Archive for December, 2004

15-year-old Swedish girl dying in Gaza

Tuesday, December 7th, 2004
15-year-old Swede Miriam Nowajha will soon slip into a coma. Miriam, who together with her four siblings aged 6-16 was kidnapped and has been incarcerated in Gaza since June, suffers from Type 1 diabetes and is about to die.

Miriam has no more facilities for testing her blood-sugar level. Without knowing her blood-sugar level, she does not dare take insulin in case the dosage is wrong. Without her constant medication, Miriam is incapable of making rational decisions, even those affecting her health and life.

Without insulin, the 15-year-old will slip into a coma within 48 hours. She will then die in a slow but irreversible process. She has not been eating since the 6th of December.

Her mother Elisabeth Krantz has appealed to Swedish Prime Minister Mr Göran Persson, to Foreign Minister Ms Laila Freivalds, and to the Swedish Foreign Office. She has appealed to the Swedish Consulate General in Israel, which is the local Swedish authority best able to obtain the children’s release. Thus far without result.

The Swedish media have interviewed Elisabeth Krantz on a number of occasions. She has explained on the air and in the papers that her estranged husband, the children’s father, has announced his intention to marry off the two eldest girls, Sara and Miriam aged 16 and 15, to their first cousins, his own brother’s sons. Elisabeth has explained that the children – who were taken to Gaza back in June at the height of the summer when clothing requirements were minimal – do not even have shoes.

Elisabeth Krantz is appealing to media and politicians the world over to help save her children. Miriam’s situation is critical. In another couple of days’ time, it may be too late.

There is one means of getting the children released immediately: freeze Swedish aid to the PA, which is doing nothing to secure the children’s release. PM Persson stated in Parliament that it “would be a most unfortunate development if we were to confuse aid with any one legal case”.

Miriam is not a legal case, she is a 15-year-old Swede who will die far from home. She will die while Sweden continues to make huge financial contributions to the Palestinian Authority – which has still not released Miriam or her four siblings. Linking aid to the lives of Miriam, Sara, Zakarias, Amina and Adam is not an “unfortunate development” – failure to do so is tantamount to criminal negligence. Financial aid can be restored within a few seconds, without any side-effects. Miriam has one life. It cannot be restored, and it is ebbing away while these words are being read.

Swedish parliament debates kidnapping of Swedish children

Sunday, December 5th, 2004

Address no. 62: ANNELIE ENOCHSON (Christian Democratic Party):

Mr Speaker,
182 days have now passed since five Swedish children were kidnapped and taken to Gaza. They are being held in Gaza against their will. Their father has registered them as Palestinian refugees. Sweden is the world’s largest per capita contributor of financial aid in Gaza, donating about 300 million Swedish kronor annually in direct aid. Discussions by Swedish authorities have not secured the children’s release. It is unreasonable that Sweden, through its financial aid to the Palestinian Authority and UNRWA, should continue to finance the children’s imprisonment. I would therefore like to ask the Prime Minister if he is prepared to increase pressure on the Palestinian Authority, for instance by temporarily freezing further aid until the kidnapped Swedish children are released.

Address no. 63: Prime Minister GÖRAN PERSSON (Social Democratic Party):
Mr Speaker,

The answer is “no”. It would be a most unfortunate development if we were to confuse aid with any one legal case. It is quite another matter that I feel very strongly on behalf of the children, for both their parents and for the traumatic situation in which the family finds itself. We regularly take up this issue with the Palestinian Authority. We are pursuing what is a just case according to Swedish legislation. But we have no intention of bringing the question of aid into this issue. On the contrary, we believe that would instead worsen the children’s situation rather than improve it.

The conclusion: kidnap our children by all means. Your reward will be cash payments from our collective wallet. In English this is what used to be called ransom money before political correctness prohibited the use of honest language.