First Gaza Flotilla Ships Depart Scotland
Channel 10 Israeli TV reports (Hebrew) along with Israel Radio that the first ships of the massive Gaza flotilla are expected to depart shortly (by now they may already have left port) from Scotland. They will meet with the rest of the group of blockade-running ships on the high seas later this month, in an attempt to be the first ships in two years to make it through. Israel has vowed to stop them with whatever means necessary, which promises to set up a similar confrontation to the one that led to the massacre almost one year ago on the Mavi Marmara.
The Turkish Muslim relief group IHH is once again dispatching the tragic Mavi Marmara to join the campaign along with approximately 14 other ships, more than twice the number of the last flotilla. The mayor of Haifa had hoped to turn it into a gambling casinso or some such, but Israel was prevailed upon to return it to IHH, its rightful owners.
I hope Turkey will do more to protect its citizens this time. Its foreign minister has explicitly told Israel it will not accept the same type of “provocation” which occurred last year. Given that the Turkish ruling party has just won a resounding election victory, I would suspect that Prime Minister Erdogan is not about the allow Israel to assault its citizens on the high seas. This should be very interesting.
I’m guessing that Bibi, realizing the UN statehood vote is coming up in September, may allow the boats to pass. To assault them would bring Israel into even greater disrepute than it already is. But I’ve learned never to presume Israel will do the rational or reasonable thing when stubbornness and pig-headedness will do.
I wish Mary Hughes Thompson and all the voyagers a safe trip and safe passage to Gaza.
10 thoughts on “First Gaza Flotilla Ships Depart Scotland – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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What? No rabid Zionists denouncing this as “showboating” or “capitalizing on tragedy?”
BTW, I would have sent a Turkish destroyer squadron to act as a “screen” around the flotilla, but the whining and sniveling would never end on that one.
Richard, for all our sakes I hope your hunch proves correct. We never do anything to provoke attacks by pirates on the high seas, but like you we have learned that Israel’s pig-headedness often gets in the way of common sense and integrity so they might once again decide to flex their muscle and create a confrontation. If that happens we can only hope they won’t attack without provocation with the intent to kill unarmed civilians as they did a year ago.
No amount of threats by Bibi and his minions will intimidate us. In fact the threats only serve to make us more determined.
The circuit breaker is for the Israelis to talk to the Turks. Pronto ! The brinksmanship on the high seas must be prevented. The USA offered Turkey to host an international peace conference in Istanbul that they were to facilitate between Israel and the Palestinians two weeks ago, but it didn’t do the trick. The problem is there is a huge deficit in trust between various parties. This can be healed however. The Turks are a very proud people who have empathy for the plight of the Palestinians. I also maintain however that if the right diplomatic moves are done then it is possible for people in Turkey to get along quite nicely with people in the State of Israel. The Turks fought vicious battles against the ANZAC’s in WWI. Now both countries are on very good terms. A saying on a shrine at Gallipoli is apt…
“Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives, you are now in the soil of a friendly country, therefore, rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side in this country of ours. You, the mothers, who sent their sons from far away countries, wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are at peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.”
– Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, 1934
I admire the sailors in the flotilla, more power to them and a blight on those who oppose them.
What Israel and Palestine need to do is to have a huge barbecue where they cook all their sacred cows because the two peoples have no alternative to living together in peace and harmony.
Plan doesn’t seem to go as plan.
IHH considers suspending it’s participation due to the Humanitarian situation in Gaza, France is prohibiting a ship to leave from one of it’s ports.
and talking about provocation, the UN general manager wrote a letter a month ago stating that a flotilla is as act of provocation, and asked all the states to prohibit ships to depart to gaza from their ports.
Listen whoever you are. This isn’t a point scoring debate society where you bring sources that represent yr particular ideological view point. You respond to the post I wrote & the specific points in it. If instead you decide you’re going to spout hasbara, you won’t be here long.
This post has nothing to do with alleged UN officials being opposed to the flotilla. That is off topic. You stay on topic or you don’t stay. Capiche?
Thanks Richard. I’m thinking I’ve been here before. And thinking how we never could have imagined three years ago that we would be on the brink of sending out this flotilla today. When 44 of us sailed from Cyprus in August 2008 in a couple of small wooden boats, almost nobody knew or cared about us, except for our families and close friends, plus a few hunded people around the world who had donated to help this ragtag group of five people who knew a lot about Israel/Palestine and nothing about boats and especially nothing about sailing boats to Gaza. All we wanted was to reach Gaza. We didn’t think beyond that.
And now we are more than a dozen boats from more than a dozen countries, and literally millions of people around the world are following us on our journey. I realize many will watch because they hope Israel will sink our boats to teach us a lesson; many hope we will all die as the nine people on the Mavi Marmara died a year ago. But most, like you Richard, are wishing us a safe voyage and a successful landing in Gaza Port.
And I can’t express to you how wonderful it feels for me to know how far we have come and how many friends we have. Insha’Allah I will be posting here from Gaza very soon.
Thank you for your good wishes.
Sabr wa sumud, ya Mary. Bit-tawfii.
Mary Hughes-Thompson, Insha’Allah Bis’Salaamat. “The Turks fought vicious battles against the ANZAC’s in WWI” (see comment above by Adam Neira) as you are now fighting a noble battle against a Zionist Israel that has lost its Jewish values. Allah-YHWH Ma’kum (May God be with all of you) on this your trip for Gaza Life.
God speed to them! Gaza is apparently running low on medical supplies and a medical crisis looms. Hope someone’s bringing medical supplies.
This blockade is shameful.