Organizing is underway to bring anti-Israeli activists to Ben Gurion airport to then travel to the West Bank to support the Palestinian right of return.
It’s the latest attempt to embarrass the Israeli government in the court of public opinion.
According to the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, expatriated Palestinians, declaring refugee status, are being urged by Hamas to fly to Israel.
“Their objectives are to show solidarity with the Palestinians, embarrass Israel and raise international public consciousness for the so-called ‘right of return,'” The center says. Those behind the movement, Meir Amit says, believe that the flotilla planned for later this month designed to break the barricade of the Gaza is too narrow in scope. This demonstration has, instead, the goal of “lifting the siege from all Palestine.” the center says.
“A call was recently posted on Hamas’ main website for ‘Palestinian refugees’ to take regular commercial flights to Israel’s airports (referred to as the airports of ‘Palestine occupied since 1948′)…” the center says.
A poster calls for Palestinians to fly to Israel on July 8.
“They are supposed come from various countries around the world, including Germany,” the Meir Amit assessment says.
“After a protest at the airport, they are expected to go to Judea and Samaria for solidarity meetings with Palestinians.”
According to Meir Amit, there are 15 organizations planning the propaganda event, most of them territory-based and Palestinian. The most prominent organization is the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), which specializes in obstructing IDF activities in the territories. The ISM sends activists and volunteers from foreign countries to the weekly demonstrations in Bila’in, Ni’lin and other friction points in Judea and Samaria and its leaders hold central positions in the flotilla project.
Another flotilla of ships carrying humanitarian supplies to Israel will set sail at the end of June. And there are indications that the organizers are planning on another confrontation with the IDF for propaganda purposes. All while putting forward a moderate face to the world.
That, at least, is the analysis offered by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center.
According to Meir Amit, the organizing body, the IHH, is engaged in an extensive propaganda campaign to “glorify” the upcoming flotilla. The Turkish-based organization is, the center says, doing its best to deter the IDF from interdicting the ships when they attempt to breach the blockade.
Israel has, in the past, escorted ships to port where the cargo is investigated for weapons. Then it is permitted to enter the Gaza over land.
Israel maintains that the blockade is necessary, not to starve the people of the Gaza strip, but to ensure that humanitarian cargo doesn’t contain the makings of rockets used in daily attacks on Israel proper.
The IHH has said that there will be 1,500 passengers from more than 100 countries and 22 international organizations participating in the flotilla will consist of 15 vessels.
The Mavi Marmara will be the flagship. That’s the ship that was boarded by Israeli commanders last year, resulting in a confrontation that claimed the lives of nine activists.
Meir Amit warns against a repeat, noting that IHH leaders have been stressing in speeches its readiness to sacrifice “shaheeds” to achieve its goals and warning Israel to be prepared for a “surprise” [possibly a hint the organization was planning to send a plane to the Gaza Strip].
President Obama’s speech was met with skepticism in Iran and said to be an expression of America’s desperation and helplessness as a result of the defeat it suffered in the wake of the recent developments in the Arab world.
That according to an analysis of Iranian reaction to the speech by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center in Ramat Hasharon.
According to the center, Sa’id Jalili, chairman of the Supreme National Security Council, claimed that the speech exhibited signs of desperation, contradiction and deception on the part of the U.S. Jalili positioned the United States as the major loser over Arab Spring developments, which are a response, he argued, to the racist nature of American policy.
Meir Amit also monitored Iran’s conservative press, which, in step with Tehran, also categorically rejected Obama’s speech. While Israelis, Palestinians and Jews around the world debate how it changes U.S. policy, the Iranian press, Meir Amit says in its analysis, concludes that it reflected no altering of policy.