Posts Tagged ‘Ship to Gaza’

Anti-Semitic Education in Gothenburg, Sweden

Monday, October 12th, 2015

The Local Education Authority (LEA) of Gothenburg in Sweden has taken an unusually aggressive decision to expose the city’s schoolchildren to a highly controversial film entitled (in the English translation) “Even the dead have a name” produced by the pro-terrorist Ship to Gaza (StG) organisation.

This is a remarkably insensitive decision, especially bearing in mind that the film is a combination of both subtle and overt anti-Semitism, and also expresses undiluted anti-Israel sentiment.

The unsuitability and questionable legality of disseminating anti-Semitic material in schools should need no further discussion. Nobody who believes in democracy, equal rights and religious equality should have any reason to question the unsuitability of spreading anti-Semitic propaganda. Anywhere. Least of all in schools, to impressionable young children.

The second issue, the film’s unabashed anti-Israel sentiment, bears some examination. Firstly because the film employs classic anti-Semitic clichés in a subtle, subliminal, 80 minute long assault on the sensibilities of the viewer (the LEA intends to show this movie to children as young as 15, remember).

And secondly because the LEA is bound by the Swedish Curriculum for Compulsory SchoolingLgr11, Parts 1 and 2, and its Code of Statutes (SKOLFS).

Chapter 1, entitled Fundamental Values and Tasks, Section 2 Understanding and Compassion specifically and unequivocally states that “xenophobia and intolerance must be confronted with knowledge, open discussion and active measures”. The same chapter, section 3 Objectivity and Open Approaches, stipulates that “Teaching should be objective and encompass a range of different approaches. All parents should be able to send their children to school, fully confident that their children will not be prejudiced in favour of any particular view. All who work in the school should … clearly dissociate themselves from anything that conflicts with these values”.

These are key considerations because nowhere in the film is there any attempt to offer the young viewing public a balanced view of the Palestinians’ self-inflicted, racist and exceptionally violent conflict with Israel. There is not one single statement throughout the 80 minute film to counter any of the virulently anti-Israel statements made there. This is in direct contravention of the above regulations, the very values that are embodied in the LEA’s own Code of Conduct. A Local Education Authority that so openly flouts its own regulations and uses anti-Semitic tropes to do so ought to be a major concern not just for Sweden’s educational establishment and the nation’s politicians, it should also merit close police attention and the interest of the State Prosecutor’s office.

Youngsters who previewed the film acknowledged that had they watched it without any prior knowledge of the issues involved, they would have emerged afterwards as committed anti-Semites. Jewish youngsters who previewed the film said that had they watched it together with non-Jewish classmates, peer pressure alone would have caused them severe discomfort, perhaps even physical threat or harm.

Not least because of two key phrases and concepts that were given prominence throughout the movie: that people who disagree with the film “have sold their souls for silver” (a clear, unequivocal anti-Semitic trope) and that there are “good Jews and bad Jews” – with the good Jews being those who agree with the political aims of Ship to Gaza (StG). All other Jews are bad Jews. Any Jewish pupil who disagrees with the aims of StG is to be regarded as a “bad Jew” by his or her classmates. This kind of vicious anti-Semitic indoctrination of children, accompanied by underlying threats of being frozen out by one’s peers or even being physically assaulted by them, is not only unacceptable, it is a frightening indictment on an LEA which feels that such material is suitable for children.

Raw political indoctrination, disregard for legal constraints and the fanning of religious hatred have no place in a nation’s educational system.

So far, the Gothenburg LEA has steadfastly refused to withdraw the film from its offering for schoolchildren. With sufficient international pressure the highly politicised adults who are wilfully indoctrinating their young charges will hopefully be forced to acknowledge that “Even the dead have a name” is unfit for purpose, that it has no place whatsoever in an educational environment.

Not least because there is no place for indoctrination in education.

Ship to Gaza: The latest Scandinavian stunt?

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

A version of the following op-ed without hyperlinks was published in the Jerusalem Post on August 14, 2012. Here is the article with hyperlinks for reference purposes.

You’ve got to hand it to the publicly funded Scandinavian pro-Hamas and anti-Israel lobby that goes by the name of “Ship to Gaza”.

They sure know how to score an own goal. “Ship to Gaza” is a Scandinavian (mostly Swedish and Norwegian) organisation, part of the infamous “Freedom Flotilla” that routinely attempts to break Israel’s legal blockade of the Hamas-run terrorist enclave in the Gaza Strip.

A couple of days ago the latest “Ship to Gaza” venture, the SV Estelle, weighed anchor and set sail from Gothenburg in Sweden to Gaza. It started its voyage by sailing first to Oslo in Norway, which is about as much in the wrong direction as can be – but then everything about this propaganda exercise is ill-conceived and poorly executed.

“Ship to Gaza” claims to want an end to the “humanitarian crisis in Gaza”. Its fanatical, virulently anti-Israel collaborators from Sweden and Norway refuse to comment on or even acknowledge the fact that Gaza is being marketed by none other than Hamas as a luxury destination for Arab tourists on account of its 5-star hotels, lavish shopping malls, Olympic-standard swimming pools, acclaimed restaurants and wonderful beaches (albeit patrolled by Hamas to enforce modest Islamic dress code – but only for female bathers). Truth is an inconvenient obstacle to propaganda. Indeed, the Red Cross unequivocally stated more than a year ago that there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza. The Red Cross is supported in its statement by Palestinian strongman Mohammed Dahlan, who says Gaza is “not lacking anything” – and he should know better than a group of well-funded conspiracy theorists living in far-off Oslo and Stockholm.

“Ship to Gaza” sets sail to support the Hamas regime at the same time as Egypt under Islamist President Morsi accuses Islamist Hamas of aiding the attack that left 16 Egyptian soldiers dead a week ago. Egypt has accordingly shut the border crossing between Egypt and Gaza and is in the process of using heavy machinery to demolish the myriad smuggling tunnels under the border that are the financial mainstay of the Hamas regime. Ordinary Egyptians are venting their anger against the Gaza regime, saying “There is nothing called Palestine”. Interestingly, this is a view to which Hamas officially subscribes, itself stating unequivocally that there are no Palestinians, that the Gaza Arabs are in fact Egyptian, Yemeni and Saudi immigrants. One-time Palestinian Authority leader Mohammed Dahlan, formerly based in the Gaza Strip until his ouster by Hamas, says “Hamas is laying siege to the Gaza Strip”, and neither Hamas nor the people at “Ship to Gaza” disagree with him. Of course, the “siege” of Gaza is not total – Israel transits all Gaza’s legal imports of food, medicine, building materials, fuel and so on, and admits increasing numbers of Gaza inhabitants for hospital treatment in Israel – facts that Scandinavia’s “Ship to Gaza” crew conveniently ignore.

With excruciating timing, this is when they instead choose to embark on an embarrassingly out-of-sync voyage of solidarity with the Hamas regime. Talk about being out of touch with reality.

So just who are the people behind “Ship to Gaza”? They are extreme-Left ideologues, armchair revolutionaries and Islamist supporters who express no desire to engage in any “Ship to Syria” voyage to aid the beleaguered Palestinian refugees in that war-torn country, or “Ship to Lebanon” to come to the aid of Palestinians there who are prevented by apartheid law from owning property or engaging in certain professions. Nor do they embark on a “Ship to Saudi Arabia” voyage to protest against the fact that the Islamist Kingdom of Saudi Arabia actually has apartheid roads on which non-Muslims are not allowed to travel. Apparently this is not overtly racist enough to trouble the selective conscience of the “Ship to Gaza” people. Imagine if the US had roads on which black people were prohibited from driving, or if in Israel there were roads on which Muslims were banned from travelling. By law! The Swedes and Norwegians behind “Ship to Gaza” don’t seem particularly interested in human rights in the Muslim world, only in delegitimizing the Jewish state.

To gain some understanding of the peculiarly Scandinavian ideologies behind the “Ship to Gaza” movement, it is worth noting that one of its foremost supporters, Norwegian self-titled “peace scholar” Johan Galtung, was recently suspended by the Swiss World Peace Academy after he remarked that Jews control the world media and that the infamous Protocols of the Elders of Zion should be on everyone’s must-read list. It is not the first time Galtung has expressed similarly controversial views. Galtung’s expulsion was motivated by his “reckless and offensive statements to questions that are specifically sensitive for Jews.” Dr Manfred Gerstenfeld, former chair of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and author of “Behind the Humanitarian Mask: The Nordic Countries, Israel and the Jews”, notes that anti-Semitism and anti-Israeli invective are more common in Scandinavia than anywhere in the non-Muslim world. The Scandinavians behind “Ship to Gaza” have an excruciating ability to pick the worst ideologies and the worst ideologues, but then that is what defines their organization.

A parallel take on the virulent atmosphere against Jews and Israel in Scandinavia – an atmosphere that inspires and funds “Ship to Gaza” – can be noted in the excellent article “Scandinavia and the Jews” by Elliott Abrams.

Indeed, the anti-Semitic aura is so rife in parts of Scandinavia that the Simon Wiesenthal Center recently took the unprecedented step of issuing an advisory against travel to Malmö, Sweden’s third-largest city, because Islamist sentiment fanned by controversial mayor Ilmar Reepalu is forcing the city’s Jews to leave en masse. So troubling is the situation that US President Obama’s special advisor on anti-Semitism, Hannah Rosenthal, was sent to Malmö to have discussions with the city’s unrepentant mayor Reepalu.

Scandinavia is thus securing its place as a bastion of anti-Semitism and vicious anti-Israel sentiment, and it is here that “Ship to Gaza” gains its nourishment, its finances, its support.

With Egypt now sealing its Gaza border and no other way out being available, perhaps this is the one time Israel should make an exception to its rule and actually allow the SV Estelle to dock in Gaza – and its cargo of human propagandists to languish forever in the Gaza Strip to which they are so keen to travel.

Further reference:

Pro-Palestinian activists plan “flytilla” via Jordan by Tovah Lazaroff

Morsy’s Velvet Revolution by Zvi Mazel, former Israeli ambassador to Egypt and Sweden

How Europe Funds Israel’s Destruction by Giulio Meotti

To see how Sweden’s “Ship to Gaza” ties in with other virulently anti-Israel campaigns, see the following video:

Shipping armchair revolutionaries to Gaza

Monday, August 13th, 2012

Let’s get this right:

The UN upholds the legality of Israel’s blockade of the Hamas regime (Hamas itself maintains it is at war with the Jewish state).

The EU says Israel’s blockade is legal – and necessary.

Israel insists its blockade is essential – otherwise the 12,000 missiles fired so far from Gaza into southern Israel will more than double.

Egypt under Islamist President Morsi is forcibly closing down the Hamas tunnels between Sinai and Gaza that circumvent the blockade to import rockets and other armaments into Gaza.

Now none other than Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas demands that the Gaza smuggling tunnels – which Hamas operates to evade the blockade – be closed down so as to make Israel’s blockade more effective.

And still Sweden’s “Ship to Gaza” useful idiots are setting sail from comfortable, far-off Sweden to try and break the blockade.

Is there no language these idiots understand, not even the Arabic of Palestinian President Abbas?

Talk about being out of touch with reality!