Last week Israel’s ambassador to Sweden, Benny Dagan, visited one of Sweden’s most prestigious academic institutions, Uppsala University, not far from the Sweden’s capital Stockholm. Dagan was invited by the Uppsala University to talk to students about “Stability without instability – Israel and the Middle East”.
According to local newspaper UNT.se, security considerations dictated that only people who had registered prior to the lecture with the Uppsala foreign politics association, were allowed in.
Although security was tight, this did not prevent a disruptive protester from attending the lecture. Not long after the ambassador started speaking a young man in the crowd stood up and shouted "You are not welcome in Uppsala!" and held up a t-shirt that displayed the same message. In response, another participant replied that the ambassador was indeed very welcome.
In reaction to the outburst the police escorted the young man and the rest of the lecture continued peacefully.
In addition to the disruptive protester in the auditorium there were some 30 demonstrators who gathered in front of the university and chanted threatening slogans. This has become standard when Ambassador Dagan makes an appearance, as reported in a previous post. The crowed disbursed after about an hour.
According to students interviewed after the lecture by local newspaper UNT.se, it appears that many were satisfied with the lecture as a whole and luckily the hate-mongers did not manage to prevent the lecture from taking place. Ambassador Dagan presented an analysis of the current crisis in the Middle East, discussed Israel’s booming hi-tech industry and economic growth, and also discussed Gaza and the peace process.
It appears like Ambassador Dagan so far have not been able to represent Israel is Sweden without meeting agressive responses. One can hope that the future in Sweden will hold more pleasant welcomings for the Israeli Abassador.