There are times when this writer wonders where all the irrational Israel-hatred in Swedish society comes from. Then, one of the members of Sweden's extreme left publishes an op-ed at the debate site Newsmill, and suddenly, one remembers.
Long ago, Per Gahrton took part in the founding of the Swedish Green Party. He is also a founding member of the Palestine Solidarity Association – a pretty name, and one which carries certain implications. For example, one might expect that an organization named the Palestine Solidarity Association would be mainly about solidarity with the Palestinian people—something they are in great need of, what with the ever-escalating crackdowns by the Hamas on the individual and collective freedom of the people of Gaza. This, however, is not the case. Rather, they spend the substantial funds they receive from the Swedish government on anti-Israeli hate-mongering and calls for boycotts.
Gahrton himself is by no means an exception. When Al-Jazeera released questionable documents claiming that the Palestinians had agreed to large concessions in exchange for peace, he immediately decided to ignore the statement by Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat refuting the documents’ authenticity. Gahrton also ignored PA leader Mahmoud Abbas’ logical explanation that the purported documents show a clear reversal of the two sides’ positions—as the Israelis are the ones who offered the concessions listed—and the Palestinians rejected these proposals. If the PA actually had offered the concessions alleged in the PaliLeaks papers, the Israelis would have accepted, as these were the Israeli terms. Yet Gahrton claims that the Palestinians tried desperately for peace, but were thwarted by Israel.
Instead of offering “solidarity”, Gahrton wrote a Newsmill op-ed which began with the usual false accusations of Israeli apartheid and comparisons with South Africa, and ended with a prophecy of Israeli mass murder of Palestinians. So Gahrton managed to tell some of the popular horror-story fictions that circulate among anti-Israel activists and terrorists, while ignoring human rights abuses committed by Palestinians against Palestinians.
In between allegations, Gahrton called for a boycott of Israeli goods and told a heavily fictionalized version of Israel's modern history. He also complained that the rest of the world does nothing in response to Israeli crimes, while screaming blue murder if, at any time, a Palestinian uses his (violent) “right” to resist the “occupation”. The last of these statements, in translation, means that we of the Western world should look on in silence the next time a representative of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad attacks Israelis, and then condemn the Israeli response. Inexcusably, this is often the case in the leftwing-dominated media.
There is much this writer can accept in the interest of the debate, but defending the unprovoked, wilful killing of civilians as a "right to resist" is crossing a moral event horizon; it is the same as renouncing one's claim on being human. This is a line Gahrton and his fellow fanatical crusaders of the Swedish far left crossed long ago. Unfortunately, the Palestine Solidarity Organization still receives massive amounts of taxpayers’ money to carry out their campaigns. Let us therefore hope that the Swedish government soon wakes up, and finally sees Gahrton, for what he is: a pathetic, bitter little man, whose only driving force is hatred.
Note: Gahrton's op-ed (written in Swedish) can be found here.
By Adam Eberhag