Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum

This is a guest post by AKUS
As we await the arrival of the provocative Flotilla of Fools carrying, if past is prolog, exaggerated amounts of unneeded “humanitarian supplies” to Gaza (perhaps Gaza’s “Roots” restaurant – has been running low on trout, sea bass, shrimps and veal scallopine – see the 15-page menu for other entrees) we also await the salvo of articles that the Guardian will use to try to add its weight to this publicity stunt.
In the meantime, Israel TV has been covering the most recent events, and they are certainly interesting, though not, perhaps, in the way the Guardian or the organizer of the flotilla expected. Here are highlights from the IBA broadcast:
1. Cyprus has refused to allow the ships to anchor in Cyprus’ territorial waters. Apparently the organizer forgot that Turkey is not one of Greek Cyprus’ best friends.
2. Moreover, in a slap in the face to the organizers and Hamas, the reason Cyprus has given for not allowing the flotilla into its territorial waters is not due to Israeli pressure but because it was not asked to do so by the Palestinian Authority. Cyprus recognizes the PA as the legitimate representatives of the Palestinians even in Gaza, not Hamas, which it sees as aligned with arch-enemy Turkey
3. Cyprus has refused to allow a group of European politicians wanting to join the flotilla to leave its shores to do so.
4. Attempts by those wanting to join the flotilla to transfer to Northern Cyprus, which is not recognized as a separate country, are similarly being prevented by Greek Cyprus.
5. The flotilla consists of three large ships and six or so small boats. According to IBA, three of the small boats have broken down, and the Mediterranean seas are very rough at the moment. These small boats may not be able to make it all the way to the shores of Israel (in which case – oy, the ignominy – Israel’s navy may have to fish the “courageous activists” out of the sea to save their lives …)
6. A ship that was supposed to leave from Ireland has not yet arrived, and is suspected to have broken down along the way.
7. More importantly, it turns out that there are a number of terrorists on these ships that Israel would like to get its hands on, and this turns out to be an excellent opportunity to capture them and send them off to prison (unless they offer armed resistance, which is likely to prove fatal for them).
8. Attempts to broadcast the “horrors” of Israel’s military boarding and taking over the ships will be prevented by Israel which will use its advanced technology to jam all signals from the ships.
9. Although the flotilla will be intercepted and brought to Ashdod, in fact the larger ships cannot anchor in Gaza’s harbor – their draft is too deep to allow them to anchor there – again pointing out that this is simply a propaganda effort, as, of course, everyone knows.
10. In Ashdod any humanitarian supplies will be unloaded and, after inspection and approval, Israel will send them in the usual manner to Gaza as it does with food, fuel, building materials, clothes, and commercial property every day.
11. In Ashdod, suitably decked out with Israeli flags those needing medical attention for sea-sickness and near-drowning will be treated, of course, by Israeli medics.
12. Israel has protested to Turkey about the double game it is playing – pretending that it is not involved in this provocation, but actually doing all it can to support it permitting the activities of a group working with Hamas. The flotilla is being organized by a group known as IHH, “a Turkish humanitarian relief fund with a radical Islamic anti-Western orientation. Besides its legitimate philanthropic activities, it supports radical Islamic networks, including Hamas, and at least in the past, even global jihad elements.”
(My aside – some people never learn – the Turks will one day find that the same Islamic extremists they now support will become a long-lived thorn in their own flesh. Of course, it could well be that Turkey’s real motive is to divert attention from the recent fuss about the Armenian genocide by trying to drum up sympathy for the Palestinians.)
13. The following image is from a clip broadcast by IBA rebroadcasting an interview with a boy in Gaza, who is eagerly waiting to see the 17-deck ship (so he has been told) dock in Gaza. The Hebrew translates his words: “They want to remove the blockade that the Jews have forced upon us.” From the mouths of babes and sucklings … note that just as he has been taught he uses the word “Yahudi” in Arabic, “Yehudim” in Hebrew – “Jews” – not “Israelis” – a good indication of the not just Israeli that Hamas objects to, but Jews in general, as their charter states. For this boy they are one and the same.

[Screen-shot from IBA news (Mabat), Friday, May 28th]
So we’ll wait and see, but I suspect that this “flotilla” will create the publicity for those who want to see it that it was designed to do. In the grand scheme of things the “flotilla” will be more like a passing attack of flatulence than a serious contribution to peace in the Middle East. In fact, it will most likely only make the antagonisms worse – which is what it is designed to do.

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