Sweden leads charge to divide Jerusalem, Israel fumes

Wednesday, December 02, 2009 |  Israel Today Staff

Israeli officials this week warned that relations with Europe, and in particular Sweden, are at serious risk of being downgraded, and the EU may lose its spot at the Middle East peace table if a resolution calling for the full division of Jerusalem and its recognition as the capital of "Palestine" is not scrapped.

Sweden, which currently holds the rotating EU presidency, authored the resolution, which is to be voted on next week at a meeting of EU foreign ministers.

The affront by the Scandinavian country comes just months after Sweden's largest daily newspaper featured a series of articles accusing Israeli soldiers of harvesting Palestinian organs. Israel decried the allegations, but the Swedish government came to the defense of the newspaper and its right to "free speech," regardless of how libelous it was.

Swedish and other EU officials insisted that the new resolution is an effort to get the Palestinians back to the negotiating table, but Israeli officials said it should be clear that it will do the just the opposite.

"They don't mention our issues, and when we bring them up, they say only that these will be dealt with during the negotiations," one official told The Jerusalem Post. "However, the Palestinian issues they put in the conclusions - those issues don't have to be negotiated."

Israelis fear that the resolution will only embolden the Palestinians to either make their most extreme demands red lines for even restarting talks, or to simply make unilateral moves with the support of the international community.

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