The Ikea Doctrine

Recent Swedish minority socialist government decision to acknowledge a Palestinian state in one of its first international major policy decisions is a strange one. Not only does it violate the Swedish recognition doctrine and is contrary to EU policy on the issue, it is also in complete contradiction to the new Swedish Foreign Minister, Margot Wallström, career as an EU bureaucrat – building a career on a joint European coordinated action. Not only is such an acknowledgment hypocritical as it violates what Mrs. Wallström claims that she has Ikea formula for success: co-operation between the two partners, it is in addition counterproductive. This decision shifts the focus from the real problems facing the Middle East and Europe: the collapse of Arab states and radicalization of Muslims not only in the Middle East but also back home in Europe. As if another Arab state, which on the outset, is dysfunctional, radicalized (Gaza is ruled by elected Hamas) and bent upon the destruction of Israel is the solution this area needs right now.

Sweden recent history is a bright sign of scientific excellence in a form of the Nobel Prize. Sweden was also the home to some of the most notable scientists in human history, such people as: Alfred Nobel, Andreas Celcius and Manne Siegbahn just to name a few. A Massive change came over Europe and Sweden since the 10th century AD, a time when derogatory remarks by Arab Scholars about Europe were made, such as the one made by the famous Arab geographer Mas’ude about the people of Urufa (as Muslims than called Europe): “the farther they are to the north the more stupid, gross and brutish they are”. In 1068 (two years after the battle of Hastings) Sa’id Ibn Ahmad the great Muslim scholar, Qadi of the Muslims in the city of Toledo, wrote in his book that he found that: “the north of Europe they lack the keenness of understanding and clarity of Intelligence”. It has been long time since Arabs, and Muslims were distinguishing them self’s in sciences compered to Europe. Some things changed some things did not.

Another major change is happening in Sweden in the last decades. Sweden is Europe’s most immigration-friendly country. The country which once gave the world saints like Raoul Wallenberg and also saved thousands of the Denmark Jews, symbolizes today the decline and fall of not only of the free immigration policies but also of human rights, good governance (which the Swedes betraying on multiple domestic and international issues) and reason. One can always measure human rights in the way they apply to Jews, especially in Arab and European countries. Some recent examples (there is much more):

  • The Social Democratic mayor of Malmö, Ilmar Reepalu said in 2010 that Jews bear some responsibility for the attitude towards them, noting that “they have the possibility to affect the way they are seen by society.” The mayor then urged Malmo’s Jewish community to “distance itself” from Israeli attacks on Gaza’s civilian population
  • Jews in Sweden are under constant harassments and attacks and de-facto need to hide Jewish markings in day to day life in fear of harassment (and their lives).
  • Adrian Kaba, a Social Democratic city councilman in Malmö, wrote on his Facebook page in July that “ISIS [Islamic State] is being trained by the Israeli Mossad.
  • Swedish Woman Viciously Beaten by Muslim Mob for Wearing Jewish Star Necklace.
  • As Anti-Jewish hate crimes have been on the rise in Sweden, virtually none of the hate-crimes in Sweden have been prosecuted. As always, hate crimes start with the Jews, but as always they never end with only the Jews.
  • When Omar Mustafa, a member of the Swedish Social Democratic Party governing board, tweeted in 2011 that Sweden should send fighter planes against Israel instead of targeting the regime of Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi as part of the 2011 NATO campaign to protect the civilian population this tweet did not bar him from continuing serving in the governing board of his party. Only after revelations surfaced that, as head of the Islamic Association, Mustafa permitted the organization to reject recognizing women as equals to their male counterparts and invited a speaker who voiced hardcore anti-gay ideologies, he resigned his post.

So it is not just about the Jews anymore!

Those shortsighted immigration policies changed Sweden to such an extent that the ‘no-go’ zones are surging: Firefighters have been attacked while putting out a mosque fire; Emergency workers now refuse to enter the areas without a police escort. However, police escort is also not sufficient anymore. Police are also attacked in planned and unplanned ambushes. Police have rocks thrown at them, and Molotov cocktails hurled at their cars. In one district of the city Gothenburg, over 15 police cars have been destroyed. According to the Malmö-based Imam Adly Abu Hajar: “Sweden is the best Islamic state“.  It is also no longer a local matter. Only a couple of months ago major terror threat was averted by Swedish authorities. Few details of the plots have been revealed, but the Foreign Minister, at that time, Carl Bildt said that: “the attempted terrorist attack could have been truly catastrophic”.

As elsewhere, Europeans are starting to recognize the need to deal with Muslim extremism and radicalization not only overseas but also at home, as the battle-hardened Jihadists are coming home to Europe from the slaughter fields of Iraq and Syria. Even the Nobel winner for Peace, President Obama, awarded by the Swedes themselves for what he might become, had to send the US army to bomb the ISIS in Iraq. Christians, Kurds Yasidi and also the wrong kind of Muslims are murdered, raped and sold to slavery. Beheaded people are presented by these so-called fighters as a sign of excellence and courage. The whole Middle East is on fire. Amid all these problems a few days ago, Sweden’s minority socialist party coalition has chosen to recognize a terrorist Palestinian state as part of its first major policy actions.

This EU socialist voice was also very generous in sharing an advice to the state of Israel. In response to the Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Liberman criticism of Sweden’s government decision: “relations in the Middle East are a lot more complex than the self-assembly furniture of IKEA,” Sweden Foreign Minister Wallstrom said in her response: “I will be happy to send him a flat pack of IKEA furniture, and he will also see that what you need to put that together is, first of all, a partner”. Wallstrom also added that “You also need to cooperate, and you need a good manual. I think we have most of those elements if we want to use them also for the conflict in the Middle East. For peace, you need two parties to actually sit down at the same table and discuss the future.”

The partner, Mrs. Wallstrom is apparently referring to, is Mahmoud Abbas, the dictator Palestinian leader of the Palestinian authority (latest elections were due in 2009 but were postponed indefinitely). The latest election gave rise to the Hamas who charter claims: “The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!”. The same charter that prohibits any negotiation with the Jews and calls for the destruction of the state of Israel regardless of borders. Israeli leftish Prime Ministers: Peres, Barak Sharon and Olmert all failed negotiations with the leaders of the Palestinians. Arafat and his second in command, now the leader of the partial Palestinian authority, Mahmoud Abbas always refused peace agreement. Just a reminder, the current Prime Minister, Netanyahu, caved to Obama’s pressure and turned left and accepted two-state solution, to no avail. It is the same Abbas that under his rule, a systematic campaign of Muslim persecution against the Christians is taking place in Palestinian areas. It’s a religious and ethnic cleansing campaign silenced by world media. This is the same Abbas that want a Jewish-free Palestinian territory to start with.

This month twenty years ago on November 25, 1994—Isaiah Berlin accepted the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws at the University of Toronto. He prepared a “short credo” (as he called it in a letter to a friend) for the ceremony, which was read on his behalf. Among the things that Isaiah Berlin writes as his main message to 21 century is against the likes of Mrs. Wallstrom, Ikea manual idea: “The root conviction which underlies this is that the central questions of human life, individual or social, have one true answer, which can be discovered. It can and must be implemented, and those who have found it are the leaders whose word is law. The idea that to all genuine questions, there can be only one true answer is a very old philosophical notion.”

The Swedish government decision got criticized by Swedish politicians as well. The Moderate Party spokesperson in Foreign Affairs, Karin Enström, explained: “I think it is unfortunate that the government has persevered and made this decision. On the one hand, one has violated the Swedish recognition doctrine, and it is unfortunate that one is not doing this as part of EU policy. For when the EU can pursue a common foreign policy, especially in such a difficult and important question, then you get the effect:-  says Enström. She also questioned whether the criteria for state recognition had been met. “The Palestinian government does not have control over its territory.” Kerstin Lundgren of the Centre Party also followed the constitutional line. She told Swedish Radio, “The government must do the right thing and follow the constitutional system we have in Sweden, and it is of course our duty as a reviewer of the government to ensure this.”

Change is not always good and progress is not an arrow only showing forward – and Swedish past has much to offer. Axel Oxenstierna, who was the chancellor for Sweden for more than 40 years during the time of the Gustavus Adolphus the Great, in a letter to his son in 1648 wrote: “Do you not know, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed?” (in the original Latin An nescis, mi fili, quantilla prudentia mundus regatur?). But why do we need wisdom (even Swedish), complicated answers of philosophers and great leaders of the past? They are all obsolete now according to Mrs. Wallstrom and her Ideal manual. She has the formula and it is Ikea size –works everywhere and all the time.

The Swedish had great leaders and great achievements and soon, perhaps not soon enough, the Swedes will need to muster the courage to publicly denounce politically correctness and make the change. The change will most likely be coming from the streets as the gap widens between official acknowledgment and the actual experience felt day to day (The official radio report quoted from BRÅ – The Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention- refuses to mention the M-word in the socialist-suffocated Sweden). The rape victims and the constant fear in the streets tell only part of the story. Until that time that Sweden will have the change it will have to survive with Mrs. Wallstrom and the government Ikea policy manual ideas. Bombs today also have manuals just like in Ikea. Those bombs are not only directed against Israel any more but also against Sweden. It does start with attacking the Jews, but it rarely ends only with them. This is the real lesson Mrs. Wallstrom should know. If Mrs. Wallstrom does not know it yet she should look up the books seeking the “keenness of understanding” as defined by the great Muslim scholar Sa’id Ibn Ahmad. It is a quality which is much needed and is quite rare with heads of states in these troubled times, especially in Sweden. Formulas such as the one employed by Ikea are better left to retailers when they are employed in politics the consequences could be disastrous – one just needs to ask the Swedish women of Stockholm – they already feel the pain.

About the Author
A graduate of Columbia Business School's M.B.A program in New York and a B.A from Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel, with a major in Economics and Business. He has been working as a business consultant since 1998.