Among the pullout foes staying in the northern West Bank community of Sa-Nur, one can find an unusual guest: Nils Peter Hansen, 54, a civil aviator who made his way from Sweden to Israel in order to support the settlers.
“My wife told me, you need to travel to the Holy Land. Jews are being expelled and we need to do something, so I came,” he said.
Notably, Hansen is not Jewish. He is a believing Christian who views himself as a genuine friend of the Jewish nation. He holds Danish citizenship, but currently lives in a small community in central Sweden.
Hansen says he is particularly shocked by the thought Jews are again being expelled while the world remains silent.
“We’ve seen expulsion of Jews before, and we know how it ended,” he says. “This time I felt I must come and sit with my brothers, here in Israel.”
Hansen has visited Israel no less than 24 times, has toured holy sites and recently visited Gush Katif and Northern Samaria.
"The last time we were here it was Jerusalem Day," he said. "We traveled with a group of 20 people to Gush Katif, and afterwards I went to Northern Samaria on my own."
Hoping for an additional Scandinavian 'airlift'
Hansen said he felt blessed at being invited to the region. After he returned home, he continued to think about how he could help his settler friends. Furthermore, the news from Israel regarding the upcoming evacuation concerned him.
"I said to myself, there is nothing more I can do here. Let's go to Israel where we can do something," he said.
Hansen originally requested to enter Gush Katif, but was refused access as Gaza was declared a closed zone open only to Gush residents.
He then turned to the West Bank, which was not yet closed off.
Hansen has spent the past five days sleeping in a tent in the Sa-Nur settlement, talking to local residents.
"For the past 20 years we have been committed to Israel," he said. "I have many friends here, in the Bracha and Alei settlements. All the members of my group are praying to God that a miracle will occur and the expulsion will be canceled."
Sa-Nur residents have openly welcomed their visitor and are hoping for an "airlift" of more Scandinavian friends.