Eleven American warships and one Israeli vessel reportedly have passed through the Suez Canal on their way to the eastern Mediterranean:
International agreements require Egypt to keep the Suez open even for warships, but the armada, led by the USS Truman with 5,000 sailors and marines, was the largest in years. Egypt closed the canal to fishing and other boats as the armada moved through the strategic passageway that connects the Red and Mediterranean Seas.
Despite Egypt’s reported refusal to block the canal to Iranian boats, the clearance for the American-Israeli fleet may be a warning to Iran it may face military opposition if the Iranian Red Crescent ship continues on course to Gaza.
Could this really be a signal that the Obama administration intends to support Israel’s blockade of Gaza, thereby perhaps deterring an act of war by Iran? Let’s hope so, but the administration’s record is not encouraging.
That’s the good news, maybe. Here is the bad, as reported by Zombie. A ragtag group of far-Left and pro-Islamic violence demonstrators have effectively blocked the port of Oakland to an Israeli vessel:
An Israeli cargo ship arriving in Oakland today was forced to sit idle and not offload its containers when longshoremen joined forces with a coalition of communist and Islamist groups who picketed the port in protest against the recent violent incident off the coast of Gaza.
The ship, owned by Zim Lines, was not carrying any controversial cargo, nor is Zim involved in politics in any way; it was targeted simply because the shipping company is based in Israel.
The planned protest and blockade were organized by The Free Palestine Movement (one of the same groups which organized the Gaza “flotilla” in the first place) as well as a rogues’ gallery of nearly every communist, anti-Israel and radical Islamist group in the Bay Area:
Oakland, CA: Join the Labor and Community Picket of an Israeli Zim Lines Ship
Sunday, June 20, 5:30am
Port of Oakland,Berth 57, Middle Harbor Rd.
Protest Israel’s Attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla!
Boycott Israeli Ships and Goods!
Lift the Blockade NOW – Let Gaza Live!
Bring Down Israel’s Apartheid Wall!
We call on everyone who stands for justice and against occupation and apartheid to join the June 20 picket at the Port of Oakland. This is a moment of great opportunity. In San Francisco in 1984, a picket line and refusal to unload cargo of a ship carrying South African cargo was a key event in mobilizing the anti-apartheid movement worldwide.
Sponsored by: Labor / Community Committee in Solidarity with the People of Palestine:
Arab American Union Members Council, ANSWER- Act Now to Stop War and End Racism, Palestine Youth Network, US Palestine Community Network, Al Awda- Right to Return Coalition, Arab Youth Organization, MECA-Middle East Children’s Alliance, Students for Justice in Palestine, Arab Resource and Organizing Center, International Solidarity Movement, San Jose Peace and Justice Center, International Socialist Organization, Peace and Freedom Party – SF, Transport Workers Solidarity Committee and many labor activists in the Bay Area
A rogues’ gallery, indeed. One outrageous aspect of this incident is the longshoremen’s union’s claim that they refused to offload the cargo because doing so would have meant crossing a “picket line.” That is ridiculous. As Zombie correctly points out, a picket line is manned by a group of striking union members. This was merely a group of protesters expressing their political opinion. If that precedent were followed, any unionized business could be brought to a standstill by kooks of any political stripe. But, of course, no precedent was set; this “picket line” principle is one that applies only to Israel.