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)

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

O To Be In Tel Aviv, Now That April's Here ...

No, I haven't gone bonkers, fast forwarding the calendar and mistaking the month.  But I do want to diarise Sunday 15 April. It occurs immediately after Pesach.

Be prepared, folks! That's when a new flytilla is scheduled to descend on Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport.

Here's the lowdown, from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign in that part of the United Kingdom where the pictured message, presumably by some antisemitic nutjob within the Scottish National Party,  was scrawled upon a wall not so long ago.

I quote from the Scottish PSC's website:

'The challenge to Israel’s illegal siege of Palestine has to move from words to deeds; a small flotilla of boats challenge the siege of Gaza by sea and the Welcome to Palestine 2012 initiative will fly in to Tel Aviv Airport on April 15th to insist on the rights of all Palestinians to freely receive visitors from abroad. Hopefully, hundreds of international visitors will celebrate with Palestinian friends on that Sunday a tiny progress towards the realisation of their full human rights.

The Israelis may, however, as in 2011, imprison air travellers without charge for trying to go openly to Palestine, but the numbers and international scope this time will make it much more difficult and politically costly for them. If, in addition, international air carriers agree to act as auxiliary prison guards for Israel’s illegal occupation by refusing boarding to some ticket-holders in our home countries, we will know how [to] deal through the courts and otherwise with this violation of our rights to travel.

As with other countries, UK involvement in WtP 2012 will be much greater than last year. Most will be participating for the first time, but some will be veterans of WtP2011. Organisers are already in place in London, the North of England, Wales, Scotland and elsewhere to be a point of recruitment, to fundraise, to set up support systems here, to liaise with Palestinian and Israeli welcomers, and to organise the groups that will fly into Tel Aviv Airport on April 15th from many airports internationally. Join us.

Read the endorsement of WtP 2012 from Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Noam Chomsky and many others:
"We, the undersigned, endorse the call from the Welcome to Palestine 2012 initiative for supporters of Palestinian human and national rights around the world to openly visit Palestine during Easter 2012.
There is no way into Palestine other than through Israeli control points. Israel has turned Palestine into a giant prison, but prisoners have a right to receive visitors.
Welcome to Palestine 2012 will again challenge Israel's policy of isolating the West Bank while the settler paramilitaries and army commit brutal crimes against a virtually defenceless Palestinian civilian population.
We call on governments to support the right of Palestinians to receive visitors and the right of their own citizens to visit Palestine openly.
The participants in Welcome to Palestine 2012 ask to be allowed to pass through Tel Aviv airport without hindrance and to proceed to the West Bank to take part in a project there for children to benefit from the right to education."
SIGNED:
Sam Bahour / Tony Benn / Noam Chomsky / Jonathan Cook / Stephane Hessel / Ronnie Kasrils / Nurit Peled / John Pilger / Nawal Al Sadaawi / Vauro Senesi / Desmond Tutu
So now we know.
Hat tip: J.S.

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