Gazakust 2

Women’s Boat to Gaza and the association’s reluctance to criticise Hamas

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

“Kvinnliga aktivister blundar för Hamas övergrepp”, Svenska Dagbladet, 19 september 2016.

Read reply by Women’s Boat to Gaza here

“Vi är stolta deltagare på båt till Gaza”, Svenska Dagbladet, 21 september 2016.

Read reply by Ship to Gaza here

“Kvinnorna i Gaza har rätt att slippa ockupationen”, Svenska Dagbladet, 23 september 2016.

Read interview with Björn Brenner on Finnish National Broadcasting YLE

“Kvinnor försöker bryta blockad mot Gaza”, YLE Nyheter, 16 september 2016.

Read more

“Blockade of the Gaza Strip”, Wikipedia.

“Gaza flottilla raid”, Wikipedia.

“Ny flottilj till Gaza är dumdristigt”, Svenska Dagbladet, 1 juni 2011.

“Gaza flotilla renews debate on Israel’s blockade”, CS Monitor, 28 June 2011.

Photo (top): Hazem Balousha