Hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists have gathered in the Mediterranean and, after meeting up at sea, are proceeding toward Gaza in a “flotilla” of six ships. According to news accounts, the passengers aboard the ships include a co-Nobel Peace Prize winner from Northern Ireland–no surprise there–an “Israeli legislator,” which I assume means an Arab member of the Knesset, a Holocaust survivor–who, I think, should know better–and “peace” activists from various countries. The ships are carrying food, cement, medical supplies and toys in an entirely symbolic effort to lift the Israeli blockade of Gaza.
The voyage is symbolic because Israel routinely allows food, medical supplies, etc., into Gaza. Israel has invited the activists to dock at an Israeli port, where the cargo will be unloaded, searched, and then shipped into Gaza. But that, the flotilla’s organizers say, is a “ridiculous and offensive” suggestion. This is what passes for argument in the world of the Palestinians.
Now, Israeli naval vessels are moving to intercept the flotilla. They will tell the ships that they must proceed to Ashdod harbor or else be boarded. Israel’s Government Press Office also responded to the activists’ claim of hardship in Gaza by recommending the Roots Club in Gaza City. “We have been told the beef stroganoff and cream of spinach soup are highly recommended,” the Press Office said in an email to reporters.
This sort of kabuki PR contest seems sterile, but that doesn’t stop Arab media from joining in the propaganda effort. This video clip from Al Jazeera shows how millions of people around the world are learning about the flotilla. What I like about it is how miserable the conditions on board are:
Of course, every now and then reality breaks through:
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon criticized the ‘Freedom Flotilla’ headed for Gaza on Sunday, saying the anti-Semitic chants voiced by the activists on board earlier in the day showed the “real motivation” for the campaign, which he termed an “armada of hate.”
In the morning, participants on the flotilla were recorded shouting “Khaybar Khaybar ya yahud, Jaish Muhammad saya’ud”, which means ‘Jews, remember Khaybar, the army of Mohammed is returning.’
This cry relates to an event in the seventh century when Muslims massacred and expelled Jews from the town of Khaybar, in modern-day Saudi Arabia.
Such is the real object of those who pretend to be concerned about the suffering in Gaza, which is caused entirely by Hamas and its apologists. As always, the conflict in the Middle East is between those who want to exterminate the Jews and, well, pretty much everyone else.
Near the end of his Personal Memoirs, Ulysses Grant paid tribute to the courage of Confederate soldiers, but concluded that “men never fought in a worse cause.” It was a just verdict, but Grant didn’t know about the Palestinians, perhaps the worst-led people in world history.