Hours after Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom appeared to link the Paris attacks to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the chairman of the Socialist Party (SP) in Holland said the perpetrators of the attacks acted in part out of frustration over the conflict.
The attacks, claimed by the terrorist Islamic State (IS) group, killed at least 129 people.
In an interview with a Dutch radio NPO Radio1, Jan Marijnissen said about the perpetrators : ‘’Their behavior eventually is connected also to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.”
“The guys – I assume they were guys – who carried out the attacks probably come from a group of outraged people from the French suburbs,” he said. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict, he added, “is the growth medium for such an attack.”
The same day, Wallstrom declared as she was asked by Swedish television how worried she was about the radicalisation of young people in her country after the Paris attacks : ‘’Obviously, we have reason to be worried, not just in Sweden but across the world — because there are so many that are being radicalised. Here, once again, we are brought back to situations like the one in the Middle East, where not least, the Palestinians see that there is not a future. We must either accept a desperate situation or resort to violence.”
The Israeli foreign ministry condemned Wallstrom’s comments and summoned Swedish ambassador for an urgent meeting.
“Those who engage in hopeless attempts to link the terror attacks by Islamic extremists with the difficulties between Israelis and Palestinians are misleading themselves as well as the public opinion of their country and the international community,” the foreign ministry said.
European Jewish Congress President Moshe Kantor described the Swedish minister’s view was “borderline racist” because she focused on the one conflict involving Jews in explaining the attacks, whereas Israel said her comments were “appallingly impudent.”
The Swedish foreign ministry later issued a statement saying Wallstrom “has neither directly nor indirectly linked the terrorist attacks in Paris to the situation in Israel and Palestine,” adding the controversy owes to “a misunderstanding” that “will be clarified shortly.”