Ett meningsutbyte mellan Ilan Ben-Dov och Georg Andrén

Diakonia, one of the most hostile and aggressive NGO:s with regard to Israel, is once again organizing another trip of Swedish parliamentarians to what they refer to as "Palestine and Israel".

The program of the visit is nothing less than a full-fledged propaganda trip, the only aim of which is to delegitimize and demonize the state of Israel by presenting a distorted, vicious and false picture which does not even come close to reflecting reality.

This propaganda trip of Diakonia is marketed under the pretense that it would somehow be planned in cooperation also with the Israeli side. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The program of this visit completely ignores the Israeli side. It reflects only the Palestinian narrative. As a matter of fact, it ignores the very existence of Israel and the Zionist, Israeli story - which is in no way reflected in the program.

I regret very much that respected members of the Swedish Parliament have been misled into taking part in this cheap political manipulation, which is no less than a manifestation of hatred towards Israel.

Ilan Ben-Dov
Israels ambassadör i Sverige

Dear Ambassador Ilan Ben-Dov, I feel that I need to respond to your post here on Facebook.

The role of Diakonia as a development organisation is always to put the individual and her rights at the center stage. Therefor we chose focus on the civilian population rather than parties or governments in a conflict. This is true for our study trip to Israel and Palestine, as well as for similar trips that we organise to orher countries where we operate. Our objective is to give policy makers an opportunity to experience the reality on site and get an understanding of the humanitarian situation as well as study the conditions under which Swedish and international aid to Palestine and Palestinian actors operates and s and it´s results.

In our invitation the Swedish parliamentarians to join the study trip we are very clear that this is done in cooperation with Israeli and Palestinian Human Rights organisations, UN-agencies, Christian partners and Churches. In planning the program we always seek the opportunity to meet with as well Israeli authorities as representatives of the Palestinian Authority in order for them to present their perspectives. We have had a dialogue with your embassy in order for us to be able to have such a meeting between the delegation and the Israeli Foreign Office in Jerusalem.

Diakonia always has International Humaitarian Law and Human Rights as our point of departure. This includes the right of Israel to exist, as well as the right and obligation of Israel to defend its population as long as this is done in accordance with Internaltional Law. In this regard, our position is no different from that of the EU and the Swedish government.

I look forward to further discuss this with you in person.

Georg Andrén 
Diakonias generalsekreterare


The response by the Secretary General of Diakonia to my post, does not give any reasonable explanation for the fact that the trips that Diakonia is organizing and financing to "Palestine" already for years are nothing but part of an extreme anti-Israeli campaign.

The very claim that the trip includes a visit to Israel is far from being the truth, as they completely ignore Israel on its own merits in the program.

The claim that the tours would give "policy makers an opportunity to experience the reality on site" is a pure fraud.

When looking at the program, it immediately becomes obvious that this so called "reality" is twisted and distorted with the sole purpose of defaming Israel. It is an intellectual fraud and manipulation which hardly even pretends to introduce reality from an Israeli point of view.

The claim that the program is coordinated with Israeli human rights organizations is utterly misleading. The organizations in question represent only and solely one political agenda and thus are introducing to the participants, once again, a picture which is distorted and one-sided in the extreme.

All this is sadly not surprising and no news to us Israelis.

When it comes to Israel, Diakonia has a long tradition of presenting only one "truth". This is of course something very easy to do. The participants in the trips do not get a chance to be exposed to a complex reality and to a very complicated and multi-facetted situation.

The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is presented by Diakonia only in black and white colours, with no grey zones or nuances of any kind. According to them, Israel is the root of all evil.

Once again, all of this in no way surprises us - as Diakonia's campaign against Israel has already become a well-established tradition and is ongoing for years.

Diakonia is also trying to hide behind references to "international law" and "human rights". In the particular case of this organization's dealings with Israel, this amounts to no more than outright hypocrisy.

For Diakonia, international law is valid only when it serves their campaign of hostility towards Israel. The participants in the trips do not hear one word about the human right of Israelis to live lives free of terrorism or the right of Israel to self-defense under international law.

The use of the terminology of "international law" and "human rights" is being done in the most selective manner and only in such a way that it serves the organization's anti-Israel agenda.

To conclude, I would like to take this opportunity and humbly advice Diakonia to stop telling us Israelis how much they support "Israel's right to exist". I would suggest to them to cease with their arrogant, patronizing and sanctimonious approach. Israel does not need Diakonia's approval of its existence. I would call on them to adopt a much more humble approach and a far more balanced stance.

It is high time for Diakonia to abandon its long tradition of hatred for the Jewish State. This attitude is wrong and dangerous.

Ilan Ben-Dov
Israels ambassadör i Sverige

Uppsnappat från ambassadörens sida på facebook 29/10 - 1/11 2019

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