Appearing at a pro-Israel rally in Stockholm on Sunday, Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid accused the Swedish foreign minister of anti-Semitism, for attacking Israel in a way that did not reflect the reality on the ground.
“If the Swedish foreign minister is so worried about the state of human rights in the Middle East, she should talk about the use of children as terrorists or human shields, the discrimination against the LGBT community in the Palestinian Authority, the incitement disseminated by the Palestinian Authority against Jews akin to [Nazi propaganda newspaper] ‘Der Stürmer,’ the exploitation of women in Gaza, and the human rights situation in Iran,” Lapid told the 500-strong crowd who turned out for the annual “Taking Back Zionism” rally.
Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom sparked a row in December last year, when she accused Israel of carrying out “extrajudicial executions” in response to a spate of attacks by knife-wielding Palestinians.
She followed this up in January with a demand for “thorough” investigations into the killing of Palestinians by the Israeli army.
In the wake of last November’s terror attacks in Paris, she also identified the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as one of the factors explaining why “there are so many people who have become radicalized” — comments Israel called “appallingly impudent.”
“If an attack on Jews is divorced from the facts, and based solely on prejudice, that has a name — it’s called anti-Semitism,” Lapid said at the rally in Raoul Wallenberg Square.
“Raoul Wallenberg fought against it 70 years ago and saved my father,” he said.
Lapid’s father, the late journalist and lawmaker Yosef “Tommy” Lapid, was a Holocaust survivor who spent much of the war in the Budapest Ghetto.
“You are here today to protect your children,” Lapid continued. It’s not easy to be under attack, especially when the attack is unjust, not based in fact and unfair. We need people who see beyond the deception and lies.”
Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat during World War II, saved tens of thousands of Jews from the Nazis in Hungary by issuing them protective passports in the final months of the Holocaust. He mysteriously disappeared in Soviet custody in January 1945, and his true fate is unknown to this day.
In 1957, the Soviet Union released a document saying Wallenberg had been jailed in the Lubyanka prison, the notorious building where the KGB security services were headquartered, and that he died of heart failure on July 17, 1947.
However, the recent discovery of the diary of a former KGB chief claimed that Joseph Stalin ordered the “liquidation” of Wallenberg.