The unwelcome fly-in

The stage-managed production obviously has more to do with a propaganda ploy than with breaking the anyway fictional siege on Gaza.

Israelis at airport 521 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Israelis at airport 521
(photo credit: REUTERS)
According to current predictions, many hundreds of air travelers are due to descend on Ben-Gurion Airport for a spate of provocative headline-grabbing.
Their “air flotilla” ostensibly comes in lieu of the essentially just-foiled maritime flotilla.
Yet the stage-managed production obviously has more to do with a propaganda ploy than with breaking the anyway fictional siege on Gaza.
Gaza’s border with Egypt is open, and via Israel Gaza gets a wide range of provisions, to say nothing of water and electricity. But Gaza is the mere pretext. The underlying motive is to tarnish Israel’s image even further and paint its police as violent thugs who arbitrarily assault passengers.
Moreover, in today’s media reality of the instant catchphrase and the five-second news flash, this can go over big.
Israel’s enemies have never been loath to hook-up with the forces of any ideology which appears to serve their purposes. At some phases of the conflict, they were Nazism’s avid torch-bearers and collaborators.
In a diametrical shift a few years later, they became international communism’s protégés.
The latest antics indicate a bizarre assortment of allies who can be described as a loose aggregate of anarchists under the guise of human-rights activism (Arab/Muslim abuses of human rights notwithstanding).
Anarchists confound precise definition because of their broad arrays of types and beliefs. Suffice it to say that some anarchists sport very pronounced radical left-wing causes, often cynically in the name of social justice and, despite claims to the contrary, they hardly oppose aggression – even terror – and propaganda.
Hitching a ride on hyped Palestinian plight is ideal for them, especially since Israel makes an ideal target. It is already delegitimized and the offensive upon it only serves to delegitimize it even further.
One minor detail is illuminating: The organizers of the fly-in refuse to call the destination of their projected trouble-making Ben-Gurion Airport. They have dubbed it “Lydda Airport,” after the minuscule and rudimentary British Mandate-era aerodrome.
These semantics carry the explicit message of challenging Israel’s very sovereignty – not merely protesting its policies.
No state can tolerate such an onslaught, least of all tiny, beleaguered Israel. Other countries should not expect Israel to conduct itself any differently than they themselves would in similar circumstances.
Because of the double standards by which Israel is commonly weighed, the challenge awaiting airportsecurity personnel won’t be simple.
The inimical visitors will be unarmed (as they will have passed inspection before take-off), yet they need to be stopped. The event’s promoters recruited many foreign-resident Arabs with a variety of passports. For them, violence – indeed bloodshed – would constitute the desired outcome.
They participate in a formidable strategy to malign Israel as an apartheid-colonialist implant, sustained by war crimes. Its very existence is depicted as a wrong that must be redressed. The aim is to ostracize Israel and demoralize Israelis.
Consequently, the dilemma is how to preempt the provocation without awarding its organizers a propaganda triumph.
We hope that somehow, ways will be found both to deny the provocateurs entry, yet avoid getting dragged into the PR trap they have sprung. The May 2010 flotilla didn’t reach Gaza, but that operation’s orchestrators raked in propaganda profits.
Finding the perfect balance is easier said than done.
The best laid plans can be undone by a trifling hitch.
In the works is another in a series of unrelenting attempts to breach this country’s borders. In a sense, the flotillas of last year – and the largely abortive, imminent one – are identical to the “Nakba” and “Naksa” attacks on our land borders. The plotted airport extravaganza is of the same mold. When any state’s borders are declared illegitimate, so is that state’s very sovereignty.
The common denominator in all the above is erasing the post-1967 lines, then the 1949 armistice lines – and finally those of the 1947 UN Partition Resolution in favor of the “right of return” (i.e. the right to inundate Israel with millions of hostile refugees).
Hence, the airport front is no less vital and critical than are our naval or land frontiers.