Flytilla! Israel Hustles Humanitarians Away From Its Crime Sites

Israel has a phobia of boats AND planes transporting humanitarians! While the Freedom Flotillas to Gaza highlight the illegal blockade Israel enforces on the 1.6 million people who live in Gaza, the Air Flotilla shows up Israel’s disgraceful blockade of the West Bank bantustan.

Israel’s fear of humanitarians accessing the West Bank was so great, the ‘provocation’ from ‘delegitimisation’ by people of conscience so frightening, that ziomoles combed facebook groups hunting for prospective passengers in advance.

Aided by Facebook, Israel on Friday prevented scores of pro-Palestinian activists from boarding Tel Aviv-bound flights in Europe, questioned dozens more upon arrival at its main airport and denied entry to 69, disrupting their attempts to reach the West Bank on a solidarity mission with the Palestinians.

Israel had tracked the activists on social media sites, compiled a blacklist of more than 300 names and asked airlines to keep those on the list off flights to Israel. On Friday, 310 of the activists who managed to land in Tel Aviv were detained for questioning, said Interior Ministry spokeswoman Sabine Hadad. Of those, four were immediately put on return flights and 65 were being held until flights home could be arranged for them, she said. The rest were permitted entry, she said. [hasbara alert]

Yigal Palmor, a spokesman for Israel’s Foreign Ministry, said the list was compiled by following organizers’ preparations on social networks and websites. In all, about 300 people were identified as planning to create “provocations” upon arrival, he said.

“These people announced on their Internet sites that they planned to come here and cause disruptions, and told their friends. We were able to contact other foreign ministries and simply give them links,” Palmor said. Barring entrance in such cases is “accepted practice in any country,” he added.

Larry Derfner describes the reaction of the locals once they realised who the humanitarian arrivals were:

A couple of dozen people, mainly men but also a few women, followed very close behind the tightly-bunched demonstrators, cops and reporters to the police van. “Throw them in the garbage,” shouted one woman. An old man tried to get at one of the activists, but the police stopped him.

I was there ostensibly as a journalist, and I was scribbling notes, but I felt cowardly not saying anything to these nationalist hooligans, so I started telling them in Hebrew, “What are these people doing?” The woman who wanted them thrown in the garbage said, “They’re hurting us!” I said, “They’re talking,” and the little mob turned on me, a couple of the men raised their fists. The woman told me, “Go back home, get out of here,” I said, “I live here.”

Now we know where the unbalanced, indignant girl in the psychiatrist’s office in the latest hasbara infomercial went after she stormed out. Mobs are primed and cued by propaganda, then act out the omitted conclusion.

It is not surprising that Israel denies and is desperate to conceal its ongoing crimes in the West Bank with self-righteous rage from humanitarians who would be sympathetic to Palestinians under brutal military occupation suffering frequent incursions, arrests, a draconian matrix of checkpoints stifling movement, home demolitions, water theft, olive tree burnings, land theft and settler violence. Two and a half million Palestinian people live in the West Bank bantustan, enduring a lack of basic human rights, without nationality, persecuted by encroaching, violent illegal settlers, tacitly and overtly supported by a racist, belligerent expansionist government, determined to evict them from the fraction of their birthright which remains intact betwixt the already usurped hilltops and pampered ziocolonies.

As flytilla humanitarians continue to jet in, more of the world cannot help but notice in abhorrence the loathsome discrimination and dispossession inflicted on Palestinians and the willingness of Israel to forego the incoming revenue, for these travellers must pass through Israel to reach the West Bank, so its glossy, privileged ‘western’ image is not ‘delegitimised’. Blithely unaware that it manically scuttles its own leaky vessel, Israel has run out of fingers to plug the widening holes.

Flytilla blocked: RT talks to only Gaza activist who ‘slipped through net’

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And there’s yet another reason for the lack of interest in the declaration: as the prospect of a genuine – a sovereign and independent – Palestinian state has receded, another discourse has returned, one with much deeper roots in the Palestinian political imagination than talk of statehood, and much closer to the ideas that inspired the Arab uprisings. It’s often forgotten that until the mid-1970s, Palestinians were looking not to establish a state but to achieve ‘national liberation’, to restore their rights in the land from which they had been driven – beginning with the right of return. Palestinians rarely talk about statehood, but they often talk about their rights; statehood is viewed, at best, as a means to achieve them. And because they don’t often talk about statehood, it seems unlikely that the failure to win recognition at the UN would be enough to spark an uprising. Any sign of serious unrest, moreover, would not be viewed kindly by the PA, which would do everything in its power to prevent a third intifada that might sweep it away.

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