In this event people were dancing and holding a weapon dummy while singing Arabic songs praising terror acts.
And these are just a few examples of how Sweden has become a hub for Palestinian extremism and legitimisation of terrorism.
This string of events proves that Swedish politicians have not done their job in fighting terrorism.Not even the horrible Islamist attack on the Swedish society just one month ago in Stockholm made Social Democratic and Left party politicians show zero tolerance against terrorism. Instead they have continued to invite Palestinian terror glorifications to their events and to show solidarity with convicted prisoners who have been involved in acts of terror.
Swedish politicians must understand that if they continue on this path Sweden can never be trusted as a serious friend of democracy and as a strong and real enemy of terrorism.
Tobias Petersson is director of Swedish think tank Perspektiv på Israel (Perspective on Israel)