Last week Israeli security managed to stop some 100 European pro-Palestinian activists aiming at staging a “fly-in” or “flightilla” to Ben Gurion, Israel’s main airport. The goal of the activists was to create a major demonstration inside the airport. In the Swedish newspaper Sydvenskan, the article covering the event suspiciously managed to miss the whole point of the deportation of the activists.
The pro-Palestinian activists—imitating the tactics of the Ship to Gaza movement—tried to draw attention to the Palestinian agenda, and decided to fly from various destinations in Europe to Israel. Some activists were detained before leaving Europe while others were detained upon their arrival in Israel, and quickly deported. The Israeli airport is an ideal target for Palestinian terrorists but having a pro-Palestinian demonstration here is clearly problematic.
The Swedish article in Sydsvenskan, published on June 9th covering the story reads:
Headline: “Israel doesn't let in flight passengers” –Note that the phrasing indicates to the Swedish readers that these are normal leisure travelers.
Intro: “Israel has denied entrance to some hundred passengers who have arrived at Ben-Gurion airport. The reason is that they are suspected of being pro-Palestinian activists.” There wasn’t much “suspicion”, since these passengers were identified easily when on entry they stated their destination as “Palestine”.
Text: “The visitors are mostly from Europe and have been planning to make joint visits to Palestinian areas….”. Note that the writer uses the words “visitors” instead of activists and completely fails to mention the intentions of these activists to stage a major demonstration and disrupt operations inside the Israeli airport upon arrival.
The trend of spinning articles in an anti-Israeli way is something we have found to be “business as usual” for Swedish newspapers such as the notoriously left-wing Aftonbladet. Finding such bad reporting in a liberal newspaper such as Sydsvenskan as well is really disappointing. One can hope that Sydsvenskan won’t continue on this path of bad reporting, but will instead take a stand against lame and purposely confusing anti-Israel reporting.
In the meantime we will continue to keep our eyes open for unjustified Israel bashing in Sweden.