Foreign Minister Boycotts
APRIL 20, 2002
Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh announced that she will boycott
Israeli products available in the Swedish market, especially citrus
fruits and avocadoes.
Speaking to Swedish television on Friday, April 19, Lindh said,
"If I'm unable to influence my government's policy to boycott
Israel, I can at least personally boycott their products."
She called on Swedish nationals to boycott Israeli products in the
light of the recent massacres committed by the Israeli army in the
Lindh is a member of the ruling Social Democratic Party and has
been sympathetic with Arab issues along with other members of the
Swedish government, such as former Foreign Minister Stein Anderson,
a personal friend of Palestinian President Yasser Arafat.
She had in the past asked the European Union to suspend its relations
with Israel as a way of denouncing the occupation forces practices
against the Palestinian civilian population.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian minister for international cooperation
Nabil Shaath was visiting Stockholm on Friday and met with Swedish
Prime Minister Goeran Persson who promised to donate 350 Swedish
Corona (nearly $ 35 million) to rebuild Jenin and nearby areas destroyed
by Israeli aggression. Persson promised to increase the sum soon.
Shaath also met with Lindh who expressed her shock at recent events
in the Palestinian territories and promised to do her best to help
the Palestinian people.
Besides government officials, Swedish nationals have also been
sympathizing with the Palestinian cause, many of them wearing badges
that said "boycott Israel".
The streets of Stockholm on Thursday witnessed demonstrations were
banners were raised calling hawkish Israeli prime minister Ariel
Sharon a mass murder, and other saying "Bush is a killer"
and "Zionism is Faschism". Jews in Sweden have also held
counter demonstrations and a few conflicts rose between both sides
that was stopped through police intervention.
In the Swedish city of Obsala on Friday, a silent demonstration
was held with demonstrators wearing black and carrying candles.
The increasing number of Swedes participating in anti-Israeli demonstrations
has been noticeable and has forced the Palestinian Issue to be featured
on the agenda of the Swedish Legislative elections which will be
held on September 2002.