Following the Flotilla on Twitter
by Josh Hasten
For about a week now I have been obsessively following the latest news on the Gaza-bound flotilla via my twitter account (see @jewofzion). Everything one could possibly want to know about this so-called humanitarian mission to Gaza can be found using hash tags – flotilla, flotilla2 or other similar combinations. Not only have I been following the exchange of information between those who support the flotilla and those that oppose it, but I have been actively contributing my two cents to the debate as well.
While it seems on the surface that the pro-flotilla voices are louder in making their case heard, as Herb Keinon pointed out in the July 4th, Jerusalem Post, this year’s spectacle as of this writing is a victory for Israel. As he notes, the warming of ties between Greece and Israel over the past year (most likely because of the cooling in ties between Israel and Turkey, Greece’s long time foe), has all but put the kibosh on flotilla organizer’s efforts to sail from Greek ports towards Gaza. While some vessels might eventually succeed in leaving port and heading for Gaza, reports indicate that only a few hundred so-called activists remain committed to their mission.
But the real question remains, what is the true goal of these apparently saintly European protestors? While claiming an altruistic desire to deliver ‘much needed’ humanitarian supplies to Gaza’s needy, the truth is becoming more and more clear: this flotilla like the one before it has nothing to do with helping the people of Gaza, but is a means to end Israel’s legitimate and legal blockade of the Hamas-controlled landmass while creating an anti-Israel propagandist media stunt, which in turn will strengthen the incumbent regime.
Just yesterday (July 3) one of the flotilla organizers blundered by revealing her group’s true intentions. In reference to a Greek proposal offering to assist in delivering whatever humanitarian goods are on board (the proposal was later rejected by organizers), as long as the ships didn’t set sail, Ewa Jasiewicz said, “It is possible that this is under consideration but…that is not considered breaking the siege…” “We want to break the siege and the flotilla is not about expanding the drip of humanitarian aid to Gaza.”
In other words, Jasiewicz was clear that their mission is not about delivering humanitarian aid. And by the way while she calls aid to Gaza a “drip,” according to the IDF spokesman’s office, Israel transfers over 6,000 tons of goods and materials to Gaza DAILY. That’s double the amount estimated to be on board the flotilla. Then again, if this year’s shipment is similar to last year’s boats full of expired medicine, is that 3,000 tons worth anything at all?
So while the flotilla twitter feeds are written with passion, both for and against, there are several relevant questions that those who support the flotillas have failed to answer, at least when I’ve asked repeatedly. What do the Arabs in Gaza want? Are they in favor of your flotillas, or are you just rocking the boat (excuse the pun)?
Those are questions that I have asked publicly to the residents of Gaza on Twitter, and I have yet to get a response. Perhaps those in Gaza are afraid to respond since let’s remember they do live under the terrorist Hamas regime. But it seems that their silence is deafening. In other words, the fact that you don’t hear Gazans jumping up and down encouraging the flotillas proves that they would prefer that they don’t show up.
To be fair, I did see about 30 children in Gaza photographed on the beach showing their support for the ships, but this is way too obviously a Hamas publicity stunt to be taken seriously.
I truly believe that the residents of Gaza are hoping that the flotillas don’t arrive. While life under Hamas rule is far from perfect, as this point in time with malls and water parks opening up, stores packed with food (did you know you can get three different kinds of chicken in Gaza? Israeli, Egyptian or local?) and many new infrastructure projects in the works (Israel also allows concrete to be imported for authorized building projects, something the main stream media and of course the flotilla organizers, omit), why risk a change to the status quo?
One day I fear that Hamas will decide to start launching rockets at Israel again, when it best suits their needs, and things might change for Gaza’s folks. Things tend to worsen, when your elected officials decide to use you, their constituents, as human shields, but until that happens, it’s best for everyone if the Flotilla organizers simply jump ship.