When Sweden got its new leftist government last fall, one of the very first things it did was recognize “Palestine” as a fully legit state. Many were baffled, not least because the Swedish population at large didn’t have a particular opinion on the matter while razing foreign relations with many Western countries. In effect, it was a shameless pandering to the extreme left; foreign policy as an interior policy tool.
The issue is complicated no matter how you twist it, because the defintion of “Palestine” and its people vary at different points in history. Furthermore, President Abbas and his government has some legitimacy issues since they are years past their term in office. The reason new elections can’t be held, Abbas says, is that terrorist organization Hamas won’t allow it. Which brings the issue of de facto territorial control into the light.
Simply put, this is a can of worms that have smarter people than me pulling their hair out, so let’s just conclude one thing: A bumbling welder from Sweden with zero insight or education on the issues should probably stay out of it.
So of course, this is PM Löfvens chosen area to “make his mark” in history.
[NOTE: Yes, the prime minister of Sweden is an uneducated welder who even dropped out of welding trade school. No joke. Google it!]
In an almost comical parody of their own cluelessness, foreign minister Margot Wallström was then caught completely by surprise when Israel didn’t do cartwheels of joy. She had planned an official visit, but quickly cancelled blaming “scheduling conflicts” when Israel made it clear she was welcome as a tourist but would not get to meet any officials.
Well, now Abbas has visited Sweden and met with Löfven and his government. The Swedish PM has made no secret that his ambition is to get into the UN security council, so he tried to be all statesman-like with lots of lofty talk about re-igniting the peace talks and negotiations under the wise guidance of Saint Löfven. Uh, yeah. Good luck with that.
But the main, concrete thing to come out the whole deal is that Sweden is increasing it’s financial support to Palestine by 50%, to 1,5 billion SEK. It may not sound like much, but consider that Sweden is a small country of just under 10 million citizens. The 2013 grand total tax intake is 790 billion, with expenses running at 921 billion.
Yes, that’s a deficit. And Löfven’s own finance minister Magdalena Andersson has spent the bulk of her time in office wringing her hands about the coffers being empty. She has repeatedly made it clear there simply is no room for propping up the crumbling infrastructure, steady decline in health care (Sweden now has the lowest number of hospital beds per capita in EU) or the laughable military that basically consist of a general ready to wave a white flag (on duty during office hours Mon-Thu only, due to budget cuts).
But dumping the equivalent of two years’ worth of cancer treatment for the entire country into the lap of Palestine with zero control and virtually guaranteed corruption swiping the lion’s share of it? Sure!
And here’s another wrinkle: Suppose the long-delayed elections do take place. Suppose Hamas wins. Then you have a legit, democratically elected government (according to Sweden) that is simultaneously classified as a terrorist organization. UN and EU don’t look kindly on funding terror, and 1,5 billion SEK isn’t chump change. What then?