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all the ships are setting sail

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?

The LA Times has broken the story with a wire report. Maybe the US media blackout has lifted, too. And it’s only Wednesday, and we will keep pushing.

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