Diakonia by numbers

The following experiment using search engine Google reveals some highly interesting results.

Diakonia is a Swedish church organisation that professes to have the interests of the downtrodden at heart. What is revealing is whose interests it supports, and whose it utterly ignores. It turns out that its main – some would say only – focus is in demonizing Israel while ignoring horrific human rights abuses that are embarrassingly well documented the world over.

Being a Swedish organisation, the results of the Google search relate mostly to articles written in Swedish, although there are many also in English. For reasons of clarity, the names of the countries below are given in English, although the search parameters were naturally entered in Swedish to obtain the results.

In the Google search engine, type in:

  • “Diakonia + Israel”. More than 39,600 hits.

Now type in:

  • “Diakonia + Syria” : 10,600 hits.
  • “Diakonia + Darfur”: 7750 hits.
  • “Diakonia + Chechnya”: 6820 hits.
  • “Diakonia + Tibet”: 5230 hits.
  • “Diakonia + Taliban”: 3770 hits.
  • “Diakonia + North Korea”: 3740 hits.
  • “Diakonia + Saudi Arabia”: 831 hits.

And yet Diakonia claims: “The aim of our work is for all people to be allowed to live under dignified circumstances in a just and sustainable world, free from poverty” and that they want to encourage people to help “change unjust political, social and economic structures that are preventing many people in the world from living a dignified life”.

The reality, however, is that “dignity” and “justice” in Chechnya, which has been bombed to destruction by Russia, generates just one-sixth as much media attention for Diakonia compared with Israel, the sole functioning democracy in the entire Middle East. Tibet – raped, dismantled and occupied by China these past 50 years and with one million Tibetans ethnically cleansed from their own country and replaced by ethnic Chinese – generates one-eighth as much interest with Diakonia. Saudi Arabia, where women do not even have the right to leave home without permission and are denied the vote, is worth one-fortieth as much of Diakonia’s attention. So much for “dignity” and “justice”.

Diakonia also states on its website that its “Priority Areas” are “Human Rights”, “Democratisation”, “Gender Equalityand “Social and Economic Justice”. North Korea, evidently hailed by Diakonia as a champion of “democracy” and “human rights”, is accordingly worthy just one-eleventh as much media attention according to Diakonia compared with Israel – the democratic Jewish state in which one-fifth of the population consists of Arabs, both Muslim and Christian, who are extremely keen participants in the electoral process and who even have their own Arab-interest parties in the Israeli parliament, the Knesset.

Now key in the following in the Google search engine:

  •  “Diakonia + Islamophobia”: 310,000 hits.

And then:

  • “Diakonia + anti-Semitism”: 45,000 hits.

Is there anyone who still has doubts as to the driving force behind Diakonia’s decision to use Swedish state funding (read also the following on Philosemitism) to break the law and sail to the Gaza Strip carrying “aid” to the Islamic terror group Hamas in the Gaza Strip, demonising the Middle East’s sole democracy and flouting international law? The “aid” that the ship intends to carry consists of such essentials as politicians, journalists and Diakonia’s Secretary General, Mr Bo Forsberg.

And, revealingly, neither this nor any other aid to Gaza is being conditioned on Hamas releasing Israeli Jew Gilad Schalit, who was kidnapped from Israel while still a teenager and held ever since in an underground bunker without access to his parents, the Red Cross, the UN, legal representation or – as Hamas proudly boasts – even access to sunlight. None of this appears to register with Diakonia.

No wonder then that criticism of Diakonia is piling up, not least bearing in mind that the Swedish organisation is so selective regarding human rights and equal value of all life.

It is in fact the concept of “all” that appears to be so problematic for Diakonia, since it systematically excludes Israel and its Jewish population.