Morality of economic sanctions: Iran and Sweden

The Iranian threat to regional and global peace is very real and continues to grow. It is accepted that the country has a missile capability that can reach central Europe. And for all its denials, Tehran is close to a military nuclear facility, and has demonstrated open verbal intent to use it against enemies.

The West and many Arab states have had enough and are working their way towards imposing strong economic sanctions against the Islamic dictatorship. Whether the sanctions will achieve their purpose is doubtful, especially in view of the political determination of the Iranian President.

In parallel, the question will be how to ensure that the average Iranian person in the street does not suffer. Again, given the experience of sanctions imposed on Saddam Hussein and Iraq or North Korea, this is unrealistic. Neither reacted as did South Africa in the 1970s and both carried on rearming at the cost of civilian welfare.

When it comes to Israel, countries take a different attitude. It is now politically correct to target Israeli products manufactured in Palestinian territories. The reasons invoked – such as Israeli violence towards minorities – are never applied to imports from China or other similar regimes.

Rarely are the policies set out by governments, but arise as a result of local initiatives. In Sweden, the examples are more blatant. Yesterday, I met one Israeli exporter who manufactures spare parts for cars. His Swedish agent was in discussions with Volvo, when the manufacturing giant pulled out.  

The reason? The origin of the product. No – not in the West Bank, but in Israel pre 1967 borders. In other words, a direct boycott of Israel.

Many Swedes will argue that this is a political issue and has nothing to do with anti-semitism. Ingenious. This week, I read that many Jews are now fleeing from Malmo, Sweden, due to continuous hate attacks. I have yet to hear an academic Swedish explanation for what is happening nor have I heard of an official condemnation for the crimes.

And that silence is in itself a crime, a hideous moral crime.

Sweden’s boycott is unlikely to effect Israel. It is noticeable that it is one element of a growing cyber campaign against Israel. And here’s the ultimate hypocrisy. Most personal computers these days are aided through Intel tech, developed in….Israel.

It must be a mute point for the Swedish authorities that they are in the same camp as Iranians; both hate Israel, the Jewish state.

Explore posts in the same categories: Business, Israel

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