I ett svar till SvD säger ambassadör Bachman att ett erkännande av Palestina är ett misstag som inte främjar fred. Tvärtom uppmuntrar det extremister och terrorister.
Question: What is your view on that the Swedish government will “soon” take the formal decision on recognizing Palestine as a state?
Answer: The Swedish government’s decision to recognize Palestine as a state is a mistake and will only serve to further encourage the extremists. The timing could not be worse. There are already ongoing terrorist actions occurring in Jerusalem where Molotov cocktails are being thrown over buses and trains, which has been happening for weeks. Only a month ago, the government of Sweden and the European Union thought that the conditions for recognition were not yet ripe. There has been no change in reality on the ground; the only change has been the Swedish government’s interpretation of the same reality. The decision is badly timed and premature.
Question: Is this decision of any importance for Israel?
Answer: Israel always takes into consideration, the stance of the international community and seeks an honest and balanced solution for the complicated conflict. At present, the Swedish understanding of the conflict is too often unbalanced and the recognition of a Palestinian state would reinforce this one-sided position. We strongly feel that this is not the right step, and is counter-productive for a possible solution to the issue.
Question: Can the decision have an effect on the approach that Israel has towards the Palestinians and the PLO/Hamas?
Answer: Israeli policies are based on securing peace for the population of Israel. When it comes to solving the conflict, recognition such as this does not contribute to security and gives extremism a tailwind, because they gain recognition despite of their conduct. However, we continue to strongly desire a true dialogue with the Palestinians.
Question: Will the decision have an effect on future peace negotiations?
Answer: If Palestinians are not currently at the negotiating table, and have rejected previous formulas and offers for peace from the different Israeli governments and the international community, while also setting many unilateral conditions for negotiating peace, it is likely that they will be even less committed to finding a peaceful solution if a Palestinian state is recognized. The incentives for peace will essentially be removed. When Israel engaged in previous rounds of negotiations, buses exploded in Jerusalem and Israel was still committed to continuing with the negotiations. By recognizing a Palestinian state, Sweden is debilitating Israel in future negotiations.
Question: Will the decision have an effect on the relationship between Sweden and Israel?
Answer: This depends more on the policies of the Swedish government than those of the Israeli government. The sense of urgency with which the Swedish government is treating the recognition while totally ignoring the terroristic realities that are associated with this “state” is incomprehensible. If this is the first step of a one-sided Swedish policy regarding the conflict, it will certainly not be conducive for improving relations. Having said that Israel in Sweden has always been will remain and will continue to be open for cooperation with business, trade and innovation. On this front, as far as we are concerned, things will remain business as usual.