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Mankell joins Swedish 'Ship to Gaza'

The Local · 27 May 2010, 12:48

Published: 27 May 2010 11:27 GMT+02:00
Updated: 27 May 2010 12:48 GMT+02:00

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"Our goals are threefold - humanitarian, political and for solidarity. Firstly we wish to contribute with necessities such as medicines and materials for reconstruction, secondly to raise political interest in the plight of the Palestinians in Gaza, and thirdly to show the people in Gaza that they are not alone," said Mikael Löfgren at Ship to Gaza Sweden to The Local on Thursday.

Mankell, the creator of the Wallander detective novels, is joined by among others, Ulf Carmesund, theologian and international secretary for the Christian Social Democrats, Swedish Green Party MP Mehmet Kaplan, Jewish artist and musician Dror Feiler, and religious history professor Mattias Gardell on the international Freedom Flotilla.

The eight vessel strong fleet of ships, carrying 500 passengers from around 50 different nations, reported to include 35 parliamentarians, are currently dispersed around various ports in the eastern Mediterranean.

"They are on their way from various ports. The aim is for all the ships to converge south of Cyprus and continue the journey together," Löfgren said.

The Israeli navy has vowed to enforced a 20 nautical mile exclusion zone but, according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, has offered to deliver the activists' cargo to the Hamas-controlled territory, once it has been inspected.

The newspaper writes that a "forum of seven senior ministers" decided on Wednesday to enforce the blockade and thus prevent the flotilla from reaching its destination, warning that it would employ force if necessary.

Mikael Löfgren explained that the activists were aware of the Israeli government's warnings, while stressing that the Ship to Gaza project is a peaceful non-violent operation.

"We will not meet violence, with violence," Löfgren said forecasting that if all goes according to plan the flotilla is expected to approach Gaza sometime on Saturday afternoon.

Story continues below…

Sweden's foreign minister Carl Bildt was asked by Social Democrat MP Helén Petersson on Tuesday what measures the Swedish government has taken to protect the Ship to Gaza initiative.

"I assume that the voyage to Gaza is carried out by peaceful means and that the Israeli authorities respond accordingly. The work to ease Gaza's isolation is not helped if this situation were to develop into a confrontation," Bildt said while underling that Sweden shares the EU's position to work to lift the blockade of Gaza.

Bildt added that the government has no opinion on the methods adopted by the activists, as long as Swedish law is respected.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

13:06 May 27, 2010 by peropaco
They should also take a solidarity ride to North Korea, Sudan, Somalia, Congo, Tibet; but I would rather see them off to Noth Korea.
13:21 May 27, 2010 by greatkitty
Yes, and lets show solidarity with the Russian mob gangsters too. They need some love and affection also.
13:30 May 27, 2010 by bbeynch
Does Mankell believe that Israel has a right to exist?
14:27 May 27, 2010 by G Kin
Why only Mankell bbeynch?.

I would be glad to see him, Mankell I mean. Just read one of his books, " The Fifth Woman" will surely read " Faceless Killers" too.
15:03 May 27, 2010 by Marko2010S
The West has big responsibility towards Palestinians, because the West is the one who create Israel. Also, since Israel is a fact, then, they must be responsible for the Palestinians well-being. Israelis's duty must contribut to build strong Palestinian economy, create job opportunities, build proper infrastructure and so forth.
15:16 May 27, 2010 by Valdemaratterdag

Sure we'll be responsible for the Palestinians, just as soon as they boot out the terrorist organization that they voted in, Hamas. Until then, Israel should have carte blanche to do with Palestine as they will.
15:44 May 27, 2010 by Dutch2
Uhm @Marko, Israel does more for the Palestinians then Hamas does.

Here's something Western Media won't report on

Food tinyurl.com/39yuzud

Water tinyurl.com/37jhjk3

Free Medical care tinyurl.com/2whrz8g
18:15 May 27, 2010 by SilentLogic
if Israel keeps encroatching the land of palestenians and continues throwing explosives over the kids' schools (I have seen a number of such snaps), It sounds quite difficult to stop and control those voilent activities in the region.
19:52 May 27, 2010 by GefleFrequentFlyer
I've always found it interesting how the liberal side of sweden (which, is 75% of sweden) has this ongoing and deep empathy towards the palestinians.

They have no connection whatsoever to them, or any connection to thier (wait for the scarequotes) 'oppressors', Israel.

It's almost like you must pick the underdog and root for them, no matter what the facts and circumstances are. I guess that's the default liberal mindset.

I wonder, if the palistinians were 'oppressing' the israeli people, if the liberal swedes would step forward and send a fleet of boats to thier cause.

Until then, keep ignoring Hamas.....
20:08 May 27, 2010 by truthworthy
Swedes have humanitarian connection with Palestinians and are against oppression and injustice and apartheid policy by Israel.

If Jews want sympathy for holocaust and claim they were victims, they should respect Palestinians as humans and stop the holocaust in Palestine.
20:22 May 27, 2010 by Andy from NYC
A bunch of misguided idiots who are being used by Hamas for its own benefit... Sad but typical.

Let's see--about 500,000 Muslims in Sweden, about 18,000 Jews... Any wonder the media and politics are skewed? NO!

Swedes are naive and believe all people are good. I applaud their dream, but it just ain't so...

I've visited Israel and the West bank. I've been to Gaza. It's not what you read in local media...
21:15 May 27, 2010 by Avidror
I always enjoyed Mankell's novels. My favourite one always was (and still is) "Faceless killers" (in Spanish it was titled "Asesinos sin rostro").

Well, regarding to the Gaza Strip, there is no humanitarian crisis there. They have one of the highest obesity rates worldwide:


So, how can be said that there is a humanitarian crisis? YouTube has many videos which show Gaza Strip's markets with lot of food. Furthermore, there are many videos and pics showing humanitarian aid being transported into the Gaza Strip through the Israeli border.

Why the hell have these guys to confront the Israelis instead of delivering the humanitarian aid through the Israeli-Gaza Strip border? Because it's much more politically correct to criticize Israel.
21:20 May 27, 2010 by diegoveggie
mankell, make it a one way trip, please!
21:31 May 27, 2010 by babychuma
I found "Faceless Killers" depressing as hell, maybe a cruise will lighten him up a little;-)
21:52 May 27, 2010 by Uncle
There is no problem whatsoever. All that Israel is demanding is to transfer the goods through customs.. Wow - really draconian laws.

Given that these humanitarian pioneers refused the father of kidnapped by Hamas soldier to deliver a letter to his son, their humanitarian mission is clear and objective..

There is no issue whatsoever there. Every year they come, deliver the goods through the customs after a bit of screaming and crying and then getting out of there, because it becomes boring.
22:04 May 27, 2010 by Torontonian
Neighborhood Bully / Bob Dylan

Well, the neighborhood bully, he's just one man

His enemies say he's on their land

They got him outnumbered about a million to one

He got no place to escape to, no place to run

He's the neighborhood bully

The neighborhood bully just lives to survive

He's criticized and condemned for being alive

He's not supposed to fight back, he's supposed to have thick skin

He's supposed to lay down and die when his door is kicked in

He's the neighborhood bully

Well, he's surrounded by pacifists who all want peace

They pray for it nightly that the bloodshed must cease

Now, they wouldn't hurt a fly. To hurt one they would weep

They lay and they wait for this bully to fall asleep

He's the neighborhood bully
22:13 May 27, 2010 by Kevin Harris
Would the boring spammers who flood this forum with boring spam (pro and anti Isreal, it doesn't matter), please take your boring spam somewhere else, so we don't have to scroll past your boring spam.

Anyone above (or below) who isn't a boring spammer, please ignore this post. You (and we) know who you are.
22:31 May 27, 2010 by Cornelius Hamelberg
Kevin Harris, we hear you dearie...

There's a lot of propaganda value in all the media attention on the safe passage of these ships. If there is a confrontation, then there will be even more media attention. Is Cynthia McKinney on board any of the ships, I wonder?

Like peropaco I too hope that they don't get torpedoed and find themselves not in hell but in a watery grave like the sailors in that South Korean submarine because no matter what, they'll say - the anti-Semites, that it was Israel that did it.

Gaza citizens could do with all the aid that's on board those vessels and as long as there are no weapons stored & concealed or destined for Hamas, why should there be any problem of the cargoes arriving at their destination?


23:34 May 27, 2010 by oOjimOo
Response to UNCLE

3 members of the Irish Parliment who are on board the Irish Ship to Gaza have made contact with the father of the Israeli soldier, Gilat Schalit, held captive by Hamas, and have offered to take his letter and parcel to Gaza for his son.

They will be asking Red Cross & John Ging, (another Irishman who is head of the United Nation's Relief and Works Agency in Gaza) to ensure that the captured soldier reveives the letter.

They have also repeated their earlier call for Hamas to release the soldier, and that he receives visits from the Red Cross immediately.
00:23 May 28, 2010 by krrodman
Swedes naturally support the weak - the victim - the underdog. In the middle east, prior to 1967 Israel was the favorite cause of the Swedish socialist elite. Under attack by its Arab neighbors, Swedes not only supported Israel, but it was very fashionable amongst the Swedish socialists to show solidarity with Israel by spending time working on a Kibbutz.

Everything changed in 1967. Despite the fact that Israel was once again attacked by its neighbors, the fact that Israel captured Arab territory and to this day refuses to give it back, changed Israel in the mind of Sweden from a victim to an tyrant.

The very same Swedes who in 1966 viewed Israel as a utopian social democracy, now view Israel as an imperialist aggressor. It doesn't matter that there are no other democracies in the middle east. It doesn't matter that the core principles of western society(freedom of speech; freedom of religion; independent judiciary etc) are not followed anywhere else in the middle east. It doesn't even matter that at various times the Palestinians have been slaughtered by the Jordanians as well as by the Lebanese. (Be honest. Swedes do not really care if the Arabs kill each other.) It does not matter that the Arab enemies of Israel have no interest in peace. In fact they want to eliminate Israel and every Jew.

I have no doubt that if there were a mass slaughter of Jews at the hands of the Arabs, Sweden would once again support Israel. I, for one, hope that day never comes.
00:39 May 28, 2010 by missla
To all of you that think there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza or that think that Israel is doing "a lot" for Palestine, just watch a few of the documentaries I've listed below and then let's see if you will still keep turning the blind eye for it. What's going on there is uglier than what has been portrayed by western media!

You can find them in youtube:

- Occupation 101

- The Iron Wall

- Slingshot HipHop

PS: I am 100% against Hamas and 100% against the Israeli Govt. I am 100% pro-Palestinian people and Israeli people.
00:56 May 28, 2010 by Valdemaratterdag

Sure you're 100 percent pro-palestinian citizens, except it was the citizens who voted in Hamas in 2006.

You've gotta dance with the girl you brought. And the girl you brought is a terrorist.
01:00 May 28, 2010 by coos126
To those still not convinced about the fact that there is a humanitarian issue in gaza I can just refer to this, served with tons of sarcasm:


Since we are also discussing about the issue online take a look at this:


I don't know how accurate it is but it is at least interesting to read.

By the way, don't just blame Israel, Egypt has closed it's borders to Gaza also...
01:25 May 28, 2010 by Cornelius Hamelberg
First of all Carl Bildt's hopefulness:


Hopefully the ship will arrive in the vicinity of Gaza sometime during the Sabbath, with some chocolates for Gilad Shalit

02:24 May 28, 2010 by kzjh72

Thanks for your well worded and clear sighted comments. Though I'm sure there are some Swedes that genuinely care about Palestinians independent of who is causing them harm. However from discussions I have had with several "activists" over the years it has been evident that for many it is a hatred of Israel (or maybe Jews) that drives them rather than a care for Palestinians. As you say, not much protest is heard when Palestinians are mistreated by others than Israel. I also think you are right that a mass-slaughter of Israelis would turn the tide again.
06:27 May 28, 2010 by boby
Let them get to Gaza, who cares. Funny how stupid and naive Swedes are, they share the boats with convicted terrorists. Good for them. My only hope is that Sweden will be hit by terror as well. I think that after a few busses explode in Stockholm they will have a more objective view.
06:31 May 28, 2010 by peropaco
Had a dream one of those boats was sinking and Israel had to rescue them. Lamentablemente fue solo un sueño
06:54 May 28, 2010 by Uncle

If Israels policy is apartheid - why is it that the Palestinians want to be APART?

If Israels policy is apartheid, why is it that palestinians want their future country clean of Jews?

If this is apartheid, why don't palestinians have a Jewish parliament member, but there are few arabs in the Israeli parliement?

If this is apartheid, how come palestinians (and arabs as a whole) boycotte Israeli goods and nobody cares?

The real apartheid regime are the palestinians, but this is inconvenient to recognize isn't it?
08:32 May 28, 2010 by RobinHood

"The real apartheid regime are the palestinians" SIC

ROFL. Almost as good as your "unclear" message about the Soviet Union and the armistice. You are great entertainment. Keep it up the "unclear" posts.
08:52 May 28, 2010 by calebian22

Sadly you are correct. Sweden will only realize the gravity of what is a daily occurrence in parts of Israel, (ex, Moshav Netiv Ha'asara community in March) when it is hit with civilian targeted terrorism.

10:36 May 28, 2010 by flintis
Can't you see behind the smoke screen??

Because of the shortage of skilled workers in the country they're going to rescue the Palestinians & bring them back to Sweden.

Both the Citybanan & förbifart Stockholm are falling behind schedule,the Palestinians are well known for their tunnel building skills & are expected to finish these projects well before current expected completion dates.
10:50 May 28, 2010 by SilentLogic
I again went through the whole blog, till now I think "Missla' Comments (Comment #21) are more rational.
13:35 May 28, 2010 by missla

I agree with u that we shouldn't blame only the Israeli govt, but also Egypt and the US and other nations who send millions and billions every year (mainly) to Israel (the doc Occupation 101 shows the staggering amount the US spent on 'aid' to Israel)...


Yes, they voted on Hamas but if you talk to Palestinians, you will see that the MAJORITY of them are VERY VERY angry and disappointed with Hamas policies (which drawns on terrorism and corruption) and they are totally against them now and can't wait to get rid of them. But of course the western media doesn't show this...they are too busy portraying all Palestinians as potential terrorists who support Hamas.


Cheers, finally someone else sensible here!
14:03 May 28, 2010 by calebian22
Silent Logic,

Considering that both the Israeli government is democratically elected by the people of Israel and Hamas was elected to 76 of 132 parliamentary seats in 2006, before they killed their Fatwa brothers in Gaza, I am not sure how one is able to differentiate clearly between the government and the people? I can see how one would want to draw lines like you have done, but it is not possible in reality. The conflict in the Middle East is indeed about choosing a side.
16:30 May 28, 2010 by coos126

Stuff one can find over the net :)

I 'd like to see how many people, who critisize the palestenians for the way they react to the oppression of the Israeli Government, would react if an army was not allowing them to go out to the waters to fish and feed their family, or not allowing them to exit gaza to see a doctor and died because of that...
16:48 May 28, 2010 by Avidror
Some people here have asked how would we react if a foreign army was invading our country. Well, I answer asking the same but in the other direction. Weren't the Arabs those who tried to wipe Israel off the map and to throw Israeli Jews into the sea? What would you do if your country was being subjected to blocakeds, threats and aggressions like in 1967? Please examine the causes of the 1967 Six-Day War.
16:59 May 28, 2010 by Icarusty
Traitors... Mossad are gonna kick you Swedish asses.
17:47 May 28, 2010 by SilentLogic

Thanks buddy

@ Boby

do you have right to think so aggressively and violently (dreaming to explode buses and wishing to bring anarchic to some normal people who are just part of a group viz wishing to resolve and inquire a problem) , at most what will happen if a ship makes a short errand??. why some are getting annoyed and cursing a whole country. If everything is going well there just let them figure it out. sounds like some buddies in blog are afraid of disclosure of some secret there". PATIENCE
17:57 May 28, 2010 by geekgirl

Uhh.. Reality check...

The causes of the 1976 "six-day war" ?

Egyptian President Abdel-Nasser expelling UNEF from the Sinai Peninsula in May 1967, in an effort to assert Egypt's sovereignty over her own land?

The UNEF which had been in Sinai since 1957, following a British-French-Israel invasion of Egypt which was launched during the Suez Crisis (the Tripartite Aggression)?

Who attacked who on June 5, 1967? Israel Attacked Egypt.

For what? In Israel's point of view: a preemtive strike to thwart Egypt's (and allies') "likely" attempt to "wipe" Israel off the map.

Who made that frivolous claim? Israel..

Who attacked who in 29 October 1956? Britain, France, and Israel attacked Egypt (Suez Crisis, aka Tripartite Aggression).

Why did the three (colonial) super-powers attack (third-world-country) Egypt? Allegedly due to Egypt's decision of 26 July 1956 to nationalise the Suez Canal, after the withdrawal of an offer by Britain and the United States to fund the building of the Aswan Dam.

What was the British and French interest in this attack?

Controlling the strategic Suez canal, which inevitably means occupying the heartland of Egypt and splitting it in half.

What was Israel's interest in this?

Occupying the massive (and resources-rich) Sinai Peninsula, which it finally accomplished in 1967, and soon after began drilling oil and natural gas (which she gets now from Egypt under the Camp David Accord).

Why did Egypt & Syria attack Israel in Oct 1973 (Yom Kippur)?

Egypt to reclaim occupied Sinai Peninsula and the Suez Canal, Syria to reclaim Golan Heights (occupied since 1967).

What was Operation Nickel-Grass?

America's unlimited airlift and seaborne supply-line to replace all of Israel's material losses and more, following Moshi Dayan's and Golda Meir's authorized the assembly of thirteen 20-kiloton-of-TNT tactical atomic weapons for Jericho missiles at Hirbat Zachariah, and F-4 aircraft at Tel Nof, both nuclear-capable, in an easily detected preparation for a Nuclear Strike, as a signal to the US to get the green light for nuking Egypt and Syria. It is also historically suggested that Kissinger told Sadat that the reason for the U.S. airlift was that the Israelis were close to "going nuclear."

Now who was planning to wipe who off the map? Third world - and partially occupied - countries like Egypt and Syria? Or Israel with all its Nukes (that were once almost put to use) and full American, British, and French military support?

Get real..
18:30 May 28, 2010 by Avidror
To geekgirl:

The peacekeeping troops in the Sinai and the Gaza Strip were intended precisely to avoid a new war. That didn't mean that the Sinai was not part of Egypt. And Nasser expelled them in order to attack Israel.

Of ourse, British and French invasion of the Suez Canal was intended to control it. But the Israeli invasion of the Sinai and the Gaza Strip was intended to thwart the Egyptian blockade of the Israeli port city of Eilat, through the closing of the Straits of Tiran.

Israeli attack on Monday, June 5, 1967, was intended to thwart Egyptian blockade of Eilat (again) and constant threats and attacks against Israel's inherent right to exist. And this wasn't claimed by only Israel; Arab leaders declared their intention to wipe Israel off the map. I can demonstrate this if you want.

Israel didn't need to occupy the Sinai in order to have access to natural resources. Until the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iran itself was one of the closest Israel's allies, supplying the Jewish State with oil. Furthermore, this oil entered Israel through the port of Eilat, the same port which Nasser wanted to blockade.

Israel ended the ocupation of the Sinai twice, in 1957 and in 1982.

Israel wanted Jordanians and Syrians not to attack Israel in the Six-Day War, but they attacked, so Israel occupied the East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Golan Heights. In fact, Syria bombed northern Israel during the mid-1960s from the Golan Heights, and tried to divert the course of the Jordan river, which begins in the Golan Heights and enters northern Israel.

Please remember that the Arabs funded terrorist organizations in order to attack Israel before the 1967 Six-Day War. For example, the first P.L.O. attack against Israel happened during the 1964 New Year's Eve / 1965 New Year's Day. Syrian-supplied explosives were used.

So, Israel went to war against Egypt, Syria and Jordan because they tried to wipe Israel off the map through acts of violence, and by trying to avoid oil and water to being purchased by the Jewish State.

The 1973 Arab attack was also intended to destroy Israel. The Arabs themselves declared it; just remember the 1970 Kahrtoum conference.

If Israel was "going nuclear", it was the result of Arab advantage during the first days of the war.
18:55 May 28, 2010 by Handries
Its disappointing to me that Mankell is participating in this nothing but a political demonstration, as Gaza is not as impoverished as these people make out to be.

See this report:

In a short expose, National Post correspondent Tom Gross on Tuesday revealed that the Gaza Strip really isn't as impoverished as the rest of the biased international media would like you to believe.

Gross noted that the media is again full of stories about how destitute Gaza is, and why Israel is a bully for even thinking of preventing a flotilla of nine "humanitarian aid" (read: propaganda) ships set to sail from Turkey next week from reaching the Hamas-controlled territory.

But Gross dug a little deeper and found that with just a little effort, it was possible to find signs of normal life in Gaza, and even relative luxury.

For instance, he pointed out that one Gaza town recently constructed an Olympic-size swimming pool for its residents. Gross contrasted that to the fact that construction, land and water costs prevent all but the most well-off Israeli communities from having an Olympic-size swimming pool.

He also highlighted a popular Gaza City restaurant called the Roots Club, where even the ubiquitous travel guide Lonely Planet says visitors can enjoy gourmet meals. Gross called the owner of the Roots Club, who boasted that business is booming, with a regular flow of local Gazans and UN "aid" workers frequenting his establishment.

While there is without doubt poverty in Gaza, and probably more so than other areas considering the ineptness of its terrorist rulers, Gross explains that with clever and biased reporting, any city can be made to look impoverished.

"We could produce the same effect by selectively filming seedy parts of Paris and Rome and New York and Los Angeles too," wrote Gross.

Gross spent much of the article blasting the international media for its deceptive coverage, but another revelation of the piece is that there is apparently enough money and resources in Gaza for the area to take care of its own. Why then are Western taxpayers being called upon to foot the bill for enormous quantities of humanitarian aid? With most nations still recovering from the global economic downturn, it would be better to demand Hamas and its buddies stop pocketing all the money and start acting like a benefactor, if that is what the group claims to be.

Read more: http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2010/05/25/fancy-restaurants-and-olympic-size-pools-what-the-media-won%E2%80%99t-report-about-gaza/#ixzz0p1Du5QmK
19:47 May 28, 2010 by geekgirl

Iran was never an Israel ally. lol.. that's a preposterous claim and a very unprofessional way to try and skew history.

The only reason why Israel was getting Oil from Iran was the presence of the Pahlavi dynasty, Iran's Monarchy, which was installed by an invasion of allied British and Soviet troops in 1941 (before Israel existed). And from 1953 onwards, foreign powers (American and British - Israel's allies) again came to the Shah's aid, to further empower him and protect him, because he protects US/UK/Israel interest.

For example, when the Shah fled Iran, an American CIA operative and aided by the British MI6 organized a military coup d'état to oust his nationalist and DEMOCRATICALLY elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh.

Your argument about Iranian support is like saying: Egypt is an Israeli ally. Sure, the Egyptian government (or shall I say monarchy of 28 years, since Sadat was assassinated for making peace with Israel) may have respected the 1973 Peace treaty, but how do 99% of the Egyptian people feel towards Israel or the Camp David Accords (which they had never participated or had a say in)? And, while thousands of Israeli tourists freely tour in the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula (without needing a Visa - under the stipulations of Camp David), do Egyptians do the same?

So technically, the pre-1979 Iran "ally" you speak of was literally: the US, UK, and American puppet Shah Pahlavi.

Furthermore, you throw in "the Jewish State" label. So it comes at no surprise that all your "facts" (and sources) come from none but the Israeli (Apartheid) government. I shall admit that this is very solid, scholarly, and factual evidence, or at least in the Hasbara practice standards (Israel's propagandist arm), for which you rightfully-deserve a Hasbara Fellowship.

Sir, let me tell you that it is exactly this type of arrogance and denial and skewing of history, truth and facts that turns Israel's so-called "allies" completely against her. Look at recent years, look at Turkey. From an ally that Israel makes joint military-excercises with to... umm, Raja Tayyep Ordogan, the Prime Minister of Turkey - whom the Mossad has been desperate to have assassinated.

Anyway, my apology for getting side-tracked by comments and derailing off the main topic at hand.

I shall briefly conclude:

Joint-efforts like this (the flotilla) which Sweden participates in, is indeed the way to go. Some people will yell and moan and harshly criticize, but in the end, it is the observation of crimes and human rights violations, protection of those rights, and spreading justice is that which will effectively counter terrorism. If there were no injustice, oppression, aggression or violations of people's rights, terrorism stands no chance of survival...
21:21 May 28, 2010 by Avidror
To geekgirl:

Of course there is a big diference between the desire of the population and the deisre of the authorities. And Iranian-supplied oil to Israel derived not only from the fact that they had common allies, led by the United States, but also from the fact that they had common enemies: the pro-Soviet Islamic regimes, led by Egyptian dictator Gamal Abdel Nasser.

And when talking about popular attitudes in contrast with governmental ones, please remember that the vast majority of the Israelis (ans also many Palestinians) want peace through a two-State solution.

What do you mean when you say that my sources come from the Israeli Government? You can check what I wrote in many Internet sites.

Apartheid? In Israel? I don't think so. During apartheid in South Africa, black people couldn't (among others): a) live in those areas designated for the whites to live; b) work in those areas designated for the whites to work; c) attend those universities designated for the whites to study; d) vote during elections; e) be elected during elections.

In Israel, Arabs are allowed: a) to live where the Jews live; b) to work where the Jews work; c) to attend the same universities where the Jews study; d) to vote during elections; e) to be elected during elections.

Furthermore, apartheid is much more than de facto discrimination: it's a legal system based on de jure discrimination. This necessarily means that the discrimination itself (which in the Israeli case, as shown in this commentary, is not comparable to that of South African apartheid) must be established by the law. And Israeli laws generally grant equality.

So, telling that acts of discrimination performed in practice by Israeli Jews against Israeli Arabs makes Israel an apartheid-like State, would be like telling that Sweden is also an apartheid-like State because Malmö's Jews are being persecuted and a half of them had to relocate in other places (specially Göteborg, Stockholm, the United Kingdom and the State of Israel).

By the way, there are also discriminatory attitudes among Israeli Arabs against Israeli Jews.

Have you mentioned that the Mossad tried to kill Erdogan?

Palestinian terrorism can't be seen as the consequence of Israeli occupation and human rights abuses. As I wrote in my last commentary, terrorist acts were committed before Israel occupied the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

Regarding to human rights abuses, the Allies also committed them during the Second World War, as well as the republicans during the Spanish Civil War? Does this mean that the cause against the nazis and that one against the Spanish national catholicists was unjust?
23:16 May 28, 2010 by Essjay
Shxt this is the main problem and if it could ever be solved ,I do know the Scots proclaimened Scotland as the true Israel around 1630 , the true Isreal but guess they got hijacked by those in 1948 who fought against their British liberators from the Nazi Death camps ,that wanted an Isreal in Palestine and fought those who had freed them from the Nazi persecution ,the hunted becomes the hunter,now they have hunted ,but once again the hunted become the hunter.at this point intervention and innovative ideas are the way forward ,just move on!
00:45 May 29, 2010 by Cornelius Hamelberg
There are many opinions but this is the real situation and this is reliable information:

01:45 May 29, 2010 by coos126
Cornelius, you really think that the israeli military website is reliable information about the gaza case????? I hope you are just ironic man...
06:36 May 29, 2010 by geekgirl

You ignore the fewest facts I mentioned: the occupation of Iran by UK & Soviet, control by US & UK, even the military coup by CIA & MI6 which ousted Iran's >democratically< elected prime minister; Mossadegh - who was backed by Nationalist, Islamist, and socialist parties & groups. You even go on to surreptitiously claim "they" had common enemies. Who are "they"? Iranian Leftist, nationalist and Islamist groups attacked the gov you speak of, for its disregard of religious and democratic measures in the Iranian constitution. i.e. an illegitimate regime, installed by colonial powers - US/UK.

Moreover, the common enemy you paint as "pro-Soviet Islamic regimes led by Egyptian dictator Gamal Abdel Nasser" never existed. If you read anything about Nasser, you'd certainly know he was a socialist pan-Arabism advocate, not pan-Islamist. It is actually laughable you prefix his name with "dictator", because it is actually most often the Islamists who do that, since he was known to have oppressed Islamists. Iran never viewed Nasser as an enemy, nor vice-versa. Nasser's wife, Tahia Kazim, 1/2 Iranian. Shah's first wife was Princess Fawzia of Egypt - the eldest daughter of King Fuad I, and his second wife, Nazli Sabri.

I think you mixed up. Anwar Sadat, who's now getting a Square named after him in Haifa, maybe. Iran is often brought up with the name of his assassinator (Egyptian).

By the way, you forgot to mention earlier that the Straits of Tiran that Nasser closed, is off the coast of Sharm El Sheikh - between Saudi & Egypt, deep in Egyptian territory.

Israelis want a two-State solution? Really? Last time I checked the map, I found Palestine ripped in two distant halves. So which one becomes Palestine? Gaza or West Bank? Divide and unite?

Arabs in Israel. Shall I quote war-criminal Netanyahu (2003) or Israeli Historian Benny Morris (2004) about the so-called "demographic bomb" threat?

How about in Israel, Arabs (20% of Israel population): a) non-Jew cannot buy land, only lease. b) cannot work in same jobs - exclusive to Jews. c) entitled to education, hasbara approved, only $192/year for Arab vs. $1,100 for Jew. d) vote but only for jews. e) represent only 5% of civil servants. d) allocated less than 0.6% of health budget for healthcare e) allowed a max of 12 of 120 members of parliament, must acquire permission to visit any Arabic country. f) banned of forming any Arab political party. g) too many to list, some more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_citizens_of_Israel#Discrimination

"terrorist acts .. before Israel occupied .."

Oh, I'm sure. British history can tell you a lot about haganah..

Ex: "Text of the British White Paper Linking Jewish Agency to Zionist Terrorism in Palestine," New York Times, July 25, 1946.

Comparing Human Rights Violations by the Allies in "the cause against the Nazis" to the violations (war-crimes & genocide) by Israel against Palestinians, umm.. That's ridiculous..
22:16 May 29, 2010 by Avidror
I don't ignore U.S.-backed Pahlavi's regime. I just wrote that Pahlavi's regime was one of Israel's closest allies.

The Cold War-era Arab and muslim world was mainly divided into two different sides: U.S.-backed monarchies and Soviet-backed republics; these ones were rival factions trying to expel each other from the Middle East. Among the leaders of the U.S.-backed monarchies, we could find Pahlavi, while among the Soviet-backed republics, we could find Nasser. That was the motive of the rivalry between Nasser and Pahlavi.

That doesn't mean that Nasser was an Iranian-hater.

Referring to Nasser's Egypt, I used the term "Islamic" instead of the term "Islamist". And even the term "Islamist" would be appliable. What does "Islamist" mean in your opinion? Saudian regime fights al-Qaeda. But does it mean that Saudian regime is not Islamist in nature? Because Saudian authorities still apply sharia laws. Hamas and al-Qaeda were involved in clashes against each other in the Gaza Strip during 2009; and both of them are Islamist movements.

Was Gamal Abdel Nasser's regime an Islamist one? Maybe not in strict terms, but in Egypt there were characteristics of this kind of fundamentalism. Examples? Sharia-like laws were applied in Egypt at that time.

So, don't use the word "Islamist" referring to Nasser's regime if you want (in fact, I repeat, I didn't use it), but muslim religious principles had very much to do with Nasser's policies.

The Straits of Tiran were considered international waterways. And by the way, the Strait of Gibraltar is near British, Spanish and Moroccan territories. Does it mean that these three countries are the only legitimate owners of the Strait of Gibraltar, having the right to block the western entry to/exit of the Mediterranean?

According to polls, the majority of the Israelis (I'm talking about the Israeli population, not about the Israeli Government) want peace through a two-State solution.

I don't know what are you trying to tell me when righting about the demographic bomb threat. Are you denying it?
22:18 May 29, 2010 by Avidror
In Israel, there are not lands, jobs and education centres exclusive to Jews; Arabs can vote Arabs (there are Arabs in the Knesset and there were Arabs in the Government); they share the same healthcare and social services than the Jews (including East Jerusalem's non-Israeli Arabs, through a 1988 Supreme Court's sentence); they're allowed to buy homes in East Jerusalem (e.g., 498 Arab homes approved to be built in East Jerusalem's Silwan neighborhood, in last december); etc.

And I repeat: Israeli laws grant equality, regardless of de facto discrimination (which also exists in the other direction). Apartheid it's based on a legal system, were the discrimination is not only de facto, but also de jure. If not, I repeat: Sweden is also an apartheid-like State.

Haganah was founded in the 1920s due to Arab attacks against Jews, such as the 1920 Palestine riots, so the Arab ideological violence chronologically preceded the Jewish ideological violence. And you're confusing the Haganah with Irgun (founded in the 1930s) and Lehi (founded in the 1940s). Did really the British consider the Haganah a terrorist organization? Well, the British themselves ask the Haganah to arrest Irgun's and Lehi's personnel.

Of course it's ridiculous to compare Allied-committed war crimes during WWII with Israeli-committed war crimes during the Arab-Israeli conflict, because the Allies were worse. For example, during just three days of Febreuary 1945, 40,000 Germans were killed in Dresden. Soviet troops in Berlin committed about 2,000,000 war rapes.

But, I insist, I still prefer the Allies. And well, I apply the same logic to the Israelis.
22:59 May 29, 2010 by wenddiver
Free boat rides South for morons. Get your picture taken with a real Pony or Hamas Terrorist (Our Choice). Get points for being a real leftist tool!

Apply Today!

Be the joke of sane people everywhere!

No refunds if boat run over by Oil Tanker.
10:50 May 30, 2010 by ali_bin_umar
Logically speaking if I confiscate or forcibly occupy someone home and hang my name plate outside may amuse me but not to the whole world. This anolgy works fine with creation of Israel. Israel is an area actually belongs to Palestine and forcibly occupied through killing innocents and snatching their property and now hanging their name plate "Israel" filled with blood on the face of planet earth.
19:40 May 30, 2010 by geekgirl
Is this what you call defacto discrimination?

youtube /watch?v=fPXpL-Nydx4

Allowed to live where Jews live (and settle)?

youtube /watch?v=7mO8CWSam2o

Allowed to be visited by Westerners carrying cameras?

youtube /watch?v=_1nqlaL0KEA

You say: "they're allowed to buy homes in East Jerusalem" and mention Silwan.

The example you made couldn't have possibly been any worse. East Jerusalem is populated mainly by Arabs since 1948. Jews were expelled from Silwan after Arabs were forced to leave from Israeli-ruled West Jerusalem neighborhoods, like Katamon and Malha, 1948. Moreover, Israel's declaration of soverignty over the entirety of Jerusalem is NOT even recognized by the international community, let alone the Palestinians. This is actually regarded as de facto annexation, which Israel denies. Isaeli jurisdiction over the entirety of Jerusalem is seen as invalid, and so is your fraudulent argument.

As to your analogy between Israel and Sweden, I would suggest you read this non-comprehensive coverage first:


and not only the 10th section (criticism of the analogy), which also includes S. Africa.

It's very curious how you struggle to contrast between S. African Apartheid & Israel, when I have never mentioned S. Africa. Despite that, it is curious that in 1975, Mr. Perez, Israel's defense minister, met with his S. African counterpart, P.W. Botha, to sell the apartheid regime nuclear-armed missiles. Pretoria later developed its own bomb, with Israel's help, of course. Israel fought to prevent declassification of these documents, and Mr Perez denies everything, including the agreement bearing the date and both his signature and Mr Botha's!

It was ridiculous to compare Allied-committed war crimes with Israeli ones. It is even more ridiculous that you shove the "Arab-Israeli conflict" label in there. WW2 involved gigantic war machines in which more than 100 million military personnel mobilised, and over 70 million casualities, in only 6 years. There was no distinction between Civilian and Military, as the participants put all capabilities in use for the "total war"; as when Israel declares "public mobilization". Allies fought war criminals of systemic genocides and holocaust. They didn't go in to occupy land, build settlements and expand borders. They didn't round up POW's and execute them en masse or tie their hands beind their backs, lay them on their faces in rows and run them over with tanks (IDF on Egyptian POW's, 1948, 1956, 1967). They didn't encircle refugee camps to watch genocide while protecting the perpetrators, like the IDF did in Lebanon as the Christian Phalangists massacred helpless Palestinian families, elderly, women, and children in Sabra and Shatilla (1982). More importantly, they didn't kill children on picnic on beaches (Gaza 2006).
21:55 May 30, 2010 by Cornelius Hamelberg
No ne likes to read this kind of news either:

22:43 May 30, 2010 by Avidror
First of all, what is shown in the videos you link happened in settlements, in the Palestinian territories, and not in Israel. I guess you know that apartheid-like regimes constitute an internal regime. Is the West Bank part of the State of Israel?

Secondly, I also guess you know what's the difference between "de facto" and "de jure". That American woman and those Palstinians can rely on Israel's justice system to denounce their respective cases. Why? Because in spite of the hate offences, Israel grants freedom and rights to everybody through its laws. If there were de jure discrimination in Israel through an apartheid-like regime, they wouldn't be allowed to denounce because in such a case Israeli laws wouldn't grant freedom and rights to everybody.

Israel's justice system can in practice achieve justice or fail to achieve justice, but the system is theoretically intended to grant equality through legal measures.

But I have to admit that you're right in one point: I was the one who began to write about the analogy.

Regarding the analogy between Sweden and South Africa during apartheid, of course I wasn't trying to tell that Sweden has an apartheid-like system; I tried to distinguish de facto discrimination with de jure discrimination.

I didn't try to compare WWII and the Arab-Israeli conflict in military terms. I just wrote about how Allied-committed war crimes can't be used against the Allied cause against the nazis, applying the same logic with the Spanish republicans and the Israelis.

And, by the way, the U.S.S.R. (an Allied State) enslaved much more people in Eastern Europe than Israel did.
06:38 June 1, 2010 by wenddiver
Told you so!!!!!! Boat rides over, no Pony at end. Just Terrorists and hopefully a jail sentence in Israel.
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