The Local reports that Henning Mankell, the Swedish thriller writer, has announced that he will be cruising along with a group of Swedish nationals on the next Gaza flotilla. Twenty Swedes are expected to join the cruise to Gaza at the end of June. As in last year’s event, the Swedish government will be represented unofficially by the participation of a Swedish parliamentarian.
The ISM (International Solidarity Movement) has requested “experienced” and “non-violent” protesters to sail with 1,000 passengers and crew aboard two ships in the flotilla. They will be screening applications for non-violence, because last year the IHH failed to do so. In fact, IHH seemed to have recruited the opposite kind of “protester”—the kind which knew that cutting up ship railings would add to the knives and clubs already in their arsenal. Bad P.R. hit the Flotilla when this “protest activity” was caught on ship security video and aired by the BBC’s Panorama program.
The Local states that: “Israeli marines swarmed aboard the Turkish flagship of the flotilla bound for Gaza, killing nine Turks in international waters “. Maybe the Local’s editors should watch the BBC documentary—if they did they would see that the Israelis did not “swarm” but rappelled down from helicopters, one at a time, with paintball guns for riot control. On deck they were met by “protesters” who not only beat them with the cut-up ship railings, but knifed them, threw them off the top deck, and shot at them with a seized weapon. Only after the attempted lynchings did the Israeli commandoes resort to firing on the “protesters” with handguns.
The Local also reprinted Mankell’s old sneering challenge to the Israeli military, "What will happen next year when we come back with hundreds of boats? Will (Israel) fire a nuclear bomb?" Seems the Local still sees Mankell as a real threat to the IDF!
In response, many talkbacks took a poke at Mankell—here are a few:
“Now I remember him telling how he saw activists of the last flotilla being shot while sleeping... when the truth is that he was on board the Sofia, a vessel in which nobody was shot.”
“Hope they all know how to swim. Hypocrites!”
“Pro Terrorist and Proud of it ! Wow.......”
“We could have a fundraising party to purchase a TORPEDO for the Israeli navy to sink the ship and get rid of every self appointed, hypocritical, annoying, pontificating lunatic in Europe, all in one go.”
Let’s hope this year’s Flotilla is the last!
By Chanah Shapira