As a publicity gimmick, Coleman paddled a kayak to impede the Greek coastguard turning back the Tahrir, and was duly fined. http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/1020539--kayaktivists-from-gaza-flotilla-found-guilty-but-released
But Sylvia, with Vivienne, flew into Tel Aviv today (Tuesday) tp participate in the so-called "Welcome to Palestine" scheme. Alas, it seems that when the Israeli authorities were told of the pair's intent, the Aussies were detained at the airport for four hours and face deportation to Athens on the first available flight. So instead of meeting Palestinian activist Mazin Qumsiyeh in Marrickville's sister city of Bethlehem - Qumsiyeh's a former genetics professor in the USA who has suggested that Jesus was the first Palestinian martyr and who has, among other things, written a book called Sharing The Land of Canaan - Sylvia has been spending her 69th birthday cooling her heels at the pleasure of Israeli security.
Still, I'm sure the Israel-demonising Greens movement back in Oz will be making the most of this setback, spinning it as yet another example of Zionist perfidy.
In fact one of them, a twenty-something blogger ("I write mostly about politics and social justice topics. My current focus is primarily on writing about Israel-Palestine, and the expansion of the coal seam gas industry in Australia") already has.
And so has Greens MP David Shoebridge.
See also http://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_context=6&x_article=1383
As for the Greens and Israel, one of my favourite verdicts was made in a Greenie NSW newspaper, The Byron Shire Echo, by Geoff Pahoff, who wrote inter alia to its editor:
'You complain about your "experience with the pro-Israel lobby". Given that you have never published anything that could be remotely described as "pro-Israel", it can only be that you never publish opinions that differ from yours or the "experience" you claim is very limited indeed. None at all. What is your problem? .... Who do you mean by this "lobby" anyway? Israel is solidly supported by every major political party in our country. As you would expect from a liberal democracy for the only liberal democracy in the Middle East and the only state there that provides and guarantees full political and civil rights for Arabs. Only some of your party's candidates and some of "One Nation"'s attack Israel so obsessively.Why? If by the "pro-Israel lobby", you mean Australian Jews, then say so. We need to know. About you. Not them.
It is impossible to defend Israel, and the democratic secular Zionist principles that underpin it, without being accused of racism. Sooner or later it always happens. Always. It is also true that much of the incessant attacks on Israel, especially from the political extremes, and from militant Islamism, is driven by antisemitism. This cannot be honestly denied. It is everywhere.
....The situation in Gaza can be summed up in a sentence. Israel has the stark choice of either attempting a military blockade or simply allowing Hamas to become as lethally armed as Hezbollah. Gaza is an Iranian colony ruled by a subsidiary of the Muslim Brotherhood. Their grievance with Israel has nothing at all to do with "occupation". Gaza is not "occupied". Their grievance has everything to do with the fact that Israel is free, liberal and democratic and, above all, with the fact that Israel is the Jewish state. They say so again and again.
Nor do I accept that for you this is about the "Palestinians". The old hard left that now control your party in this state does not give a rat's arse about the Palestinians. They never have and they have been around for a long time. If they gave a damn at all they would be hollering from the rooftops for the liberation of these tragic people from the death grip of Hamas. For them, this is not about the Palestinians at all. Even less is it about the millions of people from Tunisia to Syria and beyond right now risking their lives in a desperate brave struggle for some of those freedoms that Israeli Arabs enjoy as of right and have for decades. For the old hard left, this is about something else entirely.'(Geoff's letter wasn't published. See http://webdiary.com.au/cms/?q=node/3181)