Monday, July 19, 2010

Henning Mankell- supporter of Martyrdom?

Henning Mankell was one of the 11 Swedes who recently decided to join the Ship to Gaza movement which aimed at illegally breaking Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip. After Israel boarded the ships all the Swedes were taken into custody in Israel and consequently sent home to Sweden. Now Mankell is threatening “to raise his voice” unless Israel gives back his rucksack which was confiscated along with the jihadists’ weapons—some  of  which were used against the boarding soldiers and found by the Israeli military.

As reported in the Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter, most of the Swedish Ship to Gaza activists have hired a lawyer in Israel and are trying to sue Israel following their trip in which they attempted to illegally enter the Gaza Strip. Henning Mankell, on the other hand, who is arguably is the most extreme “drama queen” among the bunch of Israel-haters, has chosen to aim his discontent towards Israel’s ambassador in Sweden—Benny Dagan.

Now Mankell states that he will “raise his voice” unless Israel gives back the rucksack he was travelling with when the boats were boarded. He has given Israel a deadline of August 1st. According to Mankell, the bag contains the script for a third part of a coming TV series about his father-in-law, the famous Swedish director Ingmar Bergman.

It should be noted that Ingmar Bergman’s daughter Eva Bergman who is married to Mankell is another name that should be added to the list of Swedish Israel haters. In a recent interview Bergman stated:
”One could ask how this could happen, but it has been happening for 60 years, this is how the Palestinians are treated. We are surprised by the brutal military operation but it really only displays the reality [of the Palestinians’]”. The article which chose to publish Berman’s statement later goes on claiming similarities with Israel and the apartheid state in South Africa.  This is a myth which often is used to assault the state of Israel and its right to exist.

It should also be noted that in the same interview in Dagens Nyheter Mankell states that:
“Everybody involved in the action had agreed on a non-violent strategy to break the blockade and the armed resistance which opened to Israel’s encroachment was wrong.”
Mankell initially made inflammatory statements to the press, including this military analysis he offered in an interview in the U.K.’s Guardian:

"I think the Israeli military went out to commit murder," he stated, while at the same admitting that,
“… It was only when I got on my flight home that I realised that people had died in the attack, when the stewardess told me on the plane,"

Mankell—unlike many others—now at least belatedly admits that there was an armed resistance which necessitated a return of gunfire by the Israeli military.  He also acknowledged that he participated in a convoy which contained participants who aimed at becoming martyrs.

In response to this, Mankell states that: “these were the wrong circumstances to be that [a martyr]”.

Henning Mankell’ s statement indicates that, in fact,  he is of the opinion that there are situations were aiming to become a martyr is justified. But most probably he was referring to a situation where he (and his rucksack) would not be personally involved. Perhaps his adventure should open his eyes to the inconvenient truth that—unlike in his books and movies—real people pay real prices when jihadists’ aspirations are “played out”.

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