You’ve just arrived after a long journey, tired and looking for somewhere to stay. You feel like treating yourself, so you ask your driver to take you to the best hotel that the town has to offer. And he does; he could have picked none better. Plush and polished, this five star establishment has over two hundred well-appointed rooms, a royal suite, a steam room, a swimming pool with a view of the sea and four restaurants.
So where do you think you have ended up; in one of the more luxurious Mediterranean resorts, perhaps? Go out on the balcony and have a look around. See, there, just to the south of where you are standing, the Hamas training camp should give you a clue. Hamas; what, the terrorist group dedicated to the destruction of Israel? Yes, Hamas; for this is Gaza and the hotel is the al-Mashtal, recently refurbished at a cost of $40 million.
Once you’ve recovered from the shock you might care to wonder around Gaza City. I feel sure you will be surprised by just how well-stocked the stores are, or by the construction boom, of which the al-Mashtal is a feature. You might be even more surprised by the number of four-by-fours on the roads, an estimated 400 of which are smuggled through two huge tunnels every month, adding to the 160 that the Israelis allow through legally. The demand is such that dealers are willing to pay $8000 simply to bring them through the tunnels.
Yes, this is Gaza, such a deprived place, a place suffering under a blockade that a ‘Freedom Flotilla’ has been organised to break. This blockade, incidentally, is absolutely necessary for the security of Israel, to ensure that war materials do not get through, allowing for further periodic attacks on the south of the country. As recently as March of this year the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) intercepted a ship attempting to smuggle weapons into Gaza. Every ship has to be searched; there cannot be exceptions, so long as Hamas, the terrorist organisation that controls the Palestinian enclave, persist in its determination to destroy Israel.
Hamas, that’s exactly who is behind the so-called Freedom Flotilla 2. If you think this is about bringing succour and aid I urge you to think again. So far as aid is concerned that’s a lie; this little armada is intended by Hamas as a deliberate act of provocation, material for even more propaganda. Even the organisers of the American ship declared in a press release that they will carry no goods of any kind for delivery to Gaza.
What these boats will carry is a lot of left-liberals, useful idiots, as Lenin is reputed to have described such people, who often ally themselves with the most oppressive forces in the name of freedom. I seriously doubt if even half of them understand who the tour organisers are or what they stand for. So, let’s have a look at the cooks.
The chef is one Amin Abu Rashid, a Palestinian Dutch national and a fundraiser for Hamas. Prior to last year’s flotilla fiasco he openly said that the intention was to clash with the IDF, an aim in which he was wholly successful. Most recently seen in Greece training the new venture’s crew, it’s fairly safe to assume that his strategy has not changed.
There are a whole range of senior Hamas operatives behind Enterprise Gaza, including Sameh Habeeb, the man who publishes the Palestine Telegraph, an organ which regularly gives a platform to Nazis and Holocaust-deniers, as well as promoting such enlightened works as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and an updated version of the medieval blood libel.
Those who are minded to perceive the flotilla as a ‘humanitarian’ cause would do well to play closer attention to some of the public statements being released by the likes of Bulent Yildrim, head of IHH, a Turkish ‘relief’ organisation, busy weaving his own web of deceit. He is a man of grand ideas and sweeping ambition. His intifada, you see, only begins with blockade-running; it will not end, in his own words, “until our march to al-Aqsa is completed.” Al-Aqsa, of course, is in Jerusalem. Yes, a man of big ideas who sees the main problem as Zionism “…which, like a virus, has infected all humanity.” Not Freedom Flotilla 2, obviously.
The whole enterprise is so fraudulent that even the journalists are abandoning ship, accusing the organisers of a complete lack of transparency, particularly with regard to their relations with Hamas. The Dutch cohort expressed disgust at the dictatorial atmosphere and the attempts at censorship. De Telegraf, a leading Dutch paper, has also focused on Rashid’s support for Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. This man is a notorious for encouraging suicide attacks on Israel. He is also in favour of such enlightened causes as having homosexuals stoned to death and allowing men to beat ‘rebellious’ women.
The useful idiots, incidentally, include Alice Walker, the American writer, who has joined the flotilla, saying she is concerned about ‘the children.’ Perhaps she might have considered talking with Khaled Abu Toameh, an Israeli-Arab journalist, who has actually spoken to ordinary Palestinian people, as opposed to the publicists of Hamas. If she did she would have discovered that there is no shortage of food and that shortages of medicine is caused by infighting between Fata and Hamas. The latest news from the Gaza Strip itself confirms this, officials blaming Fata for “political blackmail”. (The Times, Saturday, 2 July).
Of Walker’s involvement Howard Jacobson, a prize-winning British journalist and author, has written;
Hamas, we are often told, is the elected government of Gaza, a government that fairly represents the wishes of its people. In which case we must assume that Hamas’s implacable hostility towards Israel fairly represents the implacable hostility felt by the people of Gaza. Are Alice Walker’s letters of love and ‘solidarity’ solid with the people of Gaza in that hostility?
Many governments have seen through the bogus Freedom Flotilla for the shabby act of provocation and agitprop it truly is. It really is time for all those not befuddled by this kind of thing to stand full-square behind the state of Israel, which has the right to protect itself, the duty of a sovereign nation to protect its people from murderers, terrorists, ‘peace’ activists and all such fellow travellers.