The United States has slapped Sweden on its wrist for recognizing the Palestinian Authority as a state, a declaration that Stockholm already is trying to tone down without losing face, as reported here yesterday.
“We believe international recognition of a Palestinian state is premature,” U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.
“We certainly support Palestinian statehood, but it can only come through a negotiated outcome, a resolution of final status issues and mutual recognitions by both parties.”
She then tossed out the outdated diplomatic cliché that Israel and the Palestinian Authority must “agree on the terms on how they live in the future two states, living side-by-side.”
That may have been possible – on paper- in the hey-day of the Oslo Illusions. Given the Arab and Israel red lines today, the “two-state” idea is only a solution to prevent mass unemployment the State Department.
Sweden decided the time has come to publicly announce that the “peace process” is nothing more than a scam to keep down the unemployment rate, and its newly-elected Prime Minister Stefan Löfven made his name a household world by making Sweden the first Western European country to formally recognize Palestine.
Israel was aghast, and the Swedish ambassador to Jerusalem – whoops, make that Tel Aviv – has an audience with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Monday.
As for the American criticism, Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström said, “It’s not the United States that decides our politics.”
If that is the case, why did Stockholm suddenly stutter and sweat to the point that the Swedish Foreign Ministry tweeted on Sunday that Sweden would recognize the Palestinian state “soon” and not immediately?
Löfven told Israeli Labor party chairman Yitzchak Herzog, who has stayed in touch with Löfven for several years, that Sweden “wasn’t going to recognize a Palestinian state tomorrow morning,” Haaretz reported.
Herzog added that Sweden “wants to speak first with all the relevant parties, including Israel, the Palestinians, the United States and other EU states.”
In other words, yes Mr. America, the announcement was premature, but let us climb down the tree without breaking our neck.”
Hertzog also spoke with Swedish Foreign Minister Wallström, who will get an earful from Lieberman at high noon today, and she further backtracked by saying, “We don’t want to surprise any of the relevant parties.”
The Labor party, left-wing as it is, still is not ready to urge national suicide. Herzog told Wallström, according to the Haaretz report, “Your policy challenges the principle of mutuality. I’m not sure that’s the right thing to do. Negotiations are preferable to unilateral moves that are liable to lead to undesirable consequences.”
Negotiations have not taken place for four years. They ended with the last concession that Israel could stomach without sacrificing more land and lives.
It is questionable whether even the Obama administration really believes its own words and is not simply babbling to keep its hat in the ring, but the Palestinian Authority certainly knows the “peace process” is lost somewhere between Mars and Pluto.
Mahmoud Abbas believes that he can unlock the door to a Palestinian state in the United Nations, where at least 112 countries have already recognized the State of Palestine.
If it comes into existence, it will be the first country in history that has no borders.
That may be exactly what Abbas wants so the Arab world can still fight to determine the borders as those of Israel, from the Jordan to the Mediterranean and from Lebanon to Egypt.