rachel corrie 88.
(photo credit: )
Toward the end of the month, a naval invasion will be attempted near the Mediterranean coast. A ragtag armada of rust buckets loaded with international “peace” activists from the US, Europe and Turkey will try to “run the Israeli blockade” and dock the ships in the tiny Gaza port.
The navy announced on May 10 that the boats will be blocked.
This attempt will be the latest of a series of schlamazel
[Yiddish for one who is always getting the soup spilled on him by the schlemiel
(the one who spills the soup)] Palestinian propaganda efforts to reenact the Jewish campaign of the 1940s to bring survivors of the Nazi camps past the British blockade.
Like the Jews’ famous Exodus
of 1948, the Palestinians even name a flagship to lead the convoy. In 1988, the Sol Phryne
ferry was purchased in Cyprus and renamed the Awda
– the Return – in dedication to the Palestinians’ insistence on returning to Israel. That ship almost sank in a Cyprus port when a mysterious explosion blew a hole in the bow, seriously damaging it. At the time, Israeli-Arab affairs analyst Ehud Ya’ari wrote, “By sabotaging the ship before it ever weighed anchor, Israel turned what was meant to be a dazzling media extravaganza into a public relations fiasco for the PLO.”
In 2007 and 2008 other international aid ships were blocked by the navy. In January 2009, the Iranian aid ship Iran Shahed
was intercepted, just as tons of Iranian arms shipments destined for Hamas or Hizbullah were intercepted.
In December 2009, international activists suffered their worst PR disaster. Organized under the aegis of the anarchist Code Pink group, they attempted to stage a “freedom march” with a convoy of trucks from Egypt to Gaza. But the Egyptian government refused to permit their transit, and in an embarrassing fiasco, the activists ended up holding protests and demonstrations in Cairo where they clashed with Egyptian riot police.
But they did achieve one historical, monumental fete: They boasted that they floated 1,400 candles down the Nile River in memory of the Palestinians who died in the Israel-Hamas war the year before. Of course, the activists made sure that the candles were in biodegradable cups. Really. Truly, a kumbaya moment.
LEADING THE next flotilla will be the Rachel Corrie
, named for the American ISM activist dispatched to confront IDF bulldozers in 2003.
One of the stars of the Rachel Corrie
’s welcoming committee will be Bianca Zammit, a Maltese woman member of ISM and Gaza resident, who was shot in the thigh by an IDF soldier during a demonstration close to the Gaza-Israel border on April 24. Like Corrie, Zammit was devoted to the Palestinians of Gaza, writing extensively about the plight of Palestinian prisoners in Israel. And like Corrie, she was determined to challenge the IDF, even if it killed her.
Zammit’s demonstration took place near the spot where two soldiers were shot one month earlier as they counterattacked Palestinian terrorists setting bombs along the border fence. Zammit and her fellow demonstrators charged dangerously into a “no-go zone” close to the fence in as provocative an act as Corrie and her friends throwing themselves in front of the blades of bulldozers seven years ago.
The audio on the YouTube clips from the confrontation indicates that Zammit and friends charged the Israeli line to the calls of “Allahu Akbar” and to the broadcast of hits from the jihadi hit parade, “Where are the millions? Allah is with us, stronger and bigger than the sons of Zion,” and “Let us fall as martyrs, don’t worry.” (Translations courtesy of Palestinian Media Watch.)
Zammit’s chutzpah is on display when she complained to The
of Malta, “Similar protests were held in the past and
the Israelis usually fired in the air.”
Indeed, the sounds of shots suggest that the soldiers fired repeatedly
in the air prior to a few well-placed shots at the demonstrators’ legs.
(Zammit’s wounds – entry and exit – were just beneath the surface of her
skin. There was little bleeding, and she showed few signs of shock.)
Even on her way to the hospital, Zammit was able to continue her
anti-Israel diatribe. Within an hour she was up and walking as her
friends’ photo shows.
There’s little doubt that Bianca Zammit will be standing on the beach
looking for her fellow travelers’ ships. But they won’t arrive. As long
as Hamas vows to destroy Israel, rejects agreements signed by the
Palestinian Authority and rebuffs a two-state solution, Gaza’s isolation
will continue. And there’s even less doubt that Zammit and Corrie’s
other colleagues will continue to attack Israel for Gaza’s predicament –
even if it kills them.The writer served as a senior diplomat in Washington. www.lennybendavid.com