I’ve been going up to my roof to look at the harbor where the Freedom Flotilla will berth. If the Freedom Flotilla will land? Israel is getting desperate, in ways I hadn’t anticipated. Oh Netanyahu you fascist fuck prove me wrong! Israel has offered to let all the goods pass through land entry-points into Gaza, an offer which the Freedom Flotilla has point-blank refused. The point is not getting widgets into Gaza, even though they’re good widgets. The point is that if Gaza is not under occupation it has the right to determine whether its sea-lanes are open to ships bearing widgets. Citizen activism has attracted governmental support. Erdogan has placed the Turkish government fully behind this effort. A Brazilian senator representing the state of São Paulo—which has a strong and affluent Zionist presence—has made a public pronouncement supporting the effort too. States and civil society are gathering behind this effort, isolating Israel from a new articulation of forces which reflects the world’s rising intolerance of the blockade. The Jerusalem Post interestingly reports that “officials in Jerusalem were unequivocal in stating that what interests the organizers [are] not human rights in Gaza, but rather bashing Israel,” but were “vague on whether the boats would be allowed to land.” So maybe?
Israel is now relying on a couple hasbara stand-bys, talking points probably dreamt up in a Herzliya Center teleconference with Alan Dershowitz and the editorial board of Commentary Magazine.
- Claim the ships are violent: Yigal Palmor, Ministry of Foreign Affairs: “Ships forcing their way violently into Gaza will do nothing” to aid the Gazans. Because ships violating Israeli military law are inherently violent. Of course.
- Claim the ships aren’t carrying anything useful. Every hasbara–ista: “Ships aren’t bringing in anything that Israel doesn’t allow in, over 1 ton [The correct number is two-thirds of a ton] of aid per person had been allowed in since the end of the massacre.” Because Israel allows in glass and concrete, and hasn’t created a concentration camp in Gaza complete with measured-out calorie inputs that determine how much each Gazan should have to eat and drink each day?
- Claim that the organizers are supporting Hamas: “While they have wrapped themselves in a humanitarian cloak, they are engaging in political propaganda and not in pro-Palestinian aid.” Because breaking an illegal siege is by definition political propaganda given that the siege isn’t illegal and there’s no siege anyway.
- Claim that Israel will allow in the aid by land. Palmor again. Land entries are the most efficient, except when Israel unilaterally shuts them.
- Relentlessly, unself-consciously, flamboyantly, ridiculously contradict yourself: There is no “siege,” there is a maritime blockade and Israel allows in sufficient goods to allay it such that there is no siege, but if hippies and Jew-haters want to bring stuff in to stop the non-existent siege why not overland?