Defying the Knesset’s Foreign Relations Department, Likud lawmaker Amit Halevi initiated a meeting with a delegation to Israel of the right-wing Sweden Democrats Party.
The Swedish nationalist party is making great efforts to dissociate itself from its antisemitic, fascist past, and after meeting with Halevi the Swedish lawmakers drafted a binding document of principles renouncing their past, hoping to pave the way for official relations and recognition.
Halevi is expected to present the document to Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week, as part of an attempt to end the Israeli boycott of the party.
In the document, which was seen by Israel Hayom, Israel is given significant support, to a degree it has never received from any European country. This includes recognition of the importance of the Iran threat, opposition to the Palestinian Authority’s support for terrorism, etc.
In fact, the position outlined by the document is a 180-degree transformation compared to that of Europe’s leftist parties, which over the years tended to favor Palestinian interests over Israel’s security.
Among other things, the document states that “the party has undergone a fundamental and profound change in recent decades. The few founders and original participants who held antisemitic views were removed from the party’s ranks years ago.”
In addition, “the party supports Jewish life and fights any manifestation of antisemitism in Sweden, Europe and elsewhere. The party supports the battle against terrorism and manifestations of anti-Israeli behavior by Iran, the Palestinian Authority, Hezbollah and others.”
Recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel
The document also states that the party is demanding Sweden recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and transfer its ambassadors to the city, as well as calling for the addition of Hezbollah in its entirety to the list of the European Union’s terrorist organizations.
“I am here to influence and promote the welfare of the State of Israel,” Halevi said when asked why he met with his Swedish counterparts.
According to Halevi, “The Swedish Democrats is a large political movement in an important European country, so I agreed.”
During the meeting, he “did not hesitate” to raise the rumors about the party, he added.
“They took matters seriously and made it clear that bad people who founded the party decades ago had been removed from it a long time ago, and that they firmly oppose any display of antisemitism,” he said.
Halevi noted that he is planning to try and recruit Netanyahu and Cohen to his efforts this week and that an official discussion on the issue is planned in the coming days. Regarding the principles formulated in the document, he said: “I asked that they issue a document of principles that publicly elucidates the party’s position today. They agreed and sent me a detailed document, which underscores the renouncing any kind of racism and antisemitism, loyalty to national and liberal values, and a commitment to stand by Israel, as they have been doing for a long time.
“I regard this document as an important model in the relationship between Israel and the national movements, which are reviving themselves in Europe and around the world and are striving to continue on the right moral path.”
A cool welcome in Israel
This writer also met the members of the Swedish delegation. For two hours they went out of their way to prove the transformation the party had undergone. For example, the document they presented describes how the party forced the Swedish government to cut 40% of the budget for Palestinian organizations.
“Blame us for what we say and do today, and not for the past,” requested Richard Jomshof, chairman of the Swedish Parliament’s Committee on Justice.
“When I was in school, I learned that both the left and right hate Israel. When I grew up, I learned that David established Israel 3,000 years ago; this makes it clear to me that this is the homeland of the Jewish people,” he said.
“I saw what you have built here in 75 years and I began to love Israel. After the Holocaust, it became clear that the Jews needed a state,” he added.
Charlie Weimers, the head of the delegation, said: “We hate the Nazis,” and recounted how the Nazi activists connected to the party had been removed.
“We feel culturally close to the nation-state of Israel and are impressed that Israel built itself up from nothing—compared to Gaza, which could have built itself,” but chose not to, he said.
“It’s easy to choose which side to be on in this situation.”
Originally published by Israel Hayom.