Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Friday, 1 October 2010

Behold – the Conquering Hero Comes!

"Copycat attempts to sail to Gaza are the clearest indication yet that fringe groups such as Jews for Justice for Palestinians are more concerned with publicity stunts than genuinely working towards a sustainable peace for both Israelis and Palestinians,” a British Board of Deputies spokesman was quoted saying before the the vessel Irene, captained by JfJfP stalwart Glyn Secker, sailed for Hamastan in an avowed quest to break Israel’s blockade.

So the “Jewish” flotilla’s organisers and crew cannot have been pleased with the comparative lack of publicity they’ve attracted – even from some of the media outlets which might have been expected to be slavishly compliant. The terrible Pakistan floods, France’s expulsion of the Roma, and the Labour Party leadership election are some of the news items which appear to have got in the way. And, of course, unhappily for Israel’s enemies, the vessel was boarded and escorted into Ashdod without incident. (I’m assured, by the way, by a leading JfJfP member, that rumours that the flotilla intended to set sail on Yom Kippur were unfounded.)

Had the flotilla participants – around ten of them, I believe – volunteered to act as intermediaries on behalf of the long-suffering Shalit family – offering to take letters and a parcel from Gilad Shalit’s parents for conveyance to their son, a blameless teenage recruit kidnapped within his country’s own lines and held somewhere in Hamastan by ruthless individuals who have denied even the the Red Cross access to him – they might have earned themselves a tad more goodwill, as well as demonstrating their much-vaunted “humanitarian” credentials.

If the flotilla organisers were truly concerned with a humanitarian mission, and not with cheap publicity – why did they not send the goods they accrued for the people of Gaza (children's toys and musical instruments, textbooks, fishing nets and prosthetic limbs) overland for distribution by the Israeli authorities?

Alas, like that of the Gaza Solidarity Movement, which similarly failed to make such a gesture on behalf of Shalit (despite, it seems, being specifically requested to do so by Gilad’s father) their “humanitarianism” does not appear to be even-handed. Are they, then, “non-Jewish Jews” of the Rosa Luxemburg kind – would they echo her statement that she felt nothing special in her heart for the suffering of Jewry? A JfJfP spokeswoman has been reported as demanding that Israel releases all Palestinian prisoners from its gaols. This would appear to include those who have been convicted of heinous crimes such as murder, being accessories to murder, and grievous bodily harm. How on earth can that demand be justified?

“All the nice girls love a sailor”, goes the song. Nevertheless, despite a Twitter campaign for a welcome fit for heroes, a mere eight persons turned up to greet the “Jewish” flotilla’s intrepid captain, Glyn Secker, as he flew into Heathrow (hat tip: Miriam Shaviv on The JC.com Blogs). Glyn arrived on an El Al jet – let’s hope the chap carrying the “Boycott Israeli Goods” placard didn’t notice. But, of course, the skipper may have had no choice.

7 comments:

  1. Call me picky, I do not think one boat can be called a flotilla. I think it is just merely 'a boat'.

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  2. OK. A catamaran, Micha.
    But "flotilla" was used in the lead-up.

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  3. It was "advertised" as a flotilla and I must say that I was rather surprised at the size of it. !!

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  4. Exercise in vanity and vacuous self-righteousness

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  5. I thought you were referring to me for a second there, Ray!

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  6. Perish the thought, Daphers, old thing.

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  7. Hey! Not so much of the "old" ;~)

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