Sweden Recognized 'Palestine' for 'Muslim Votes'

Former ambassador Alan Baker explains why Sweden voted to recognize the PA as a state, in contradiction to the Oslo Accords.

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Benny Toker, Ari Yashar,

Anti-Israel protest in Stockhold, Sweden
Anti-Israel protest in Stockhold, Sweden
Miriam Alster/Flash 90

Former Israeli Ambassador to Canada Dr. Alan Baker, the head of the Legal Forum for Israel, on Friday explained to Arutz Sheva why the Swedish government officially recognized the Palestinian Authority (PA) as the "state of Palestine" on Thursday.

Baker, who previously served as legal adviser to the Foreign Ministry, sent a message to Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven following the declaration, explaining to him that the move opposes the 1993 Oslo Accords.

"On the one hand they encourage the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, and on the other hand they establish in advance the results of the negotiations," Baker told Arutz Sheva. "According to the Oslo Accords the Palestinians don't have the status of a state."

Baker posits that the recognition is a simple political act that has no juridicial meaning whatsoever, much the same as the UK's recent non-binding vote on the same issue.

"This step puts Sweden in line with states holding a hostile approach to Israel, but it has no legal meaning. It's known that the Muslims are flooding Sweden, and the prime minister needs their support," explained Baker.

The Swedish recognition has led Israel to recall its ambassador, and has also led to a string of quips, with Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman saying Thursday "the Swedish government must understand that relations in the Middle East are a lot more complex than the self-assembly furniture of IKEA and that they have to act with responsibility and sensitivity."

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom shot back "I will be happy to send him a flat pack of IKEA furniture and he will also see that what you need to put that together is, first of all, a partner. You also need to cooperate and you need a good manual."

Her comment was met by a crushing riposte from Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon, who said "it's nice to send a piece of furniture from IKEA, but when it comes with a manual in an unintelligible language and is missing screws, it doesn't help."