Op-ed by Björn Brenner in the Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet about some of the several problematic aspects of the Ship to Gaza initiative. Below is a summary of the main points of the article:
Considering the current anti-Swedish sentiments in Israel, it is particularly problematic when Swedish political representatives choose to take part in activism against Israeli authorities and express one-sided criticism of Israel.
This type of criticism serves only to increase hostile sentiments towards Sweden, plays into the hands of those instigating these sentiments, and in particular it counteracts the Swedish Government’s current efforts to repair both countries’ damaged relations.
The intention of Women’s Boat to Gaza is to show solidarity with women in conflict areas, but the association has chosen not to say anything about Hamas’s abuses regarding human rights that have now been going on in the Gaza Strip for almost a decade.
The black-and-white picture Women’s Boat to Gaza gives of the situation is instead playing directly into the hands of both Palestinian and Israeli extremists.
Severe criticism should obviously be levelled at the untenable situation existing in Gaza. Such criticism should however be expressed with democratic means and be directed at all the actors involved in allowing the situation to continue.
Read Björn Brenner’s op-ed in full here
Read reply by Women’s Boat to Gaza here
Read reply by Ship to Gaza here
Read interview with Björn Brenner on Finnish National Broadcasting YLE
Photo (top): Hazem Balousha