Israeli lawyer in Sweden to talk settlements

Israeli lawyer in Sweden to talk settlements
Sweden's Riksdag. File: Michael Coghlan/Flickr
Swedish MPs have invited Israeli lawyer Calev Myers to hold a seminar at the Riksdag on Thursday, but some observers question whether he represents the Israeli public opinion.

Myers, who founded the Jerusalem Institute of Justice (JIJ), was invited to Sweden by parliamentarians from the Moderate and Christian Democrat party.

He is perhaps best known internationally for questioning US President Barack Obama's Middle East policies. His talk with parliamentarians in Sweden, however, is expected to address Israeli settlements.

"His views are extreme even in Israel," Joakim Wohlfeil at Swedish aid NGO Diakonia told the TT news agency. "He believes, just like the militant occupants, that the occupied territories should be annexed rather than aiming to broker a peace deal with the Palestinians."

Myers' institute holds an annual seminar entitled the Palestinian Human Rights Week, and he often addresses his concerns that the global community has got the wrong end of the stick.

"So I say, if you really care about the Palestinians, instead of boycotting, divesting and sanctioning Israel, start building, developing and supporting the human rights of the Palestinians," he told the Jewish Tribune last year.

Christian Democrat MP Annelie Enochson said it was important to discuss the conflict.

"It's important to listen to the different voices in this very complicated question," she told TT through her press secretary. "That does not mean that I share invited speakers' opinions."

Wolfeil at Diakoni questioned whether Myers' views were representative of Israeli public opinion at large.

"The majority of Israeli would rather have peace than settlements today," Wohlfeil said. "Myers' institute is an example of a trend, with organizations linked to the settler movement trying to find their own channels because they feel that Israelis see them as a burden." 

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