800 people, willing to spend two months at sea, so they can deliver aid to people they don’t even know

May 29, 2010 § 1 Comment

i missed this article from last week in al jazeera english.

Ten thousand tons of cargo, 800 passengers, 50 nationalities, nine vessels – one aim – to break the siege on Gaza.
(…)

There are more than 20 charities partaking in one way or another in this flotilla -activists, humanitarians, politicians from the USA to Indonesia. If Israel were to prevent these people from entering or if it were to harm or detain them, Israeli authorities could very well find themselves embroiled in diplomatic disputes with up to 50 countries.

(…)

That’s 800 people, willing to spend two months at sea, away from their friends, families, and livelihood, so they can deliver aid to people they don’t even know.

(…)Furthermore, were the Freedom Flotilla to dock in Gaza, Arab governments would be severely embarrassed. After all, if a few hundred people can break the siege and help rebuild Gaza, why can’t some of the wealthiest nations and largest armies?


Ultimately Israel is faced with two questions: does it continue its policy of collective punishment and prevent the flotilla from entering Gaza until Gazans succumb to Israeli demands? Or does it allow the aid to enter and attempt to demonstrate to the world that Israel does in fact respect human rights?

Unfortunately neither of these options bode well for the Israelis, option one for the obvious public outcry that will spill out as a result of 800 people stranded in the water. And although option two would be smarter from a public relations perspective, it would be an indirect admission by Israel that its policy of collective punishment and continued siege is flawed, not to mention illegal.

It seems Israel only has a few days left before it is to make up its mind on what could be one of its toughest tests yet. And it is posing these questions that make the Freedom Flotilla so significant.

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