The International Solidarity Movement’s ‘protest’ boats shipped off today from Lanarca, Cyprus, toward the Gaza Strip. Their stated goal is :
Our mission is to expose the illegality of Israel’s actions, and to break through the siege in order to express our solidarity with the suffering people of Gaza (and of the occupied Palestinian territory as a whole) and to create a free and regular channel between Gaza and the outside world.
It does not take in-depth analysis to understand that the ‘free and regular’ channel that the ISM advocates is an open door for Hamas to increase their already unacceptable arms shipments into Gaza for use against Israeli soldiers and civilians (not to mention Palestinians who belong to other factions).
If stopped by the Israeli Navy, and there is every reason to expect they will be, the ISM will claim that they are being kidnapped:
If Israel chooses to forcibly stop and search our ships, we will not forcibly resist. Such a search will be under duress and with our formal protest. After such a search, we fully expect the Israeli navy to stand aside, as we continue peacefully to Gaza. If we are arrested and brought to Israel, we will protest and prosecute our kidnapping in the appropriate forums. It is our purpose to show the power that ordinary citizens of the world have when they organize together to stand against injustice.
There are several illuminating details in this affair that are discernable to a reader with a careful eye. These details show the extent of the ISM’s disdain for Israel and Jews.
Let us go back to the curious timing of the event. The AP reports that
The boats – the 70-foot Free Gaza and 60-foot Liberty – left the southern port of Larnaca around 10 a.m. (0700 GMT) for the estimated 30-hour trip.
If they left 10 a.m. Israeli time on Friday, then they expect to arrive around 4 p.m. on Saturday…or Shabbat, as the Jews on the boats call it. The ISM intentionally scheduled their arrival on the Jewish day of rest to interfere as much as possible with the sailors’ Shabbat. Of course, the IDF conducts its regular operational activity on Shabbat, but this symbolic gesture by the ISM should not be overlooked.
The name of the second boat is noteworthy as well. The ISM doubtless relished the opportunity to make the comparison between themselves and the U.S.S. Liberty, attacked by Israeli fighters jets and missile boats during the Six-Day War on June 8, 1967. This reminds the public of a painful and embarrasing episode for Israel, and if, in a best case scenario for the ISM, the Navy fires on them, they will have their talking points ready to go with the Liberty comparison.
These are no peace activists, rather supporters of terrorists and haters of Israel and all that she stands for.