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A top priority for Sweden during its current possession of the European Union’s rotating six-month presidency was to get the association’s 26 other member states to sign a proposal to split Jerusalem into the capitals, respectively, of Israel and a future Palestinian state. Additionally, the Swedish document explicitly called for said Palestinian state to be established along the pre-1967 lines: “Europe calls for an independent, democratic, contiguous and viable state of Palestine, comprising the West Bank and Gaza and with east Jerusalem as its capital,” the original proposal said, hitting most of the magic words. Israel lobbied against this document, and was successful. However, Sweden still managed last week to get 27 signatures on a milder “draft statement” that declares, “If there is to be a genuine peace, a way must be found through negotiations to resolve the status of Jerusalem as the future capital of two states.”

Israel’s response to that event, which was communicated through a Foreign Ministry official on background and which references Sweden’s iconic national company, ought to be savored, like a really expensive glass of wine. “The peace process in the Middle East,” Israel said, “is not like IKEA furniture. It takes more than a screw and a hammer, it takes a true understanding of the constraints and sensitivities of both sides, and in that Sweden failed miserably.” (Our bold.) Because we’re journalists, whose main bias is not for a particular side as much as for a good story, we hope that Sweden’s rebuttal is forthcoming. In fact, we hope it mentions how difficult it is to get through the stubborn sole of a Teva sandal.

Israeli Officials to Sweden: Middle East Peace is Not Like IKEA Furniture [Haaretz]

Previously: Swede Dreams





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