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(en) SUF Stockholm* interview with anti-zionist shoe thrower

Date Sat, 07 Mar 2009 21:06:59 +0200

On Wednesday February 4th the Israeli ambassador to Sweden was hit by a shoe. It was
during a lecture by Israeli Ambassador, Benny Dagan, held at Stockholm University, that
two participants from the audience stood up in protest and threw a shoe and some books at
the ambassador, after which the crowd shouted “murderer!” and “long live the intifada!”
Now, one week later, SUF has interviewed one of the demonstrators and below you can read
what this person has to say about the event. ---- SUF Stockholm: Why did you carry out
this action? ---- This action was carried out in protest against the State of Israel and
against that Stockholm University’s foreign policy association invites a representative of
an occupying power, which legitimizes mass murder and over 40 years of oppression.

SUF Stockholm: Was it planned or spontaneous? / The ambassador was
invited to talk about the upcoming Israeli elections, did he do that?

The action was spontaneous. The idea of inviting Benny Dagan was to
talk about the forthcoming elections in Israel, which is provocative
enough. A country isn’t democratic just because it’s people can vote
on a regular basis. Exceptionally provocative is it when Dagan used
the whole time to legitimize the re-invasion of Gaza and the mass
murder of Palestinians and in various ways sought to preclude any
criticism against Israeli occupation policies. After a while, it was
impossible not to react to it. To not react on something like that
would be the same thing as to allow representatives of South Africa
during the apartheid to speak uninterrupted.

SUF Stockholm: What do you believe an action like this can lead to?

Primarily, it’s an opportunity to regain the initiative in the
debate. For a long time right-wing people and Zionists have had
precedence in interpreting what may be called a “conflict”, a “war”;
that attacks and murder of Palestinians has been a retaliation of
rocket fire from Hamas. As if the occupation never existed, as if
people have never been oppressed, killed by Israel, as if the wall and
roadblocks had never been built. As if they were equal parties. Which
they are not and have never been. It must be a universal notion that
Israel is occupying Palestine and that is the starting point for any

SUF Stockholm: The film from the action is hosted on SUF Stockholm’s
website. Are you a member of SUF?

No, I am not. But SUF and I share the perception of Israel as an
occupying force. I will support whatever they do to fight the

SUF Stockholm: The action rapidly became world news. Are you happy
with the result?

Yes, I suppose you can say that. There are many who work every day to
change the situation in Palestine. People who are never heard. Media
are interested in extraordinary events and if such a small thing as a
shoe can make room to raise the awareness of what is happening, it is
indeed as good as it can get. But then, of course it is sad that it is
not enough with everyday events, but demands something spectacular.

SUF Stockholm: Thank you very much, and good luck in the future!
* An anarcho-syndicalist youth organisation
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