It’s spring, the day after Pesach, so what do pro-Palestinian terror-supporting “activists” do to celebrate? Why, they plan a “fly-in” to Israel – a flytilla – along the lines of the various flotillas that tried to “break the siege” of Gaza, and similar to the one organized (and which similarly fizzled) last summer.
The aim of the flytilla is two-fold: to get to Palestinian territory and cause disruption there, and to cause as much disruption as possible to Israel’s Ben Gurion airport and the innocent travelling public along the way. As CiFWatch’s fact sheet on the flytilla, it’s supporters, sponsors and participants states:
According to the organisers, the project is part of the “challenge to Israel’s illegal siege of Palestine”, with their publicity stating that:
“There is no way into Palestine other than through Israeli control points. Israel has turned Palestine into a giant prison, but prisoners have a right to receive visitors.
Welcome to Palestine 2012 will again challenge Israel’s policy of isolating the West Bank while the settler paramilitaries and army commit brutal crimes against a virtually defenceless Palestinian civilian population.”
In 2011 the Palestine Justice Network launched a campaign entitled the ‘One State Initiative’ which rejects the internationally accepted route of negotiations leading to a two-state solution in order to end the Arab-Israeli conflict. Thus, ‘Air Flotilla 2′ represents another campaign designed to lead ultimately to an externally imposed ‘one state solution’ which would entail the dismantling of Israel as a Jewish state and an end to Jewish self-determination.
Provocation and bad public relations for Israel are also part of the underlying motive of the project, as expressed by organizer Jaques Neno when he told potential participants at a meeting in Paris last January that should they end up being arrested, “you have won because when Israel puts you in prison it shows how it becomes more and more fascist”.
In addition, CiFWatch has published an excellent and very detailed report by Hadar Sela.
It would also appear that these “activists” chose today specifically because it is one of Israel’s busiest travel days, with tourists and travellers entering and leaving Israel after the Pesach and Easter holidays.
So far however, it seems that the flytilla has been another of those spectacular fizzles that give us such an overdose of schadenfreude. The Times of Israel reports that European airlines have cancelled the tickets of around 100 flytilla participants at the request of Israel:
A coordinator of a mass fly-in of pro-Palestinian activists into Israel’s main airport says airlines have canceled flights for at least 100 people.
Amira Musallam said Saturday that activists notified her via email that Lufthansa, EasyJet and Air France canceled the flight reservations of some suspected activists. Israel Radio reported that British Airways has done the same.
Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich has called the activists “provocateurs” and said they are bent on disturbing the public order.
Israel reportedly sent no-fly lists to foreign airlines and warned them to bar persona non grata or foot the bill for deporting them.
UPDATE: Even Israel’s newest adversary Turkey has prevented activists from boarding planes to Israel.
Authorities are paying particular attention to flights arriving from England, France, Belgium and Turkey, as most of the international activists are expected to arrive from these countries.
Turkish authorities were actively preventing activists from getting on flights from Istanbul, according to reports on Twitter.
Israel Radio reported that 100 activists in Geneva and seven in Rome were prevented from boarding their flights by authorities.
Nine activists who did manage to make it through to Israel were arrested on arrival at Ben Gurion airport.
Ynet adds that Israel has deported several activists who arrived in Israel, whereas activists who have been refused travel permission are staging a protest at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport.
And the Guardian (of course) records the outrage of some British would-be participants in the flytilla who had their tickets cancelled – for which the price will NOT be refunded:
Israel has forced low-cost airline Jet2.com to cancel the tickets of three women from Manchester intending to travel to Bethlehem via Tel Aviv this weekend for a gathering of pro-Palestinian activists.
Jet2.com informed the women by email that the airline would refuse to carry them and no refund would be paid. The move follows pressure on airlines from Israel to ban known activists.
One of the women, retired nurse Norma Turner, said Jet2.com had caved in to pressure. “It never crossed my mind that Israel could stop people with British passports leaving British airports,” she told the Guardian.
Of course! It’s the Zionist entity’s far-reaching tentacles that can reach deep into the British aviation industry. It doesn’t occur to the stupid woman that no airline will allow known trouble-makers to travel on their aircraft if they have been informed beforehand by the destination country that these people will be denied entry and that the airline will be considered responsible for repatriating these people. Has she never heard of the American no-fly list for example?
“Every country has the right to control its own borders. But to stop us leaving British shores just shows the extent of Israel’s power and influence.”
What a nasty statement, implying a sinister Israeli “influence” over British travel. She admits that every country has the right to control its own borders but seems to deny that right to Israel. Israel has not stopped her from leaving Britain. They just won’t let her enter Israel.
To top off the feel-good moment (which I hope will continue throughout the day), the Israeli government has produced a letter to be handed to any and all activists who do arrive in Israel (h/t Israel Matzav for the full text). I really and truly hope this is not a spoof. :-) (Click to enlarge).
Let’s hope this flytilla fizzle continues to sputter and die out fast.