- A flotilla of ten ships is bringing 10,000 tons of supplies
to the people of Gaza. Scheduled to arrive Sunday, the relief vessels bristle
with dozens of parliamentarians and public officials among the 800 passengers
from Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Sweden and Ireland. They are determined to
break Israel's oppressive sea embargo and land their supplies at Gaza.
Israel has said that if they come to Ashdod (south of Gaza), Israel will
distribute the relief in Gaza. But these floating good Samaritans are determined
to end the embargo and help bring freedom the Gazans. Israel says it will
use "limited" force to keep them from doing so.
- Hamas police ahead of the arrival of an aid flotilla.
(Photo by: AP)
- Israel 's Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman says, "The
aid convoy is violent propaganda against Israel, and Israel will not allow
its sovereignty to be threatened in any way, in any place - land, air,
or sea. There is no humanitarian crisis in the Gaza strip. Despite Hamas'
war crimes against Israeli citizens and the thousands of rockets fired
at Israel's towns, Israel continues to respond in the most humane way possible."
- In 1948, terror forces of the emergent state of Israel
violently drove 800,000 Palestinians from their homes and businesses into
shantytown concentration camps in Lebanon, the West Bank, and Gaza. (See,
Founding: Miracle or Land Grab?) They did this to frustrate imminent implementation
of the United Nations' plan to partition Palestine into Jewish and Palestinian
states. Since then, Israel's policy has been to keep the descendants of
such supremely wronged and disenfranchised refugees in poverty so they
can never ascend to the autonomy promised by the Balfour Declaration in
1917 and the United Nations more than 60 years ago.
- The refugees in Gaza have been particularly defiant.
They have launched repeated intifadas. As punishment, Gaza has been under
economic blockade for the past four years. Since Israel's 2008 invasion,
Israel has persevered in keeping the people of Gaza under harsh military,
economic, and human rights restrictions.
- Israel argues that if it allows Gazans to become economically
prosperous and politically ambitious, they will elevate Hamas to lead a
Palestinian micro-state within the Jewish state - one run by "terrorists"
(i.e. those who demand that Israel return the ancestral lands it stole
from their grandparents in 1948). Thus Israel continues its hard line policy
of keeping the people of Gaza existing under the misery of third-world
poverty - while it flourishes as an economic leader and high-tech innovator.
- Increasingly, however, the conscience of the world is
erupting against Israel's incarceration of 1.5 million Gazans, who are
inmates in the world's largest prison. Israel 's free-speaking newspaper,
Haaretz, confirms that Israel may be damaging itself more than the Gazans:
- 'Ships adorned with banners and Palestinian flags in
support of Gaza Strip residents, laden with consumer goods for a population
that has been under siege for about four years, are threatening Israel.
The Israeli government's response and its preparations to block the "peace
flotilla" give the impression that Israel, not Gaza, is under a brutal
siege. Israel is finding it increasingly difficult to explain the rationale
behind the blockade to the rest of the world. Moreover, the suffering that
Israel was causing 1.5 million people for this purpose is not only inhuman,
but extremely detrimental to Israel's status around the world.Israeli goods
are being boycotted while world public opinion no longer accepts the siege.
A number of people, including diplomats and public figures, taking part
in the Gaza-bound aid flotilla, clearly shows that. Israel argues that
there is no hunger in Gaza and that vital products enter the Strip regularly.
Israel even said it was prepared to deliver the boat's content to the Gaza
Strip. If so, this indicates that Israel is not opposed to the aid itself,
but to the demonstration of support for Gaza's people. However, this show
of support could have been prevented from the outset had Israel lifted
the pointless blockade and allowed Gazans to live normal lives.' (<http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/a-blockade-on-israel-1.292704>"A
Blockade on Israel," May 28, 2010)
- Polls in Israel show continued overwhelming support for
the blockade of Gaza. The flotilla is a rebuke to the callousness of Israel
and its citizens. The very fact that such a multi-national effort is necessary
and the government of Israel portrays this mercy mission as "violent"
should tell us something about the heartlessness of a government which
America-and most American Christians-unquestioningly support.
- Rev. Ted Pike is director of the National Prayer Network,
a Christian/conservative watchdog organization.The freedom-saving outreach
of Rev. Ted Pike and the National Prayer Network is solely supported by
sale of books, videos and your financial support. All gifts are tax-deductible.
- NATIONAL PRAYER NETWORK, P.O. Box 828, Clackamas, OR