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Mankell calls for release of Israeli soldier

The Local · 6 Jul 2010, 13:58

Published: 06 Jul 2010 13:58 GMT+02:00

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"I have always argued that it is a scandal that Gilad Shalit was not released ages ago. It does not serve the Palestinian cause to keep him imprisoned," Mankell told the Christian daily Dagen.

Mankell was responding to criticism from Swedish MEP and former Christian Democrat party leader Alf Svensson, who has accused Mankell of only standing up for international law with regards to the plight of those living in Gaza under Israeli blockade.

"All I do concerns a struggle against oppression and discrimination. Why would I be against it in one area and not in another," Mankell told the website, arguing that the imprisonment of Shalit is in breach of the "most elementary humanitarian principles".

Henning Mankell, creator of the Wallander series of books, is the most high profile of the eleven Swedes who participated in the Freedom Flotilla to Gaza in May that was attacked by Israeli troops resulting in the deaths of nine Turkish activists.

Gilat Shalit was kidnapped in June 2006 by Palestinian forces, the first Israeli soldier to be captured since 1994. His case has generated a great deal of media and public interest in the aftermath of the flotilla attacks and his continued captivity was cited as a reason for the Israeli war in Gaza in November 2009.

Story continues below…

Hamas has demanded the release of a thousand Palestinian prisoners in return for handing over Shalit. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to the demand last Thursday but at the same time ruled out allowing Hamas to decide over the prisoners to be released.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

14:28 July 6, 2010 by eZee.se
Ummm, any special reason why TheLocal gives this joker so much page time?
15:34 July 6, 2010 by goodbyeammar
but there is a big difference between the situation in gaza or palestine and the situation of arresting the israeli soldier.

the seige on gaza is illegitimate.

the occupation of palestine is illegitimate and against the international law

the arrest of the israeli soldier is not a humanitarian case. he is a soldier who participated in war crimes in gaza. he is not a civilian, and his arrest is legitimate according to the international law. Fighting actors have a right to arrest military targets.

so it is very disappointing the the international writer compared the situation of palestinians and the israelis.

the israeli supporters in sweden (right wing) have been repeatedly trying to make parallels between the palestinains suffering and the so-called the israeli suffering or the what they call the violation of human rights from both sides. indeed this is nonsense and serve propagandistic israeli agenda.

there is no way that we can equalize between palestinians and israelis.

israel is occupying israel, and that's why its fight against palestinians is illegal.

palestinians are under occupation, and that is why the international law grants them a right to resist foreign occupation exactly as the european nations resisted the nazi occupation.

israel is illegally arresting 11000 palestinians, many of them civilians, underage (400 children)....palestinians are arresting one israeli soldier, who belongs to an occupying army…
15:51 July 6, 2010 by truthworthy
what about the 10,000 Palestinians being abused in Israeli prisons? i am tired of all this talk about one Israeli soldier while ignoring the fact that Israel imprisons thousands of Palestinians without reason including women and children.
16:20 July 6, 2010 by saab

You write:

"the occupation of palestine is illegitimate and against the international law"

Well, is Israel occupying Gaza? Not that I know of. Is Hamas a legitimate government? Yes, it was elected and then it systematically went after Fatah, even using death squads and throwing opposition Fatah members off the roofs of buildings. Please recall too that Hitler was elected fairly and squarely. Did that mean we should have looked the other way (oh sorry, we did until one man, Churchill corrected a historic mistake).

Um, are 7500 rockets launched at a civilian population consistent with international law? Is it legitimate?

It is in the eyes of Hamas who have declared that Israel (pre 1967, post 1967, just Israel no matter how constructed) should be annhilated. It's in their charter you nimrod.

One last thought: is anyone else in your eyes "occupied"? Well, let's see. The Kashmiris by India. The Tibetans by China. Parts of Colombia by FARC. Farms in Zimbabwe by white settlers (in the eyes of Mugabe). The Falklands by the British (according to the Argentinians). Parts of Spain (according to the Basque). "Spanish Sahara" by the Moroccans. Northern Ireland by the British (per IRA). Afghanistan by NATO. Iraq by the US. Ciudad Juarez by drug gangs. Aceh by the Indonesians. Washington DC by Obama.

The list goes on...
19:01 July 6, 2010 by eZee.se
Oh cr@p! This 'conversation' again.

Israel blah blah

Palestine blah blah

But if England in blah blah

Flotilla blah blah

War crimes blah blah

Muslims blah blah

Christians blah blah

Jews blah blah

Allah blah blah

Zionists blah blah

I think i covered most of it, please dont start on that rot again.
20:21 July 6, 2010 by Nemesis
@ eZee.se

You summed it up well.
21:16 July 6, 2010 by Abbot

How can Israel be occupying its own land. If it was an illegal country, it wouldn't have been admitted to the UN.

He participated in war crimes. Got any proof of that?

He is not a humanitarian case? Well, the UN, Red Cross and Human Rights Watch disagree with you.
21:21 July 6, 2010 by goodbyeammar
hey SAAB...

-the conflict between hamas and fatah is an international issue, but as usual, the israeli supporters are on the habbit of diverting the issue towards something else so no one talk about the crimes of the occupation.

-yes gaza is under occupation. that is what is the United Nations say since the israeli government control the sea, land and the air of gaza. the israeli occupying authorities control the palestinian borders, block the palestinian sea and air-ports. another issue, West Bank is under the israeli occupation. that is something all the international community recognizes and considers it an illegal occupation. as a result of that, since part of palestine is under occupation, palestinians have a right to resist the occupation_that is something guaranteed by the international law. of course i did not mention that the israeli state itself was founded on 78% of palestine after gathering jews people from all over the world and sending them to palestine, and then expelling more than half of palestinians outside palestinians. now of course you, as an israeli supporter, does not see it as an occupation understand that. that is the way the colonizers see the colonized. Hitler himself did not consider his conquer to other countries as occupation.

now you are making a silly paralel between hamas and Hitler. you made me laugh. everyone knew who are the new nazis. everyone knóws that it is the israelis who exactly behave in the same way the nazis did. it is the israelis who target children and kill them with white phosphorous, demolish palestinian houses to give them to new jews settlers (because they believe that god promised them palestine), ...and a lot of crimes, the latest one was massacring the peace activists on freedom flotilla.

-please stop this propaganda, everyone knows the 8500 rockets are merely an israeli propaganda. all these amounts of rockets killed 8-10 israelis during 8 years. the israeli rockets killed thousands of palestinians during the same period. one last thing: the palestinian rockets are a natural response to the israeli occupation. all people in earth have a right to resist the occupation, but it is normal the occupier does not recognize the resistance because as usual, the occupation wants to occupies, steal more lands and kills children and in the end, it does not people to react and resist.

The israeli occupation is still going on, gathering jews from Europe and sending them to palestine, because of a criminal racists radical ideology, which is that ''god promises the jews the land of palestine'', and in the end, the Israelis want Palestinians to leave their homes peacefully and calmly and not react or resist this terrorist and criminal agenda!!!! this is fanatic!
23:41 July 6, 2010 by Frobobbles
Of course,Gilad has been kidnapped for four years, but now that a high profile sweeeeede demands his release, he will be home in no time at all.
00:20 July 7, 2010 by Cornelius Hamelberg

How come he is only calling for Gilad Shalit's release now?

Those are kind words dropping from the lips of the revolutionary Mr. Mankell and he must be commended for finally seeing the light and speaking up as a man of good conscience. Admirable.


Well, as he is now fighting for a just cause – hopefully - he will be able to persuade his other comrades-in-arms (Mattias Gardell and others) and get them on board the release Gilad Shalit campaign and also help to get the eloquent and persuasive Carl Bildt & his government plus Mona Sahlin & Co on the FREE GILAD SHALIT campaign trail so that their names will be written in the book…

Even today Her Majesty Queen Elisabeth II, the Queen of England in addressing the UN mentioned Dag Hammarskjöld

There have been, there are and there will always be good Swedes.

Right words, right actions: Let Mr. Mankell draw up the release Gilad Shalit petition he'll be recognised as the good Swede he was born to be and we will all sign it:


05:37 July 7, 2010 by millionmileman
Good for Henning Mankell, because even Jimmy Carter (with his Palestinian connections) does nothing about this deplorable situation with Gilad Shalit. The Palestinian prisoners are well treated and are in custody for acts of terrorism. Gilad's whereabouts are so secret that even Kurt Wallander could not find him. He has been a prisoner for four years now and needs to be released to his family.

If a Swedish soldier were kidnapped in Afghanistan the country would be just as livid and justifiably so. This total lie that the several thousand rockets fired at Israel is a hoax is beyond contempt and thanks for @saab for pointing this out (being a fellow traveller).

If more of you none believers would visit Israel instead of Phuket you would have your eyes opened, but I guess some of you can't handle the truth. Israel is 62 years old as a legitimate nation, but so much history has been forgotten and what occurred the day before someone is born is so hard to comprehend.

How many people know what happened the two weeks leading up to the 1967 Six Day War, when the UN soldiers from mainly India and Scandinavia were ordered out of the Israeli/Egyptian border area by Nasser. Then a couple of weeks after the war, Israel offered to give back the Sinai, West Bank and Golan Heights. Of course Israel kept Jerusalem which had its Jewish section and cemetery defiled by the Jordanians and the city was always inhabited by Jews since King David.

The bottom line is that the Arabs just won't be happy until every Jew has been pushed into the Mediterranean and Israel has disappeared. This really bugs the uninformed because Israel has such a powerful military with the most advanced weapons and rightly so because there is no choice. Israel has the right to exist. I guess Jews are supposed to take it on the chin while schlepping their leather valises along sooty train-station platforms. Not any more.
09:59 July 7, 2010 by Dan Israel
What a strange way you have to quote people. Why have you omitted the last part of Mankell's answer where he criticizes Alf Svensson: "Why haven't you in any way spoken out against the blockade against Gaza, which has been condemned as totally illegal by both the International Red Cross and Internal Save ther Chuldren."?
11:44 July 7, 2010 by Cornelius Hamelberg
Updates on the Gilad Shalit:



The commandment “ Thou shalt not steal” could be accurately paraphrased to read “ Thou shalt not kidnap” and that is the purport the commandment - it is forbidden to kidnap.

Now the Israeli Government faces the ridiculous proposition of having to release 1,000 Palestinian criminals, among them some of the top terrorists with blood on their hands and therefore doing time in Israeli prisons. Hamas ( perhaps still reeling under the impact of the unfortunate report that “At Goldstein's funeral, Rabbi Yaacov Perrin claimed that even one million Arabs are "not worth a Jewish fingernail.” - wants Israel to realse 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Shalit.

This of course would bring to nought the wise policy of “Thou shalt not negotiate with terrorists”. Should the Israeli government succumb to the Hamas demands, Hamas could regard their ploy as a success and try to accomplish kidnappings of more Israeli soldiers, businessmen etc.and press even more extreme demands. There is such a danger.

As Rabbi Meir Kahane says on page 25 of “Our Challenge – The Chosen Land” .

“ We do not seek war. One Jewish life is not worth all the Jewish land that is under foreign rule. But when war is forced upon us and Jewish bodies fall, then the historic land that returns to us remains – never to be returned.”

Since the rabbi wrote that, Gaza – which as far as I can see is not really a part of the designated Holy land – has been vacated.

Here is the late rabbi's plea and argument published in 1974, since which time much has happened , but still in essentials he is right on the mark about the raison d'être of Israel: It's a good read ( good=accurate and instructive) and freely available here. Since there are always at least two sides to a story/ issue I warmly recommend that people like “goodbyeammar” take a shot at reading it – and if they can come back here to refute his ideas....:

17:29 July 8, 2010 by Matan
Palestinian custody? No.

How about.. Terrorist custody? Hamas doesn't represent the Palestinian people.
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