Listening to some of the participants on this year's Gaza flotilla, the one that didn't take off, get you thinking...A few of the top organizers of the American ship, "The Audacity of Hope", clearly stated a few issues:
- They were not carrying supplies, "just a message of solidarity"
- It was not about Humanitarian aid, but to "break the Israeli siege"
- Because the government was not "doing the right thing", it is "up to the citizens to do it"
That packs quite a bit of anarchism for anybody's taste I guess. What these messages are sayings is first of all that Israel doesn't have the right to control its borders nor preventing weapons from reaching a sworn enemy who refuses to acknowledge Israel's legitimacy and calls for its destruction; it is also saying that the organizers agree with it. It is also saying that those involved in the organization believe that they are right and whoever disagrees with them is wrong...therefore if the government of the US disagrees with them, they will take law in their own hands. Just like Lynching somebody in the South - Leo Frank and countless African Americans come to mind.
The whole flotilla movement is targeting not only Israel but the basic underpinning of modern democracy. It challenges the role of States in ensuring the welfare of its citizens...maybe that's why the are sympathetic to Hamas that clearly doesn't care for the wellbeing of the Palestinians in its care. Because after all "Hamas is fighting the illegal siege set up by the criminal Zionist entity". Never mind that land crossings are now open at Rafah nor the fact that supplies are flowing into Gaza from both Israel and Egypt nor the pronouncement by the UNWRA head in Gaza that "there is no Humanitarian crisis in Gaza". All that is summarily dismissed as "Zionist lies" and is seen as proof of Jewish Zionist control of the West. Much like they used the phrase "Israel outsourced the siege of Gaza to Greece" as an explanation for Greek refusal to allow the ships to sail. No amount of hard fact can ever outweight what they see as a fact: Israel is wrong. Illogical? quoting from a Star trek movie: "Who ever said that the Human race is logical?"
So the sea flotilla failed because of a coordinated international effort, but that will never deter those who are absolutely convinced of their own righteousness. As I write, hundreds of acivists are flying to Ben Gurion Airport in an initiative called "Welcome to Palestine". Their outspoken intention is to confront the Israelis and openly declare they came to visit Palestine. Again, in their eyes Israel doesn't have the right to control its borders nor protect its citizens. Israel has made preparations to stop them as well...hopefully without too much of a media backlash. So what's next?
If we stick to precedent, they will continue to try and find ways to deny Israel's right to keep an eye on its borders. They might push for the elimination of all kind of controls between the West Bank, Gaza and Israel. After all, Palestinians should be allowed to go wherever they want. Suppressing their freedom of movement is in the eyes of these activists a proof of Israel's Nazi-Fascist character. Orwellian? how about pointing out that there are multiple "security fences" around the world that function in a far less permeable way that the Israeli one? or that quite a few of them are in Arab lands? Do they not restrict the freedom of movement of others?
These activists are demanding a lot more than the end of the Gaza blockade. They are demanding the elimination of borders. They are heirs to the internationalist and the transnational movements. They were always there, but new technological tools provides them with a lot more visibility today than they ever had before...and the Media loves it! it sells papers!
I will probably be branded a Zionist cum-Nazi Fascist myself for disagreeing with them. The Zionist part I take proudly because I believe in the right of the Jewish people to self determination. As for the second part of the brand, it would fly against the tide of everything I ever wrote on this blog.
I still believe in the need of a two-state solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict, but that solution needs to be on mutually agreed grounds, and you can only get there through negotiations. These activists oppose Israeli "unilateral actions" but applaud Palestinian "unilateral declarations". You cannot have it both ways, the rules must exist or not; they cannot come into existence to stop those you don't like and disappear when they become inconvenient...
Most regular Palestinians on the street want Peace, but their leaders have made a point of rejecting accomodation, refusing to compromise and negate their responsibility. Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad doesn't like Israel, but at least he is trying to do something for his people...of course one of the first conditions demanded by Hamas as part of the unity deal was the dismissal of Fayyad...
Civilization is based on the rule of law. Much as I would love to see Humanity get to the point when States are no longer necessary to enforce that rule of law because every individual is responsible enough, we are not there yet. Much that I would love to see a world where the swords are turned into plowshares, swords are still needed because too many people still believe in violence as a way to impose their own will.
All these activists who are demanding that Israel no longer control its borders are highly educated intelligent people...wouldn't the world be a better place if they use their qualities to help the rest of Humanity to get to the point when Isaiah's vision can become a reality instead of trying to force others to open the doors for the barbarians to come in?
The so-called activists who participated on the flotilla will continue to seek ways to prove that the Jewish State doesn't have the right to exist or that at the very least "it was born in sin", and by doing so they will continue to make it impossible for the Israelis to implement the concessions they know they need to make to end the conflict, so the conflict continues...
What a waste of Human material; and time!