Pro-Israel Swedish flotilla arrives in Herzliya

Swedish pro-Israel flotilla docks in Herzliya Marina, kicks off 11-day visit to improve Sweden's image in Israel.

David Rosenberg,

Yachts from Swedish flotilla
Yachts from Swedish flotilla
FLASH90

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.

Led by the ship ‘Elida’, the flotilla is part of an effort by pro-Israel Evanglical Christians in Sweden to improve their country’s image vis-à-vis the Jewish state.

"It's great to be here at last," said Elida’s captain, Stefan Abrahamsson, according to Yediot Ahronot. “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.”

“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. We are here to tell Israelis: 'We love you,' we are standing behind you and want to show our solidarity with you.”

The trip was organized by Abrahamson, owner of the yacht, to express support for both Israel and solidarity with 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,” Abrahamsson wrote on Facebook prior to departing. ““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.”

The Elida, a 131-foot (40-meter) yacht with some 50 passengers and crew, led the flotilla from Gothenburg, Sweden on their 48-day journey.

The yacht will remain docked at the Herzliya Marina for 11 days, and will remain open to visitors looking to meet with the Swedish delegation.

The flotilla departed Sweden following a similar voyage of anti-Israel activists from Sweden who attempted to breach the security blockade on the Gaza Strip.


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