By Daniel Chejfec
Over the coming weeks and months, a number of "flotillas" are bound for Gaza. On June 12, an Iranian ship got on its way, and two more are aboout to sail. At least, contrary to initial reports, they will not be escorted by the Iranian Revoluitionary Guards.
But more fun is also on the way: Journalist without borders and Free Palestine are crowding 50 journalists and 25 European activists on board the Naji Al Ali. They will also sponsor the Mariam - a ship full of only women. All this is financed by Yasser Kashlak, an individual who repeatedly praised Nasrallah (Hezbollah's leader) in the past. The Council for the National Interest, a US based organization, has also voiced their support for this flotilla. If you want to know what is the Council for the National Interest, click here. If you wish an analysis of the activities of this organization over the years, click here.
And there is more! The IHH, one of the organizers of the Mavi Marmara flotilla, is sending six more ships in July from Turkey; the Jewish Voices for a Just Peace are sending two more in mid-July from Germany and the Free Gaza Movement, another one of the organizers of the Mavi Marmara flotilla, is preparing to send 10-15 ships in October. Since Israel already announced an easing of the land blockade, it seems that all of this is to make sure Hamas can get its Iranian toys (weapons) without interference of the Israelis or the Egyptians.
But unfortunately, the flotilla(s) incident(s) is but a blip on the computer screen compared to things to come. For once, with US sponsorship, Israel will be called to task on its nuclear capability and pressured to sign the NPT (non-Proliferation Treaty) while no effective measures are being taken against current signatories Syria and Iran. In addition, Turkey is aligning with Russia to form an alliance block of 23 nations to oppose American preeminence in the Middle East. Also, a free trade agreement between Ankara Damascus and Teheran was signed that could be foreshadowing a very troublesome strategic alliance that would be extremely dangerous for Israel and the US. Turkey, with its increasingly militant Islamist Prime Minister, might be downgrading its diplomatic ties with Israel if not cutting them altogether, while the US administration has clearly signaled its even handedness and neutrality in the whole affair. The result? Israel becomes isolated while Iran enjoys strong alliances with major players in the Middle East.
As troublesome and annoying as these flotillas are, we might come to look back at them six months from now as "the good old days". As American Jews we need to stand up and speak up for Israel, because our fate is intertwined with hers. Wherever Israel goes, the Jewish people will follow. If you hear the call to help, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (845) 471-9811. This is not about supporting specific policies of a specific Israeli government, but about defending the right of the Jewish people to self-determination and to ensure the survival of Israel.