Thursday, July 7, 2011

"We Just Came to Visit Palestine": Flytilla's Famous Last Words? Update


OK, this is really pissing me off. Tomorrow, about 600 flytistas ('peace' activists who get sea sick) are planning to descend upon -- Fly-In to -- Ben Gurion Airport in a number of planes from various European airports in order to, depending on whatever rationale you read, protest the Gaza blockade, highlight the Right of Return for 'refugees', or just plain announce to immigration officials their desire to visit 'Palestine.' Naturally, critics of Israel are mocking the security preparations being organized as 'over-reaction' and hysteria.

According to Lihi Rothschild, an organizer of a demo planned to welcome the flyer-inners,  "The only act of protest that these people plan to carry out is to say 'we came to visit Palestine,' but the state of Israel is preparing for it as if it were a declaration of war." Let's hope these are not going to be famous last words.

Yet, for anyone who remembers last year’s original flotilla to ‘break’ the Gaza blockade, there was a bunch of so-called humanitarians whose stated intention was to become martyrs. They were the ones who welcomed Israeli commandos onto the Mavi Marmara armed and ready for a bloody fight. Who can predict the havoc that even one hot-headed Jew-hater could cause upon arrival at Ben-Gurion?

Just imagine how American security services would treat the arrival of a wave of self-identified, say, anti-war protesters into, say, JFK or O’Hare. And just imagine how American travelers would react to any airport disturbance, much less the possibility of violence.Can we really see Homeland Security just standing by? 

When Naomi Klein added her approval for the boycott campaign a few years ago she gave this very telling reason for picking on Israel when there are so many other humanitarian crises in the world:

“Why single out Israel when the United States, Britain and other Western countries do the same things in Iraq and Afghanistan? Boycott is not a dogma; it is a tactic. The reason the BDS strategy should be tried against Israel is practical: in a country so small and trade-dependent, it could actually work.

I submit that similar reasons apply to the multiplying assaults on Israel’s legitimacy: flotillas, flytillas, boycotts, etc., are only attempted because Israel is so small and existentially vulnerable.
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Update: Elder of Ziyon has an excellent summary of the Flo/Flytilla's accomplishments this week, and Daphne Anson links to a video showing that -- contrary to my worries -- all the disturbances generated at airports occurred on the European end. So, well done Israel, well done, for your non-violent resistance to this week's delegitimization assault.

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