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Die schwedische Außenministerin:
Sharon wird den Konflikt verschärfen

Ein Konflikt zwischen Israel und Schweden als Folge einer scharfen Äußerungen der schwedischen Außenministerin Anna Lindt zum Wahlsieg Sharons.

Itamar Eichner, Jedioth achronoth

Bei der feierlichen Verleihung des “Olaf Palma Preises” an die palästinensische Menschenrechtsaktivistin Chanan Ashrauwi, sagte AM Lindh, der Wahlsieg Sharons bedeute, dass anstelle von Frieden und Sicherheit der Konflikt mit den Palästinensern sich jetzt nur noch verschärfen werde.

Lindh übte Kritik an der israelischen Demokratie und sagte, sie balanciere auf einer schmalen Linie. “Wir befürchten, das Israel seine moralischen Werte verlieren wird, und die Palästinenser ihre Hoffnung auf einen eigenen Staat”, sagte sie.

In Bezug auf den israelischen Beschluss, der palästinensischen Delegation die Ausreise nach London zu verbieten, sagte die schwedische AM, die Politik Israels sei “zynisch”. Am Ende ihrer Rede wandte sie sich persönlich an Ashrauwi und versprach ihr: “Da es sich um eine grundlegende Diskussion über Gerechtigkeit handelt - das Recht der Verfolgten auf eine Heimat, auf Selbstbestimmung, Sicherheit und Freiheit - können Sie sich auf unsere Unterstützung verlassen.”

Anna Lindh överlämnade på torsdagen årets Palmepris till den palestinska människorättskämpen Hanan Ashrawi. I samband med det höll Anna Lindh också ett tal om situationen i Mellanöstern.

Foto: Karin SerenanderDer stellvertretende Generaldirektor für Westeuropa im Außenministerium, Viktor Harel, wies den Israelischen Botschafter in Stockholm, Zvi Masal, an, einen scharfen Protest beim schwedischen Außenministerium gegen die “verletzenden Äußerungen Lindhs” einzulegen, die “eine eindeutige Einmischung in die internen Belange Israels darstellen.”

Weiter soll er gegen die “überflüssige Moralpredigt” protestieren, “die aus einer selbstgerechten und anmaßenden Einstellung resultiert, die von Israel nicht akzeptiert wird.”

Foto: Anette AnderssonAnhang:
Speech by Anna Lindh
31 January 2003

Speech by Foreign Minister Anna Lindh at the award ceremony for the Olof Palme Prize 2002 to Mrs Hanan Ashrawi, ABF, 30 January, 2003

Dear Hanan, dear friends,

Last weekend we could read the headline "13 dead in Israeli attack on Gaza". Some journalists described it as the beginning of an invasion of Gaza, others as an attempt to influence the Israeli elections. But all in all, the main reaction was apathy. And what to do?

We have made the statements, condemned the violence, adopted the resolutions. We have had the meetings, made the trips, held the conferences. We have heard the promises - of security, of solutions, of "last time" - and we have seen the results.

There is a risk that frustration replaces hope - that apathy replaces action. There is a danger that the headline "13 dead" becomes just letters and numbers - that we suppress the knowledge that another13 individuals - the last of them a six year old boy - are added to those already killed.

Resignation is our biggest enemy.

We must continue to react when Palestinian children are prevented for months to go to school, when the elderly cannot see their doctor, when pregnant women are prevented from getting to hospital to give birth. We have to protest when parents cannot come to work, cannot provide for their families - because their villages are closed off, because of curfews, because troops and tanks stand in their way - when people cannot live their daily life without being constantly humiliated.

More than 2000 Palestinians and 700 Israelis have been killed – and many more injured - since the second intifada began. Hundreds of Palestinian houses have been demolished. Thousands of olive trees have been uprooted. A majority of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza live in poverty. The illegal settlements continue. Israel has the right to defend themselves against terrorism, but no one can really believe that this is the best way to do it.

Now, a wall is constructed, about 350 kilometres long, 8 meters high, by 60 metres broad. Israelis call it protection. Palestinians call it - rightly - confiscation.

Last week a Palestinian village in the neighbourhood of Tulkarem was locked in by the wall. 62 shops were demolished. 2 500 Palestinians lost their livelihood.

There are no winners in this situation.

Also the Israelis suffer. They suffer from the constant fear of suicide-bombers. We can never accept or understand when Israeli civilians, when teenagers in discos and cafés, become targets. Nearly a quarter of the population has a friend or a family member who has lost someone in a suicide attack. Tourists no longer flock to the country, neither do investors. The occupation drains the country’s resources.

I fear for future generations.

Palestinian youth are denied the normal dreams and hopes for studies, for work, for a life. Some of them are deprived of their future by their own - used as weapons against people that could have been friends. Young Israelis get a twisted picture of the world when they have to adapt the role of the oppressor in the occupied territories.

How are these young Palestinians and Israelis to understand that peace requires compromises, when they have been reared for revenge? That peace requires tolerance, when they have been taught to hate? That peace requires cooperation, when they are trained for battle?

I fear that the Palestinian people soon will loose all hope of an independent state, and that Israel will loose its moral values. Israel is a democracy balancing on a thin line.

Both Israelis and Palestinians have to realise that either peace is gained together - or both will loose.

The result of the Israeli elections, two days ago, unfortunately points to continued confrontation, instead of security and of peace.

To me this policy is cynical, not the least because Israeli authorities fight the work for reform and peace in the Palestinian Authority. That was evident when the Israeli government denied three Palestinians to leave the country for a peace Conference in London, when universities are closed down, and when timing always seems to be suited to violence, not to negotiations.

Extremists on both sides in fact supports each other in preventing peace.

Ordinary men, women and children, Palestinian and Israeli, must pay for the shortcomings of their leaders.

But we also know that a majority on both sides support a peace deal and seem willing to pay the necessary price.

We all know what the goal must be: peaceful coexistence between two sovereign states. We all know that it can only be reached through peaceful negotiations, based on international law, and the relevant UN resolutions.

Instead of using force the Israeli government should do everything to get the process back on track. Israel must end the occupation, give up settlements, and agree on a pragmatic solution to Jerusalem, in return for peace. Israel must abide by international law and conventions and stop humiliating the population in the occupied territories. The walls, both of barbed wire and of suspicion, must come down.

The Palestinian leadership must do everything in their power to stop the terrorist acts, and take legal measures against those responsible. They must stop those who exploit the despair of the young by recruiting them as terrorists. The Palestinian Authority must produce reform, for security, but also for democracy and Human Rights.

Both sides must try to rid themselves of attitudes that only serve to limit and diminish - the mentality of the occupier, or of the revolutionary.

It seems that they are unable to stop the conflict, and find the way back to the negotiating table, by themselves. A third party intervention is needed.

Our hope right now is the Road Map proposed by the EU, building on the Arab Initiative, to get an independent, democratic and viable Palestinian state by 2005, side by side with Israel and its other neighbours. The Quartet - the EU, the UN, the USA and Russia - informally adopted the Road Map on 20 December last year. Now it has to be implemented, not to meet the same faith as the Mitchell Plan, and others.

A crucial element, for the plan to succeed, is the establishment of monitoring and verification to observe and report on the two parties performance.

If we believe in a Palestinian state, we must also prepare for it. Early elections are necessary. We must help to secure reforms for democracy, good governance and human rights for the Palestinians - for a state governed by law. Sweden is one of the largest donors of humanitarian and development assistance to the Palestinians, and we will continue to support the Palestinian Authority and the civilian population.

Occupation and violence creates an atmosphere of silence, and hampers free expressions. But an open discussion about the problems in the Palestinian community is necessary. Reforms are necessary. And you, dear Hanan, are in yourself an excellent example of how it could, and should be done.

Some time in the end of the 1980-ties, you became well-known to the international community. In a usually compact male environment you stood out, but not mainly because you are a woman. Then, as well as today, you stood out as a person of remarkable integrity and sense, in a chaotic situation. Your political deed is the story of a constant struggle for justice and lasting peace, performed with great courage, crushing strength and irresistible elegance.

Your achievements are impressive, as a negotiator, as a minister, as a pioneer for human rights and democracy. Always an excellent advocate of the Palestinian cause - never afraid to criticise also your own, when needed.

The world needs more politicians, more role models, more women like you!

Yesterday, on Swedish TV, some people in Ramallah were interviewed about you, and an old man said: "It would have been good if there had been many others like her."

It is a great honour for me to speak in your honour today, and to participate when you receive this well earned Prize in the memory of another great personality, Olof Palme.

Not long before he died, he said that politics is simply a means by which we try to realise our dreams. For many Swedes social justice at home, and international justice abroad are parts of the same struggle. Perhaps that is why the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has captured the imagination of so many Swedes. Because this conflict is fundamentally about justice; the right of the persecuted and dispossessed to a homeland, to self-determination, to security and to freedom. For that, you can count on our support.

Thank you!

hagalil.com 07-02-2003

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