Another "aid" ship en route to Gaza

Don't you sometimes wish that we were all issued with a life remote control at birth, allowing us to fast-forward, pause and - perhaps best of all - erase? It'd be great, wouldn't it?

Well, we're not and it doesn't look very likely to happen any time soon so we may as well stop thinking about how great it would be. However, just once in a while the Universe does give us an opportunity to rewind and see something again, only paying more attention this time.

Other than a few governmental departments, hardly anyone really paid that much attention to the so-called "aid flotilla" over the weekend and Monday as it made its way towards Gaza up until Israeli commandos boarded the ships and were violently attacked with an assortment of improvised weapons, eventually forcing them to resort to their sidearms which caused nine deaths (and we'll make no apologies for the bias - the evidence speaks for itself); but one of those rare moments has arisen - it seems we may get to watch a very similar event as it happens. This is because another ship named the Rachel Corrie which was unable to sail with the flotilla due to mechanical problems has now set out. Precisely where it is is currently unknown, as it seems to have malfunctioning radio equipment - as a result of Israeli sabotage, say organisers the Free Gaza Movement a little ridiculously; some reports claim it has turned back, others say it it on its way and will arrive on Saturday. This does rather force one to wonder at the wisdom of sending people to sea without such a device, one that might seem to have become somewhat of a necessity in this day and age.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu says, "We intend to direct the Rachel Corrie to the Ashdod port and transfer its civilian goods to Gaza following a security check." Does this sound like a threat? Audrey Bomse of the Free Gaza Movement thinks so.

Another possibility is that the Rachel Corrie was either intentionally sent out without a working radio or is maintaining radio silence so that the organisers can conveniently claim to be unable to order it to turn back if the rest of the world decides Israel is within its rights to demand it docks somewhere other than Gaza. That way, it can sail merrily on to the exclusion zone and force Israel to take further action, risking more criticism if things once again go wrong.

Once again Israel has stated that it is not comfortable with the idea of a ship docking in Gaza before it has had a chance to inspect the cargo for weapons and other banned items such as metal piping which can be used by Hamas to construct the Qassam rockets it regularly fires into civilian areas. Once again it has made it clear that if the ship docks at Ashdod, in Israel, the cargo will be inspected and distributed using Israel's already-established network through which over on million tons of aid have passed in the last 18 months. Once again this invitation is not being taken up.

Organiser Audrey Bomse says, "As a result of these threats, we're going to pull Rachel Corrie into a port, add more high-profile people on board, and insist that journalists from around the world also come with us."

Let's hope they do - the videos showing what happened on Monday have opened many people's eyes and made them begin to suspect that Israel might not be the evil aggressor despite what they read in the newspapers. If the IDF are again forced to board the vessel and the "peace protestors" are willing to co-operate and remain non-violent then the world will see that Israel is not the devil it is so often portrayed as being. If, on the other hand, they are attacked as happened on the Mavi Marmara, the world will see that Israel is simply defending herself and her people and fights only when deliberately provoked.

No comments:

Post a Comment