Handala in Malmo

Handala Joins Eurovision Protests in Malmö Sweden

The Freedom Flotilla Coalition’s (FFC) ship Handala arrived at the port of Malmö, Sweden on Wednesday, May 8. Malmö is one of thirty stops on the flotillas journey to break the siege on Gaza. Handala remained docked in Malmö to support protests against Israel’s participation in the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest. We were inspired by the tens of thousands of protesters demanding an end to the genocide in Gaza.

The FFC’s primary goal is to break the illegal and inhumane 17 year blockade of Gaza. However, Handala’s stops throughout Europe are to also highlight the complicity of Western governments, institutions and corporations. Eurovision is a case in point – it denied Russia’s participation due to its invasion of Ukraine, yet allowed Israel, not even a European state, to participate despite its invasion of Gaza and increased ethnic cleansing in the West Bank. Eurovision allowed a state to be represented that has proclaimed a policy of starving a civilian population, decimating civilian infrastructure including bombing every university in Gaza and leaving health care facilities in ruins. The Israeli escalation in violence against Palestinians has led to the death of more than 15,000 children, more than all conflicts in the world for the last four years combined.

It is this complicity that the Freedom Flotilla Coalition is shining a light on with its stops in Europe. For 17 years the FFC has been fighting to break the blockade and this year it is more important than ever as we are watching a genocide streamed to the masses. The US, EU, Swedish government and other Western governments are to blame for Israel’s violation of human rights with impunity. Everyone needs to actively hold these governments, institutions, and corporations to account. The FFC calls on people across the world to heed the Palestinian society’s demand for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) to end complicity and put pressure on the state of Israel to end its apartheid system, genocide on Gaza, and honor human rights and international law.

Most Western governments are not leading. Thanks to people across the world who are leading by demanding of their governments and institutions a just future for Palestinians.