Following Israeli envoy's vandalism of Swedish artwork - embassy asked to relocate
Israel's ambassador to Sweden, Tzvi Mazel, confirmed Monday that the owner of the building which currently houses the Stockholm embassy has asked the Israeli government to relocate it, citing concern for the security of other tenants, Israel Radio reported.
On Sunday, the Swedish foreign ministry said it still expects Mazel to participate in a symposium on genocide to be held Monday at the Stockholm museum where Mazel deliberately vandalized the presentation of an art exhibit he regarded as a "glorification of Palestinian suicide bombers".
Last Friday, Mazel destroyed the artwork, entitled "Snow White and the Madness of Truth." It consisted of a basin filled with red water on which floated a boat carrying a portrait of Islamic Jihad suicide bomber Hanadi Jaradat, who killed herself and 21 others in an attack at the Maxim restaurant in Haifa last October.
The discussion might not be held if the Israeli ambassador chooses not to participate, the report said.
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon praised his ambassador to Sweden on Sunday, saying the "entire government stands behind him."
Sharon told a cabinet meeting Sunday he had called Mazel and thanked him "for his strength in dealing with increasing anti-Semitism." "I think Ambassador Mazel behaved in an appropriate way," Sharon said. "I think the phenomenon is so serious that it would have been forbidden not to have acted on the spot."
Meanwhile, the Swedish government is contemplating issuing a conciliatory note to bring to an end the crisis in ties between the two countries resulting from the controversial art exhibit in Stockholm, according to sources in the Israeli foreign ministry and indications offered by Swedish Ambassador Robert Rydberg. (Albawaba.com)
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)