Palestine Wallows With Sweden In Ikea La-La-Land…writes David Singer

November 1, 2014 by David Singer
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Sweden Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom’s announcement on 30 October that Sweden has recognized the State of Palestine elicited a response from Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman.

It will surely go down as one of the most memorable diplomatic quotes of 2014:

“It is too bad that the government of Sweden has chosen to adopt the measure that does a lot of damage and has no benefits. Sweden must understand that relations in the Middle East are much more complicated than self-assembly furniture at Ikea”

Ms Wallstrom’s reasons for justifying Sweden’s incredible decision were:

“The Government considers that the international law criteria for the recognition of the State of Palestine have been satisfied.

There is a territory, albeit with non-defined borders. There is also a population. And there is a government with the capacity for internal and external control….

The Government’s assessment that the international law criteria have been fulfilled is shared by international law experts, including Professor Ove Bring, Professor Said Mahmoudi and Professor Pål Wrange, who recently wrote an opinion piece on this subject in Dagens Nyheter (20 October).”

It seems inconceivable that Professor Bring, Professor Mahmoudi and Professor Wrange could have reached the conclusions attributed to them by Ms Wallstroms.

Hopefully someone conversant in the Swedish language might be kind enough to post a translation in English to verify what they actually wrote.

Certainly Ms Wallstrom’s assertion that the international criteria for recognition of the State of Palestine have been satisfied – are rebutted by the clear terms of article 1 the Montevideo Convention 1934 – which expressly provide:

“The state as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications:

  1. a) a permanent population;
  2. b) a defined territory;
  3. c) government; and
  4. d) capacity to enter into relations with the other states.”


Failure to even mention that there must be a permanent population before Sweden can possibly begin the diplomatic process of recognising the State of Palestine indicates the incredulity that Ms Wallstrom’s announcement has produced.

Sweden is sending a clear signal that masks an underlying and sinister racist and apartheid attitude – that Jews presently living in the West Bank have no right to expect to continue living there as part of the State of Palestine’s permanent population.

The fact that Jews have lived, died and been buried in the West Bank since Biblical times with the exception of a 19 year period between 1948-1967 seems to be strangely absent from Sweden’s current thinking.

The fact that international law – Article 6 of the Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the UN Charter – authorises and legalises close settlement by Jews on West Bank land – including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes – while ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced – seems to have passed under Sweden’s radar and that of the panel of its international law experts.

Equally as incredible is the fact that Sweden considers that the legal requirements for a State can be met in an undefined area with non-defined boundaries.

Effective control of territory is required – boundaries are not and have never been a necessary legal pre-requisite.

Sweden is of course entitled to do whatever it likes in pursuit of its perceived national interests – no matter how inept and incompetent its decisions might be.

However having apparently done so on its total misconception and misinterpretation of international law surely should give Sweden cause for second thought.

Ironically any such reconsideration now has its own problems in international law – since article 6 of the Montevideo Convention further provides:

“The recognition of a state merely signifies that the state which recognizes it accepts the personality of the other with all the rights and duties determined by international law. Recognition is unconditional and irrevocable.”

Among Sweden’s well-known exports are the “do-it yourself” furniture and home product construction kits emanating from Ikea – which proudly states on its website:

“We want to have a positive impact on people and the planet.”

If the Swedish Government thought its decision to recognise the State of Palestine would have a similar effect – then it has been gravely mistaken.

How Sweden builds relations with the State of Palestine – whilst missing pieces integral to its construction prevent it becoming a functioning entity Sweden can conduct meaningful diplomatic relations with – remains to be seen.

Perhaps Sweden should have heeded another successful Swedish export – Abba – whose “Waterloo” lyrics will surely resonate to Sweden’s future embarrassment:

“My, my, at Waterloo Napoleon did surrender
Oh yeah, and I have met my destiny in quite a similar way
The history book on the shelf
Is always repeating itself”

Ignoring history by attempting to unilaterally recognize a second Arab State in former Palestine for the first time ever in recorded history – in addition to Jordan – whilst

  1. the PLO Covenant
  2. the Hamas Charter and
  3. the declared intentions of the Islamic State oppose that solution – is a certain recipe for disaster.

Ms Wallstroms further declared:

“In 2009 EU Member States reiterated their readiness to recognise a Palestinian State, when appropriate. We are now ready to lead the way. “

EU member States tempted to follow Sweden into this political quagmire based on a reading of international law lacking any credibility whatsoever will only exacerbate the Arab-Jewish conflict – not resolve it.

Sweden has now become stuck with a fictitious and non-existent State of Palestine wallowing in an Ikea la-la-land.

I have now been supplied with an English translation of the opinion piece written by three law professors on 20 October upon which Sweden’s Foreign Minister relied when claiming that the international law criteria for the recognition of the State of Palestine had been satisfied.
As I suspected when I wrote my article – the three professors do not maintain that those international criteria have been satisfied.
They never could have – if they were to retain any shred of professional credibility.
Sweden’s Foreign Minister has some answering to do in explaining why she tried to hide behind the opinions of these three law professors who never said what she claimed.
The three professors indeed argue that those criteria have been replaced by a new controversial and questionable principle they call the “legality principle” to justify the right of Sweden to recognize the State of Palestine under international law.
The three professors espousal of the applicability of the “legality principle” is not worth the paper it is written on since it fails to consider article 6 of the Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the United Nations Charter.
UN General Assembly Resolutions they mention to support their claim have no legal binding effect and the 2004 decision of the International Court of Justice is similarly an advisory non- binding opinion only.
Justice El-Araby (now ironically Secretary General of the Arab League) warned his fellow judges:
” “The international legal status of the Palestinian Territory (paras. 70-71 of the Advisory Opinion), in my view, merits more comprehensive treatment. A historical survey is relevant to the question posed by the General Assembly, for it serves as the background to understanding the legal status of the Palestinian Territory on the one hand and underlines the special and continuing responsibility of the General Assembly on the other. This may appear as academic, without relevance to the present events. The present is however determined by the accumulation of past events and no reasonable and fair concern for the future can possibly disregard a firm grasp of past events. In particular, when on more than one occasion, the rule of law was consistently side-stepped. The point of departure, or one can say in legal jargon, the critical date, is the League of Nations Mandate which was entrusted to Great Britain.”
The three professors are trying to sweep the 1922 League of Nations Mandate (and the 1920 San Remo Conference and the Treaty of Sevres that led to the Mandate ) under the carpet – as well as the 1937 Peel Commission Report and the 1947 UN Partition proposals.
There is a myriad of international law legally sanctioning the right of the Jewish people to reconstitute the Jewish National Home in what is today called the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza.
Sweden can do as it likes – as I stated in my article – but perverting international law on the way should be exposed at every opportunity.
Trying to hide behind the veil of “international law” to justify Sweden’s decision without fully examining the facts and the applicable law is disgraceful.

David Singer is a Sydney Lawyer and Foundation Member of the International Analysts Network


8 Responses to “Palestine Wallows With Sweden In Ikea La-La-Land…writes David Singer”
  1. Otto Waldmann says:

    Why not discuss openly the actual relevance of the Swedish decision in relation to the practicality of a legitimate palestinian state in the current climate on the ground in Israel vs. an entity which, to all civilised accounts does NOT qualify as a state anywhere close to what …Sweden itself represents. As such, the immediate question addressed to Sweden would be if what they perceive as an entity entitled to statehood resembles at all what Sweden itself looks like in ANY respect. Without delving into well known realities, at once the reply is : NO BLOODY WAY !!!!
    The same question regarding Israel would , just as quickly, resolve the issue with a resounding : BLOODY YES, you, Scandinavian idiots !!!
    Considering that most illicit drugs are freely available in the same Sweden, those polies must have been completely out of it when they voted that stupid, irresponsible resolution.
    One thing is to be all that liberal in morality and social intercourse another one is to expand political intercourse into the XXX hard core genre for which the same Swedes are so incredibly famous for. ( I only know that from what people I do not usually fraternise with tell me). So, we can say that the same Scandinavians are pretty well intercoursed in their liberal blond/blue eyed heads.
    Meanwhile Israel shall deal with the reality at hand the way it reckons is best for it’s own and morality’s own benefit and intercourse the Swedes…..

  2. Adrian Jackson says:

    Just before Israel was created in the late 1940’s a Swedish Count working for the UN in Palestine was murdered by a Jewish terrorist who later became PM of Israel

    • David Singer says:

      Adrian Jackson

      Your comment has no relevance to anything contained in my article and is designed to denigrate and delegitimise Israel and Jews in general.

      Here are the facts on Bernadotte’s tragic assassination you do not mention:
      “Mainstream Jewish leaders were horrified by the assassination.David Ben-Gurion, the first Prime Minister of Israel, responded to the murder in the strongest terms. Although LEHI thought their act was for the State of Israel, Ben-Gurion immediately denounced it as terrorist murder and declared:

      Arrest all Stern gang leaders. Surround all Stern bases. Confiscate all arms. Kill any who resist.

      The regular Israeli army positioned itself in Jerusalem, and the orders were given to disband the LEHI camp through mass arrests. The government outlawed the organization’s branch in Jerusalem and shut down its publication, Hamivrak. Two of the leaders of LEHI, Natan Yellin-Mor and Mattityahu Shmuelevitz, were sentenced to long jail terms by a military court, but were later released in a general amnesty. Yitzhak Shamir, another of the top LEHI leaders, reputedly played a role in planning the assassination; however, he was never tried and went on to become Prime Minister of Israel.

      Do you think that Mahmoud Abbas will be minded to take similar action against Islamic Jihad for the attempted assassination of Rabbi Yehuda Glick by one of its members this week?

      Do you think the new unity Palestinian Government will take similar action to outlaw Hamas, seize its stockpile of weapons and destroy the network of tunnels in Gaza?

      Perhaps Sweden might use its recognition of the State of Palestine to demand such action.

      I won’t hold my breath waiting for Sweden to act.

      • Ben Eleijah says:

        Israel has displayed its bad faith for decades by expanding settlements while talking about a peace process. The latest is the clearing of 1000 settlement units in East Jerusalem. Letting this process go unchecked for ten more years will mean the end of the Palestine.
        Sweden at least has acted to put a small obstacle to this death of a nation.

        • david singer says:

          Ben – load of garbage as usual.

          Israel’s Prime Minister in explaining Israel’s decision said:

          “There is a broad consensus among the public that Israel has the full right to build in the Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem and in the settlement blocs,” Netanyahu said. “All Israeli governments have done that over the past 50 years. It is also clear to the Palestinians that these places will remain under Israel’s sovereignty in any future accord.”

          Twenty one years of negotiations with the PLO between 1993-2014 have proved a waste of time. Two offers in 2001/2 and 2008 that would have seen Israel cede its claim to more than 90% of the West Bank and Gaza were rejected,

          The Palestinian Arabs missed the boat in 1922, 1937, 1947 and between 1948-1967 when the Jews who lived in the West Bank,Gaza and East Jerusalem were driven out in the 1948 War. The three “No’s” uttered at Khartoum continued from 1967-1993.

          This so-called “nation” was dead in the water the moment the Arabs rejected the 1947 UN Partition Plan and did nothing about establishing a capital in East Jerusalem when not one Jew lived there for the next 20 years.

          Sweden’s duplicitous action in trying to justify the recognition of an unidentifiable State on an unidentified area of territory based on criteria in international law that do not apply is contemptible and does nothing to resolve a conflict that has been raging for the last 94 years.

      • Ben Eleijah says:

        David Singer omits some relevant facts. Stern was disbanded but no one was charged with the murder of Bernadotte, though Stern was known have murdered Bernadotte wearing army uniforms.

        • david singer says:


          I find your tone and your insinuation that Bernadotte’s assassination was not properly investigated to be objectionable and contemptible.

          Read the following and hang your head in shame:


          • Otto Waldmann says:

            There are relevant reference to certain events and, then there are inane, nonsensical interludes which not only are intent on diverting essentials, but reveal quasi ( or fully) deranged agendas. Ben belongs to those who would hinge their beliefs on destructive emotions, such as dislike of maters/persons Jewish.

            Today’s issues involving the Jewish State have departed irreversibly from a lot of events of some 66 years back in the same place. What matters with immediate urgency is that The Jewish State has advanced one may say miraculously into an entity endowed with all of humanity’s greatness while those the same Jewish State was facing those 66 years back have remained the same primitive, hate mongers hooligans bent on destruction. To this Israel responds with determination as to deter any attempt at undoing its existence. What is called today a palestinian entity is nothing but a mob of savages devoid of any worthwhile qualities, people who have created NOTHING of human value be it cultural, ethical, economical, social, but determined to deny the historical dwellers of the Jewish land their rights. Ben whoever comes from nowhere with no idea of what it means to belong to a land and a people of millennarian faith and fate. He cuts into a discourse based on facts and proven principles by peddling garbage, dialectical refuse deemed useless in the process of realpolitik.
            Just because the traditional palestinian PR crap is awash with ineptitudes repeated ad nauseum , it does NOT mean that it holds water. To wit, Israel is not “expanding” anywhere it should not, but reclaiming its historic rights and if some find it uncomfortable/unethical or ILLEGAL, we, the Jews of today wish to remind them that the times of denial of rights and persecution of the Jews is OVER and, furthermore, we do not need Ben’s or anybody else’s approval, indulgence or even “understanding” of what we reclaim as our Providential rights and if anyone doesn’t like it, he/she, the whole bloody lot can go get properly f……….d !!!!!

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