Monday, April 5, 2010

Swedish-Palestinian "Peace Seekers" Dismissed from Israel

Last Thursday six Swedish youngsters arrived at Ben Gurion airport in Israel from Sweden. The groups stated that the aim of their trip was to "study the conflict" for a “peace project” which they represent. According to two Swedish newspapers ,the group consisted of youngsters from both Jewish and Palestinian backgrounds.

Samaa Sarsour and Lama Abu-Iseifan- dismissed from Israel

Well in Israel, only the individuals with Jewish background were let into Israel on certain conditions while the Palestinians, after interrogation, were sent home to Sweden. Now the group wants to know why they were subjected to this "pure racism" and "humiliating treatment". Keep reading, as I explain why.

The group that the Swedish delegation were representing is known as "Låt oss leva i fred" (let us live in peace). This groups is a cooperative effort between the “Palestinian Congregation” in Stockholm as well as the organization "Jews for Peace Between Israel and Palestine" (Judar för fred mellan Israel och Palestina (JIPF).
The latter organization is represented by Dror Feiler, the same Feiler who created an art installation in Stockholm glorifying Palestinian suicide terrorism; the exhibition led to strained relations between Israel and Sweden. The organization JIPF also cooperates with the group "European Jews for Peace". While representing the group "European Jews for Peace", Feiler in February this year spoke at an illegal "boycott Israel" meeting.

It is natural that the Palestinian Congregation in Stockholm would maintain an anti-Israel stance, but those unfamiliar with the organization "Jews for peace between Israel and Palestine" should be aware that they also have a clear-cut anti-Israeli agenda. If this is not clearly manifested by choosing Dror Feiler to be their representative, it can further be seen on the group’s website which declares that JIPF strives to:

-disrupt the Swedish governments' military cooperation with Israel
-encourage the Swedish government to suspend the association agreement between the EU and Israel.

It also doesn’t come as a surprise that one of the self-declared peace-seeking Swedes who was let into Israel on condition that he would not enter Palestinian territories, Tigran Feiler, is a relative of Dror Feiler. This can be seen as if one Googles Tigran Feiler’s name and looks at the website "Geni", where one can pinpoint relationships; Tigran Feiler was added by Pnina Feiler, Dror Feiler’s mother.

Tigran Feiler
In response to the deportation of his "peace-seeking" Palestinian comrades from Israel, Tigran Feiler stated to the Swedish daily newspaper SvD:
- "It says a lot about Israel's politics that we were humiliated and that those with Palestinian background were deported. They [Israel] are not interested in meetings between borders and want to stop peaceful co-existence."

Due to the strained security situation between Israel and the Palestinians at the moment it could be argued that this in fact does not say a lot about Israel's politics but the reality that Israeli civilians face every day. These kinds of security measures are not extraordinary in a country that for decades has been plagued with hundreds of Palestinian suicide bombers and thousands of rocket attacks against the civilian population. Therefore it is also not unusual to find that extra security measures are taken against Palestinian members of a group that has a clear anti-Israeli agenda and whose representatives openly glorify Palestinian suicide terrorism.

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