Thursday, May 27, 2010

Let Pro-Gaza Activists Through

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has announced that the hundreds of activists on the eight pro-Gaza ships headed towards the Strip will not be allowed to reach their destination. Instead, they will be rerouted to Ashdod, where the activists will be arrested and deported, while the aid itself will be inspected and then sent to Gaza through the UN.

Why do this? The fact that the materials will reach their destination will be drowned out by the pictures of hundreds of international activists being arrested. The activists will have gotten exactly what they wish - to make Israel look bad, which seems to be equally or more important to them than helping the Palestinians (otherwise, they'd take Noam Shalit up on his offer to support them and mediate with the government on their behalf in exchange for them delivering a letter and a package to his son Gilad, as reported by Ha'aretz).

I'd say the Israeli Navy should inspect the ships' cargo out at sea, and as long as there's no weaponry on board, allow the ships and activists to reach Gaza. That way, Israel avoids a PR disaster. Also, not detaining and deporting hundreds of people would save our treasury a fortune.

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