Claudia Rosett explains why the Gaza "Freedom Flotilla" is a farce.
The basic narrative spun by the organizers of this "freedom flotilla" is that some 700 "activists" from dozens of countries have boarded eight or nine ships filled with tons of "humanitarian aid." Their mission is to run the Israeli blockade, "break the siege of Gaza" and "establish a permanent sea lane between Gaza and the rest of the world." The umbrella website for this venture is labeled "The Free Gaza Movement," and on it the "Free Gaza Team" of the "Freedom Flotilla Coalition" professes a dedication to nonviolence and respect for universal human rights.
All that might make sense if Gaza were a peaceful and democratic enclave, unreasonably walled up by its neighbors. But there's some important information that the flotilla crew omits. Gaza is a terrorist enclave. Gaza is controlled by an Islamist terrorist group, Hamas. And Hamas is: backed by Iran; headquarters some of its leaders in terror-sponsoring Syria; has a busy and violent history of suicide bombings, shootings and rocket and mortar attacks; and is dedicated in its charter to the destruction of Israel.
That is what the blockade is all about. It didn't happen because the neighbors decided to victimize Gaza. Rather, it is Hamas-run Gaza that threatens the neighbors, and for that matter, is hostile generally to liberal, western societies.
Then follows a laundry list of atrocities committed by Gaza's rulers, the terrorist group Hamas. Finally, is the flotilla really interested in delivering "aid" and promoting freedom?
For this coalition to describe itself as affiliated in any way with "freedom" is an abuse of the term. Likewise, the show of bringing tons of "aid" is hollow at best. Israel, in an attempt to head off a confrontation, offered to let the Gaza flotilla unload its cargo at an Israeli port and have the goods delivered (after inspection) to Gaza by land. The flotilla folks weren't interested. Nor were they willing, despite their avowed love of universal human rights, to try pressuring Hamas to let them bring letters and food to the kidnapped Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit.
It's all a ruse, and Israel is wise not to fall for it. That the rest of the world is so eager to believe the flotilla's stories is reprehensible.