Yesterday it was announced that Mona Sahlin, Member of Parliament since1982 and party leader of the Social Democrats since 2007, has decided to resign from her position as party leader.
The decision seems to be based mostly on the losses the party has experienced in the past two elections. Additionally, a number of long-time Social Democrats were among those voters who made a radical shift and voted for the extreme-right Sweden Democrats.
The decision to resign was not only Sahlin’s; it has been acknowledged that her party comrades encouraged her to resign. The Social Democrats faced the worst election results in almost a century, losing even further ground as the Red-Green coalition of Social Democrats and Greens garnered only 156 votes, 17 fewer than the victorious Moderate-dominated alliance. It is obvious that Sahlin can take much responsibility for the erosion of the Social Democrats long-term hold on the Swedish political leadership. This was obvious to regional party leadership—before this past weekend seven party districts were prepared to demand her resignation.
The following is a brief list of Mona Sahlin’s (anti-) Israel policies and activities during her time as party leader for the Social Democrats:
· Visited and gave legitimacy to the Hamas leadership in Gaza, 2007
· Condemned Israel for using “exaggerated violence” in the Gaza War, 2009
· Condemned Israel in a Fatah congress in Bethlehem and expressed her support for the Palestinians, 2009
· Participated in an anti-Israeli rally in response to the War in Gaza where “where the Jewish state's flag was burned while those of Hamas and Hezbollah were waved”, 2009
· Defended Malmö’s Mayor Ilmar Reepalu’s anti-Semitic remarks concerning the Jews in Malmö, 2010
Given Mona Sahlin’s record, as she has always been a strong opponent of Israel, her resignation can be nothing but positive for future political relations between Sweden and Israel.