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I Israel’s Netanyahu: Swedish FM’s remarks ‘outrageous’

January 2016

Mr Netanyahu accused Ms Wallstrom of double-standards towards Israel and the Palestinians

Benjamin Netanyahu said Margot Wallstrom’s remarks were “outrageous… immoral and… stupid”.

Ms Wallstrom had called for “thorough and credible investigations” into the deaths of some 155 Palestinians – mostly attackers, Israel says – have been killed in unrest since October. In that time, 26 Israelis have been killed in stabbing, shooting or car-ramming attacks by Palestinians or Israeli-Arabs. The attackers who have been killed have either been shot dead by their victims or security forces. Others have been arrested.

On Tuesday, Ms Wallstrom said it was “vital that there is a thorough, credible investigation into these deaths in order to clarify and bring about possible accountability”, according to Swedish media reports.

Israel says Ms Wallstrom would not be welcome in the country

Speaking to foreign reporters, Mr Netanyahu condemned Ms Wallstrom’s comments.

“I think what the Swedish foreign minister said is outrageous, I think it’s immoral, it’s unjust and it’s just wrong,” he said.
“People are defending themselves against assailants wielding knives who are about to stab them to death and they shoot the people, and that’s extrajudicial killings?

“Does the Swedish foreign minister suggest that there be examinations of what happened… in Paris, or in [San Bernardino] the United States?” he asked by comparison, alluding to deadly attacks late last year by Islamist militants in which the assailants were killed by security forces.

Israel’s deputy foreign minister earlier said Israel would continue a policy of barring the Swedish foreign minister from visiting the country, accusing Ms Wallstrom of fostering terrorism.

Relations between Israel and Sweden have been strained since Sweden recognized Palestinian statehood in October 2014.

In the wake of the November 2015 Paris attacks, Ms Wallstrom also angered Israel by saying a sense of hopelessness among Palestinians was a factor behind the rise of Islamist extremism in Europe.

II Rabbi Berl Wein’s graciously blames her ignorant Jew Hating remarks on Sweden’s cold winters!

Redacted from his article WINTER BLUES

Having lived in Israel for the past nineteen years, memories of winter in Monsey, New York have faded from my memory. That is not all that has faded from my memory but that is a different matter for a different discussion.

It is mid-winter here in the northeastern part of the United States and this is pretty much the reason why many millions of Americans leave this part of the country and migrate west and south to warmer climes and sunnier skies. I think that the horrid winter weather of Sweden is partially responsible for the wondrously idiotic statements of its current Foreign minister about Israel.

Obviously she is depressed by the Swedish winter and focuses her frustrations and melancholy on poor little Israel. In fact, Israel has become the punching-bag for most of the nations of the world. The UN’s Secretary General can’t do much about North Korea, central Africa, ISIS, the Zika virus, the European migrant crisis, the Syrian civil war and the nasty winter weather of New York City where the UN is located, so he “oon-shooms” it about Israel.

The Jewish people have been the world’s scapegoat for all of its own self-contrived ills for millennia. Now that unexpectedly and against all wisdom and odds there is one Jewish state that has the temerity to exist in this world, it now has received its place of honor in the eyes of the world’s nations and most of its media, to be constantly criticized, pilloried and threatened. Israel is truly the world’s seeming cause of its winter of discontent.

In spite of all the criticism and unfairness directed towards it, there is always a begrudging note of admiration and wonder present in the world’s attitude towards the State of Israel. Firstly, Jews are not supposed to have physical prowess. We are not supposed to have a most successful army, navy and air force. In addition, Jews are not supposed to have independent diplomatic and military policies. In short, the situation regarding Jewry has been turned on its head after millennia. And this takes quite an adjustment.

The Jewish people, on the whole, are better off than what our situation was a century ago. We have passed through a very frigid winter and it still lingers with very little warmth towards us from the world’s officialdom and media. But they will eventually adjust to the new Jewish reality, just as Jewry itself will also have to make its own adjustment to the realities that exist before us.

In spite of occasional severely cold days, the Land of Israel experiences fairly mild winters. Let us hope that this will be true metaphorically and not only weather wise.

Shabbat shalom

Berel Wein

Rabbi Berel Wein (born March 25, 1934) is an American-born Orthodox rabbi, lecturer and writer. He has authored several books concerning Jewish history and popularized the subject through more than 1,000 audio tapes, newspaper articles and international lectures. Throughout his career, he has retained personal and ideological ties to both Modern Orthodox and Haredi Judaism. Rabbi Wein and his wife moved to Israel in 1997.In Israel, Wein established The Destiny Foundation, a forum for his CDs, audio tapes and many books.

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