A pro-Israeli Swedish flotilla packed with more than 50 evangelical Christians arrived on the shore of Gaza in Israel to counter pro-Palestinian Gaza-bound ships.
The fleet of ships symbolizes the Scandinavian country’s support of Israel in its ongoing conflict with the Islamic terrorist group-led Palestinian government and its people.
“A flotilla of Swedish ships arrived in the Herzliya Marina on Israel’s Mediterranean coast Thursday night – following a roughly month-and-a-half journey from Gothenburg, Sweden,” Israel National News (INN) reported. “Led by the ship ‘Elida’, the flotilla is part of an effort by pro-Israel Evangelical Christians in Sweden to improve their country’s image vis-à-vis the Jewish State.”
Anchoring down for Israel
Elida’s captain, Stefan Abrahamsson – the owner of the yacht and organizer of the trip – pitched his anchor to begin a show of support for Israel over a week and a half – a visit that also seeks to reach solidarity with Middle Eastern Christians.
"It's great to be here at last," Abrahamsson proclaimed after docking, according to the Israeli Yediot Ahronot, as reported by INN. “It was wonderful to see all the boats that accompanied us with the flags and music. We will be here for 11 days … we came here because Sweden's image in Israel is very bad, and we are here to express our sorrow over this.”
He stated Israel’s case in the ongoing controversial Israeli-Palestinian conflict that is often misrepresented by the media, which portrays Palestinians as victims of Israeli oppression and “apartheid” – a message that is readily embraced by many Europeans.
“Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East that is built upon ideals which are central throughout the western world – such as equality; however, Israel is the only country which my country condemns,” Abrahamsson continued. “We are here to tell Israelis: 'We love you,' we are standing behind you and want to show our solidarity with you.”
Abrahamsson declared the intention of his voyage to help the persecuted Church in Gaza through a post on social media just before his flotilla embarked a month and a half ago.
"We want to break the silence of the severe persecution and cleansing of the Christian population that is taking place in this region," the Swedish Christian captain announced on Facebook on August 25. "As the only democracy in the Middle East amid dictatorships, Israel welcomes us on this show of solidarity with human rights, freedom of expression, freedom of religion and fundamental democratic values. In turn, we are taking a stand for the values that Israel stands for."
A tour of support for Israel
Abrahamsson’s itinerary was jam-packed from the moment his flotilla touched down on Israeli shores.
“The crew and passengers aboard the 131-foot yacht will host visitors every day during their stay,” CBN News reported. “They will also visit the Technion in Haifa – which some call Israel's MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).”
From Israel’s capital – where President Donald Trump recently moved the United States Embassy to from its previous location in Tel Aviv – to Ashdod, Abrahamsson’s crew will be busy supporting Israel’s government and persecuted Christian population within the Gaza Strip.
“The Israeli Foreign Ministry will host the delegation for lunch in Jerusalem on Sunday, JTA reported,” CBN News’ Tzippe Barrow informed. “For one day, Tuesday, October 16, the Elida will be docked at the Ashdod port.”
Another mission of the flotilla was to garner support from fellow Swedes, who have predominantly taken the pro-Palestinian stance in Israel’s conflict and supported Muslim immigration into Europe in the so-called “refugee crisis.”
“Former Israeli Ambassador to Sweden, Isaac Bachman, called the flotilla a ‘solidarity with Israel marine voyage’ that brought Swedish Christians who love Israel,” Barrow noted. “In Sweden's political and social climate, he said, it's uncommon to declare strong support for Israel out loud.”
Appreciation and a warm welcome were expressed for the Swedish Christians taking three-month-plus round trip to show solidarity with Israel.
The other side of Sweden
Another Swedish flotilla to Gaza set sail earlier this year on May 22, but those on board the ships had an anti-Semitic agenda, as it attempted to break through a blockade set by the Israeli Navy in order to support the Palestinians’ ongoing attack and rebellion against Israel.
During the pro-Palestinian demonstration – which reached Gaza in August – Israel took security precautions to make sure the demonstrators did not incite Palestinians to engage in more hostility and violence against the Jewish State.
“Seven Swedish activists detained by the Israeli Navy while attempting to breach its blockade of Gaza [were] deported to Sweden – the organizers of the Ship to Gaza activist flotilla said,” The Times of Israel reported in August. “Israel imposed the blockade following the rise to power in Gaza of Hamas – which is internationally recognized as a terrorist organization and whose charter speaks about killing Jews and destroying Israel.”
During the days surrounding the rebellious Swedish flotilla demonstration, Islamic Palestinian terrorists launched more than 150 rocket attacks at Israel from inside the border of the Gaza Strip.
One pro-Palestinian entertainer participating in the flotilla incited more anti-Semitism in Sweden and Gaza through her inflammatory rhetoric.
“Among the activists aboard the Gaza-bound ship was actress Oldoz Javidi, whose remarks about Israeli Jews during the sail to Swedish media caused an uproar,” The Times of Israel pointed out at the time. “She said that her ‘fantasy’ was to see Israeli Jews ‘transferred’ to the United States and the land being given to Palestinians – whom she said owned it.”
Javidi has a considerable amount of political sway in Sweden, where she is running for office as a leader for an ultra-leftist party.
In an attempt at damage control to stem public outrage over her racist remarks, Javidi tried to diffuse the controversy using evasive language.
“Amid accusations of anti-Semitism, Javidi – [who] is a candidate for the Feminist Perspective radical party – retracted the statement, explaining it ‘could be misinterpreted or misunderstood,’” the Israeli daily added.