MK ZOABI speaks to reporters in Amman, Jordan 311 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Left-wing politicians called on Israel to allow pro-Palestinian “flytilla”
participants to enter Israel through Ben-Gurion Airport on Sunday, while
right-wing ones urged the country to bar their entry and not to fall prey to
MK Zehava Gal-On (Meretz) said that Israel’s foreign
policy is falling victim to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Foreign
Minister Avigdor Liberman’s politics.
“Israel’s security and strength
would not be harmed by a few hundred people entering the country,” Gal-On
stated. “Instead, just like in the [Gaza flotilla ship] Mavi Marmara, the
government’s policy is hysterical and serves the interests of those
MK Ofir Akunis (Likud) dismissed the “flytilla”
as “another provocation by the Palestinians and their
According to Akunis, the activists are not innocently
working for peace, but are a group of anarchists that seek to harm
MK Hanin Zoabi (Balad), however, said that the government’s
reaction to the “flytilla,” including efforts to convince European airlines to
cancel activists’ tickets, proves that Israel violates the human rights of
citizens around the world, not just of Palestinians.
“These are political
activists who represent a broad and legitimate political struggle against
Israeli oppression, racism and occupation,” she said. “Preventing them from
entering the country will not stop them from continuing to fight for the
MK Uri Orbach (Habayit Hayehudi) took exception
to a call by the left-wing organization Gush Shalom to greet them with
“All this talk about needing to accept haters of Israel with
flowers and blessings and hasbara [public diplomacy] videos are so romantic,
it’s ridiculous,” Orbach wrote on his Facebook wall.
“People are living
in a movie! They think that with sweetness and charm we can talk to the crazies
of the international Left that are gathering here.”
According to Orbach,
Israelis do not understand the intensity of anti-Semitism and hatred of Israel
in Europe, which can often be found under the guise of human rights
organizations and other NGOs.
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon wrote
on his Facebook wall that the diplomatic preparations for the “flytilla” were
successful, and prevented provocateurs trying to delegitimize Israel from
reaching their goal.
“Like any other state in the world,” he wrote, “we
worked together with the relevant parties, according to international law, to
ensure that anti- Israel elements will not reach Israel when it is clear that
their only goal is to create a disruption and challenge [Israeli]
sovereignty.”Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.