(JTA) — Sweden’s housing minister tendered his resignation after comparing Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians to the way Jews were treated by the Nazis.
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven told a news conference in Stockholm on Monday that he had received and approved Mehmet Kaplan’s resignation letter.
Kaplan, who was born in Turkey, made the remarks in 2009, five years before he entered Sweden’s center-left government as a member of the Green Party, a junior member of the government coalition, Reuters reported. The remarks were first reported last week by the Swedish daily newspaper Svenska Dagbladet.
Kaplan also has been accused of being affiliated with members of radical organizations, according to the news website The Local-Sweden. Last week he was seen in newly released photos of a dinner attended by representatives of an ultranationalist Turkish organization called The Grey Wolves.
“I have always worked against extremism of all kinds,” Kaplan told reporters on Monday.
In January, Sweden’s foreign minister, Margot Wallstrom, called for an investigation of Israel’s killing of Palestinian attackers during a wave of stabbing attacks and other violence that began in October, calling them “extrajudicial executions.”
In November, Wallstrom linked the Paris terrorist attacks that killed 130, which were blamed on the Islamic State, to perceived hopelessness among the Palestinians.