For obvious reasons, April 15 is one of the most dreaded days in America. Now it will have a bad rap in Israel but for a very different reason. You see, another publicity stunt known as both “Air Flotilla 2” and “Welcome to Palestine” arrives at Ben Gurion Airport this Sunday.
Judging by its lethal predecessor — the Turkish IHH Gaza-bound flotilla — and those before and after it, this flytilla has the propensity to threaten Israel’s citizens and its sovereignty. No other nation-state has to deal with this kind of ongoing demonization that threatens to fly in hundreds and possibly thousands of pro-Palestinians activists into its airport.
Just to give you an idea of how vile this event is, one of the most notorious Israel-bashers, American foreign-policy critic, Holocaust denier, and supporter for terror group Hezbollah (and world-renowned linguist) Noam Chomsky, is endorsing this airborne hatefest. Other activists endorsing the flytilla include Ronnie Kasrils, Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, and Susan Abulhawa.
It’s too early to tell if this “flytilla” will be as big a flop as the recent Global March to Jerusalem (GMTJ) that promised two million participants but only achieved a few hundred. Activists are supposedly coming from all corners of the world including the United States, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and plan to visit Bethlehem before traveling to other Palestinian-controlled cities. While GMTJ was organized by Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, and elements from Iran, Air Flotilla 2 is organized by the Palestine Justice Network (PJN), various Palestine NGO’s, civil society groups, and “Palestine Solidarity” groups based mostly in Europe, with the Scottish Palestine Solidarity group playing a prominent role. Oh – and don’t forget the state-supporter of terrorism, Iran.
Just last year, PJN launched a campaign called the “One State Initiative” which rejects the internationally accepted two-state solution in order to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. In short, PJN’s goal is to dismantle the Jewish state and end Jewish self-determination. I can’t help but wonder what the 50+ majority Muslim countries in the world would do if constant international delegitimization efforts like flytillas, marches, flotillas, Grad missiles, product bans and other targeted hate campaigns were launched against their country for being Muslim.
Israel plans to handle this upcoming threat the way they’ve managed others in the past. Israeli police and security forces are gearing up to prevent activists from causing a disturbance at the airport. Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch emphasized airport security will exercise restraint while maintaining order. Nonetheless, there is cause for concern because it’s expected to be one of the busiest travel days as it coincides with the end of Passover in Israel.
Israel’s efforts to stop the first “flytilla” in July 2011 prompted many European nations to stop activists from boarding their flights. Hopefully the same will happen this year.
Sadly, I remember when planes and boats were reserved for travel and leisure, and marches were for parades. I don’t know about you, but this Sunday I’m spending the entire day on a fossil dig with my family. Here’s to wishing the flytilla activists placed more emphasis on their families and less time undermining Israel.
For more facts on the flytilla and its organizers, visit our friends at CIF Watch.