Tuesday 22 September 2009

Swedish author Henning Mankell on Israel apartheid

"The comparisons to apartheid - or, more radically and these days more typically, to the Nazis. The comparison to the Nazis began to emerge in the 1970s in Western Europe and also in the Arab world, and by now it is pretty much everywhere you look." (Paul Berman, Z Word)

"What we are now experiencing is a repetition of the despicable Apartheid system that once treated Africans and coloured as second-class citizens in their own country. [...] those who advocate a two-state solution have not got it right." (Henning Mankell, Swedish writer, 2009)

Source: Swedish newspapaer Aftonbladet's cultural section (Stoppad av apartheid)

"About a week ago, I visited Israel and Palestine. I was part of a delegation of authors with representatives from different parts of the world. We came to participate in the Palestinian Literary Festival. The opening ceremony was supposed to take place at the Palestinian National Theatre in Jerusalem. We had just gathered when heavily armed Israeli military and policemen walked in and announced that they were going to stop the ceremony. When we asked why, they answered: You are a security risk.

To claim that we at that moment posed a viable terroristic threat to Israel is absolute nonsense. But at the same time, they were right. We pose a threat when we come to Israel and speak our minds about the Israeli oppression of the Palestinian population. It can be compared to the threat that I and thousands of others once were to the Apartheid system in South Africa. Words are dangerous.

That was also what I said when those who organized the conference had managed to move the whole opening ceremony to the French Cultural Centre: – What we are now experiencing is a repetition of the despicable Apartheid system that once treated Africans and coloured as second-class citizens in their own country. But let us not forget: that very apartheid system no longer exists. That system was overthrown by human force in the beginning of the 1990’s. There is a straight line between Soweto, Sharpeville and what recently happened in Gaza. [...]

What I saw during my trip was obvious: the state of Israel in its current form has no future. Moreover, those who advocate a two-state solution have not got it right."

Read the whole piece HERE
Norway, Israel and the Jews write about Swedes:
"Swedes think Norwegians are a bunch of undisciplined cowboys. Meanwhile Norwegians see Swedes as being overly prim-and-proper and obsessed with going by the book. This prejudice is not entirely unfounded. Norway was never feudal the way Sweden was, neither was Norway industrialized, nor was Norway ever a military power as Sweden was. In short, Obedience was never beaten into Norwegians the way it was in Sweden. The political consequence is that Sweden does not challenge its political establishment but sticks to the Social Democrats (and every now and then the Moderates). Meanwhile in Norway’s 2009 election (Yesterday) the Progress Party got 22,9 percent of the votes. Troubling as the situation in Norway may be, it is generally worse over in neighboring Sweden – they are fearful of questioning authority.


Israeli video pokes fun at Scandinavians' sense of self-righteousness
Abba in Latma's Studio (English Subs)

- Kristoffer Larsson, a Swedish theologian, backs Israeli organ theft claim
- Aftonbladet: behind the banner 'freedom of press', by Lisa Abramowicz

1 comment:

Lisa Abramowicz said...

The Swedish success author Henning Mankell’s views on Israel

The famous thriller writer Henning Mankell took part in the Freedom Flotilla to Gaza. I think it is of general interest to know Mankell’s views on Israel from its establishment to the present day.

When the Swedish part of the Ship to Gaza campaign was launched at a gala event at Södra Teatern (Southern Theatre) in Stockholm August 15th 2009, Henning Mankell made an extensive speech on how he saw the present situation in Israel and Palestine. He also talked about his views on Israel, how it was established and how he viewed the state, comparing it to South Africa during the apartheid days and how he sees the future for the Jewish state.

I have translated as literally as possible from the text http://www.shiptogaza.se/sv/henning-mankell-om-gaza which still is present at the Swedish Ship to Gaza website:

On Israel as a state and its establishment:

“It’s like experiencing a ghost raising from its grave. It’s like watching the South African Apartheid system arise again from the historical scrap heap where it was finally dumped around 15 years ago…

But one cannot of course compare South Africa with Israel and Palestine. There are historical differences that in many ways are decisive. The Israeli state was established after World War II when the shattered Jewish people had all bloody aces on hand (my italics). After what Nazism had done to all the groups of “untermenschen” of which the Jews had formed such a large group.

One can consider or play with the thought that if it today in 2009 had been possible to so quickly and easily establish a state as Israel (was established). On occupied land where other people were to be expelled. Of course not….

It is important to never forget this, that Israel is created on the basis of an occupation. Nothing else. The whole present structure of the state is based upon developing this occupation. ..

On the two-state solution and suicide attacks “

“What will the future look like? There I think the people gathered here today aren’t all agreed. Many, perhaps most people here, think a two-state solution is the future solution that must be implemented to dismantle the terrorist Israeli state. (For me that the more or less desperate bomb attacks, suicide attacks and the like, is an expression of the Palestinian resistance, no more no less: resistance against an occupation power. It is not more noteworthy than the fact that Norwegian resistance liquidated renegades or quislings during the Nazi occupation. If one is oppressed, one responds with resistance).

….My alternative (to the two-state solution) is: what you can call the rainbow-state after South Africa. A land where open elections will lead the popular majority, the Arabs or Palestinians to get to a position of power (my italics). But those who have previously oppressed them will be granted full civil rights – without privileges – in the country.”