Flight of fancy

Many prominent Israelis who should have known better attacked our government leaders for mishandling the situation.

pro-Palestinian activists at Ben Gurion Airport 370 (photo credit: REUTERS)
pro-Palestinian activists at Ben Gurion Airport 370
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The coordinated arrival at Ben-Gurion Airport of hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists from countries such as Canada, Portugal, Jordan, France, Britain, Belgium and Turkey was designed to create a provocation.
The timing of what is being dubbed a “flytilla” – after maritime attempts such as the infamous Mavi Marmara to challenge Israel’s sovereignty – is no coincidence.
It was purposely planned to take place precisely when thousands of Israelis vacationing abroad for Passover or Easter made their way home via Ben-Gurion Airport. With tens of thousands of passengers converging on the airport, the potential for mayhem was very real.
Thankfully, our political leaders took preemptive action against a flytilla organized by men such as the marxist Michel Warschawski, who has close ties with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which is responsible for the deaths of many Israelis, including tourism minister Rehavam Ze’evi and Mazin Qumsiyeh, a biologist who in his book, Sharing the Land of Canaan, argues that Ashkenazi Jews are descendents of the Khazars in order to reject Jews’ claim to a state in the Middle East.
In coordination with foreign government leaders, flight officials and international airlines, pro-Palestinian activists thought to be planning to undermine public order at Ben-Gurion Airport were prevented from getting on planes to Israel. Part of the reason airlines were eager to cooperate was because they did not want to foot the bill for a return ticket for those activists denied entry to Israel.
But there also appears to be increasing understanding in the international community that many self-proclaimed pro-Palestinian activists are not so much motivated by the desire to improve the lot of the Palestinian people as they are to do everything in their power to delegitimize the State of Israel.
Amazingly, however, many prominent Israelis who should have known better attacked our government leaders for mishandling the situation.
Resorting to a particularly unsavory hyperbole that belittles the suffering of the Syrian people, Meretz chairwoman Zehava Gal-On claimed that the Netanyahu government had “adopted the practices of Assad” by blocking the borders.
In its Sunday editorial, Haaretz managed to outdo Gal-On, comparing Israel to no other than the Holocaust-denying, terrorist-funding, apocalyptic Shi’ite mullahs of the Islamic Republic and their henchman, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Just as Iran was blocking the International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors from investigating its nuclear program, railed Haaretz, so too Israel was barring “human rights activists” from entering the “occupied territories” to investigate purported human rights violations.
The insult to its readership’s intelligence was glaring: Is it not obvious by now that Israel’s purported actions in the West Bank are probably the most well-documented of any other country on the face of the earth and that dozens of government and non-government bodies carefully monitor Israeli security forces’ every move there? Is it not obvious by now as well that peace depends as much on the willingness of the Palestinians – and the numerous Arab states that back them – to end the incitement against the Jewish state and sit down and negotiate without preconditions as it does on Israel’s policies? In contrast, Iran has flouted international law, refusing access to a nuclear program that threatens to upset the delicate balance of power in the Middle East and unleash a new nuclear arms race.
Even Eitan Haber, who as bureau chief to prime minister Yitzhak Rabin should have exhibited a bit more political savvy, claimed in a remarkably naïve op-ed in Yediot Aharonot entitled “Much Ado About Nothing” that instead of attempting to peacefully prevent hundreds of provocateurs from staging rowdy and potentially violent demonstrations at Ben-Gurion Airport during one of the busiest days of the year, our government should be “waiting for these weirdos with flowers.”
But it would have been downright irresponsible not to take extensive precautionary measures to prevent the likes of Warschawski and Qumsiyeh and hundreds of other “activists” from staging an unauthorized demonstration in Ben Gurion Airport that could have easily deteriorated into violent clashes.
Thankfully, people like Gal-On, Haber and Haaretz’s editorial board are not running the show.