Thank you Sweden

Abdulrahman al-Rashed
Abdulrahman al-Rashed

Abdulrahman al-Rashed

By : Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed

Even when the Swedish foreign minister promised that his country will recognize the State of Palestine, we weren’t sure it would. We knew that such kind of decisions would be subject to serious pressures. The European Union, the United States and the social and political forces tied to Israel would try to stop Sweden from taking this step.

But Sweden did it. It acknowledged Palestine in a historic move that sparked a real change and should be copied by several European countries putting an end to the Israeli project of eliminating the existence of those left in Palestine and shattering their dreams of having a state.

Sweden doesn’t have substantial interests in the Arabs. It’s the state in western Europe to have least benefited from the Arabs. Its 10 trade partners doesn’t include one Arab state and it doesn’t have an influential Arab community in the country.

On the other hand, it doesn’t need anybody. With a population one-third of Saudi Arabia and a government’s budget equaling Saudi budget, this step, it means, is based on moral and ethical principles.

This is what makes us thank Sweden and its people very much. Sweden has always had a history of positive stand toward the Palestinian cause. Sweden’s former Prime Minister Olof Palme, who died in one of Stockholm’s streets in 1986, have had strong stand against the Israeli actions.

We won’t be asking for much if we want the Arab governments to convey their people’s gratitude to Sweden, and give it the appropriate accolade at all levels. The Arab governments should also urge other western states to recognize the State of Palestine.

Indeed, a proactive political move should be taken against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who is threatening Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas if he does not stop his quest to join international organizations and obtain recognition from as many states as possible.

The Israeli actions in Jerusalem and its announcements to shut down Aqsa Mosque is a serious move that will have serious repercussions on the whole region. Netanyahu should be aware that he is complicating the situation and taking the confrontation to a new level. He is provoking Muslims across the world and making another violation of the signed peace agreements.

I was a part of the Arabic and International Council in Kuwait two days ago and listened to a briefing by Dr. Mustafa Al-Barghouthi on the latest war on Gaza. He described the human catastrophe there and the suffering of victims and the displaced. There’s no solution to the 70-year-old tragedy except the two-state solution that the international community has promised the Palestinians. The peace agreement was hampered as a result of Netanyahu government’s obstinacy and intervention by outside power such as Iran, whose local agents sabotage any potential peaceful solution.

Sweden’s recognition of Palestine breaks the ice and opens door for establishing a Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza.

Without recognition of the Palestinian state, Netanyahu and his successors won’t stop occupying and stealing even more Palestinian lands.

This racist and expansionist mentality calls for an international effort to stress that the Palestinian state has become a reality Israelis can’t delete.

This makes it incumbent on the Arab and other states, which believe in the justice of the Palestinian cause, to help the Palestinians get their rights.




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