Stockholm’s announcement over the weekend that it would recognize the independent state of Palestine was influenced by the vocal and growing Muslim minority in Sweden, Israel’s ambassador to Sweden charged Sunday morning.
New Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said during his inaugural address Friday that Sweden would recognize Palestine, a move that would make it the first member of the European Union to recognize a Palestinian state.
Loftven’s party, the Social Democrats, are “anti-Israeli,” ambassador Issac Bachman told Israel Radio, but another reason for the statement “is the large Arab minority, which has grown unbelievably this year.”
Bachman charged that Sweden has taken in some 80,000 Arab refugees in 2014, mostly from Iraq and Syria, and claimed there were 700,000 Muslims living in the country.
“All this against a social-democratic background, which is pro-Arabic, pro-Islam and anti-Israeli,” Bachman said.