• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Israeli and Palestinian to share Swedish award
The award is in memory of late Swedish PM Olof Palme. Photo: Paolo Rodriguez/TT

Israeli and Palestinian to share Swedish award

TT/The Local · 7 Jan 2016, 08:29

Published: 07 Jan 2016 08:29 GMT+01:00

Mitri Raheb, a Lutheran pastor, and controversial Israeli journalist Gideon Levy, who campaigns for his country's withdrawal from Palestinian territories, have been awarded the Olof Palme Prize of 2015.

They both receive the award for offering “a glimmer of hope to a conflict that too long has plagued and continues to plague millions of people and affects world peace”, read organizers' statement.

It comes a month after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned statements made by Foreign Minister Margot Wallström when she warned of “extrajudicial executions” in the region following a spate of Palestinian knife assaults against Israelis, with some perpetrators shot to death by soldiers.

However, her office quickly released a statement saying that her comments had been taken out of context, adding that “the situation in the Middle East is difficult enough without having to be encumbered by misunderstandings about anybody's intentions”.

But Levy, who was born in Tel Aviv, came out in strong defence of the minister in an interview on Thursday.

“The fact that Israel is attacking Sweden so often is the most unbelievable chutzpah. How dare Israel, how dare an occupier, criticize Sweden for recognizing Palestine?” he told Swedish radio.

“I was sorry that she kind of apologized because there was no reason to apologize. What we see in the last months is Palestinians trying to stab Israelis and are executed without a trial.”

His comments are likely to add further fuel to the flames of Sweden-Israel relations, which have been strained since the Nordic country formally recognized Palestine in 2014.

Story continues below…

The Olof Palme Prize is an annual award worth $75,000 granted by the Swedish labour movement. It commemorates the memory of the Social Democratic prime minister, an outspoken international human rights advocate, who was assassinated in the Swedish capital in 1986.

It will be handed out in parliament in Stockholm on January 29th.

Since 1987, the award has been handed out to human rights defenders around the world including former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and pro-democracy Chinese activist Xu Youyu.

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Today's headlines
No arrests after boy's death in Gothenburg grenade attack
The scene at the apartment in Biskopsgården two days after the attack.Photo: Adam Ihse/TT

As the funeral takes place of an eight-year-old boy killed in a Gothenburg grenade attack, police have yet to make any arrests in the case.

'Unfriendly' Swedes give expats the cold shoulder
Is it difficult to make friends with Scandinavians? Photo: Berit Roald/NTB scanpix/TT

Sweden is among the most difficult countries for foreigners to feel at home in, according to a new survey.

Is this the most Swedish wedding cake ever?
A chocolate ball enters a mouth. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

That's a lot of balls!

Sweden's most beautiful places revealed
West-coast serenity in Onsala, Halland. Photo: Mikael Tigerström

Is the west coast the best coast?

Swedish woman bumps into bear near pub
This is not the bear Valeria Möller met in Skellefteå. Photo: Bernard Boehne

If you go down to the pub tonight...

Stockholm school segregates boys and girls in gym class
A gym class for first-graders. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

"Some of our girls want to be able to take off their veils and wear shorts and T-shirts in their classes," a teacher explained.

This Brit moved to Sweden and opened his dream café
Härnösand café owner Shaun Corby. Photo: Johanna Corby

Shaun Corby tells The Local how following his Swedish wife to Härnösand turned out to be the best move he ever made.

Missing Swedish billionaire found dead
In the early 1980s, Ericsson was known as the ’Golden boy’ of the west coast. Photo: Leif R Jansson/TT

Swedish entrepreneur and billionaire Christer Ericsson, who went missing during a fishing trip two months ago, has been found dead on the west coast.

Sweden Democrats try to woo pensioners
The party says the minimum pension ought to be raised by 10 percent. Photo: Emil Langvad/TT

Sweden’s far-right party on Saturday vowed to fight for the elderly, saying it will only support a government that is prepared to significantly hike pensions for those who struggle financially.

Swedish hikers found after missing for six days
The only trace is currently a mobile phone found in the area and which is believed to belong to one of the men. Photo: Henrik Montgomery /TT

Swedish police on Saturday found two elderly hikers who went missing in the Abisko mountain range six days ago.

Sponsored Article
Malmö to host global skateboard championship
Gallery
People-watching: August 26th-28th
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Travel
What are Sherpas doing on Sweden's highest mountain?
Gallery
People-watching: August 24th
Blog updates

23 August

A Summer in Sweden (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"For our first year here in Sweden we decided to have all our holidays in Sweden.…" READ »

 

22 July

After the horror, carry on regardless (Globally Local) »

"This time last week, we were just digesting the horror of the Nice killings, in which…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
The mystique of Asia - in the middle of Stockholm
The Local Voices
'I want to be a businesswoman but I don’t care about money'
Sponsored Article
Why you should learn to trade (and just how easy it is)
National
Experts: Gothenburg grenade blast is 'part of a cycle of violence'
Gallery
Property of the week: Karlsborg
National
Why Sweden could change its criticised detention laws
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
National
Watch this dog's reaction when she tries Swedish fermented herring
Gallery
People-watching: August 19th-21st
National
How to find student housing in Sweden
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
National
VIDEO: Swede films first Northern Lights of the season
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Gallery
People-watching: August 17th
Society
Swedish population nears ten million
Sponsored Article
Five easy ways to travel more often
The Local Voices
This Syrian artist found love in a Swedish library
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
Sex pigs halt traffic after laser attack on Pokémon teens. Only in Sweden.
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Gallery
Property of the week: Hammarby Sjöstad, Stockholm
Society
Drunk knight detained in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
National
Can you solve this Swede's strange Star Wars mystery?
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Gallery
People-watching: August 12th-14th
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
National
Swedes cheer first snow of the season
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Gallery
People-watching: August 10th
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
The Local Voices
Syrian presenter: Swedish media should make more shows in Arabic
Travel
Watch the meteor shower in Sweden
The Local Voices
Gabriel mastered Swedish and got accepted onto a medicine degree in just 7 months
3,335
jobs available