(JTA) — Following Swedish pro-Palestinian activists’ failed attempt to reach Gaza by sea, a Christian supporter of Israel from Sweden announced he would take dozens of pro-Zionists to Israel on his yacht.
Stefan Abrahamsson announced Thursday on Facebook that his yacht, Elida, will set sail from Sweden on Aug. 25 to Israel to show solidarity with the Jewish state and Middle East Christians.
“We want to break the silence of the severe persecution and cleansing of the Christian population that is taking place in this region,” he wrote. “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.”
On Aug. 24, Abrahamsson wrote, he will organize a sendoff party at the Gothenburg marina from which his yacht, carrying about 40 activists, will set sail for Herzliya, Israel. Elida is expected to reach Israel in October and dock there for several weeks. The sendoff will feature a discussion on “precisely these important issues,” he wrote.
Lars Adaktusson, a lawmaker from Sweden in the European Parliament, is scheduled to speak at the event.
Seven Swedish activists detained by the Israeli Navy while attempting to breach its blockade of Gaza have been deported to Sweden, the organizers of the Ship to Gaza activist flotilla said Wednesday. 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. Palestinian terrorists have launched more than 150 rockets at Israel from Gaza in recent days.
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. She said her “fantasy” was to see Israeli Jews “transferred” to the United States and the land being given to Palestinians, whom she said owned it.
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.”