It is disheartening to read the one-sided Irish news coverage of the epic-return of the Gaza boat people after their failed effort to sail to Gaza. The return of the heroes from their great adventure.
The activist's adolescent naivety in their belief that Israel is the cause of Gaza's misery is underscored - but conveniently ignored - by Hamas' (Gaza's government) refusal to now accept the aid; hence it lies on a dock a few miles from the border in Israel, rotting.
The journey was poorly thought through; the activists were used as pawns in the war against Israel. Indeed had they reached Gaza, Hamas would have taken charge of the goods to be distributed as they saw fit. The trickle down to the average person would have been zero according to an excellently researched article in Der Spiegel on June 7 (International Donations Not Always Welcome in Gaza). 1
Lost on the activists and the 'outraged world' is the fact that Hamas, an Islamic militant group, implements the harsh rules of Islamic law with impunity in Gaza. Hamas has been busy over the past few weeks closing down non-government organizations which, according to the Irish Times on June 8, has 'targeted established civil society organizations, including women's, human rights and cultural groups.' 2
Indeed members of Hamas destroyed the UN Summer Camp where Gaza's children would have had an opportunity to learn and play together. No outrage from Ireland here though against this clear persecution of the children, women and people of Gaza by their own. Not a word.
Hamas are Islamic militants recognized as terrorists by European and the US governments. Everything that happens in Gaza is done so at their discretion; nothing goes in or out without their approval. We, the world, are quite aware of this.
Sailing goods to Gaza means Hamas receives the cargo; not the people of Gaza. Supporting Hamas is therefore the support of terrorists and, by default, of terrorism, an action that may have already landed these activists on many no-fly lists. One won't see them flying into Israel again in this lifetime, assuming of course they ever did.
Is it truly lost on these activists that their kindness of heart was hijacked to stir international tensions with Israel? Perhaps they knew and didn't care. Did they research their Turkish counterparts? Recent shifts in Turkey's Government toward Islam and Iran's influences over Hamas should have prompted them to do so. Their gullibility is disturbingly childish.
At the end of the day do these activists believe that what they participated in did any good; for anyone except themselves? It didn't. If anything it has exacerbated an already tenuous set of events and made them much, much worse. Unfortunately it would seem that they didn't care from the look of glee on their cherubic faces on their return.
What is certain is that many in Ireland - a country which hides conveniently under the blanket of neutrality - supports Islamic extremists. Extremists who have no regard - nor do they pretend to - for their own people. If the Arab countries gave a damn about the welfare of the people of Gaza they could and would have fed the people themselves through the Southern border with Egypt. But they don't, Gaza's misery is Islam's opportunity.
Hamas's goal is the destruction of Israel; that is also the goal of the Irish activists and many Irish politicians who were seen marching to protest at the Israeli embassy - a protest lead by a Hamas - an Islamic fundamentalist - flag. They hate to admit their innate prejudice against the people of Israel - their Judaphobia. A bias absorbed from the Catholic catechism. How else do you explain their activism in this one cause?
Where is Ireland's, and indeed the world's, outrage against Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Darfur, North Korea, China, Russia, the U.S., all guilty of crimes against humanity on a near daily basis? Where is the outrage against the crimes and injustices against women and children in Islamist run countries? The Irish activist's treatment at the hands of Israel was in accordance with UN guidelines; had they landed in North Korea or Iran, we would probably never hear from them again.
The stupidity is compounded in the demand for a boycott of Israel - the only socialist-democracy in the Middle East. A country where 5 million Jews and 1.4 millions Israeli Arabs live in democratic comfort; where Arab women may learn, vote and drive - benefits rarely available to them in the Arab nations.
The unspoken issue in the Middle East is fear of democracy. Oil rich Arab countries ruled by monarchies or Islamic dictatorships are deathly afraid that their people will see that democracy is an option, a way out of their miserable lives. Their rulers fear the day when the average Arab wakes up and realizes that their countries bountiful oil wealth has been stolen by a select few, while they have been kept in their place by the rules of Islam, rules rarely followed by the leaders of these country's particularly when traveling outside of the Middle East.
Selective outrage is no outrage at all. It's self-serving attention getting. Could it be that the real upside for the activists is not Gaza but the attention and self-accolades that they enjoyed on their return to Ireland?
There is a word to describe those deluded Irish activists who see themselves as the saviors of Gaza, who in reality have signed up as the new persecutors of the Jews. Fittingly it's an Irish word; gob- s---es.
1. Factionalized Hamas governance begins to resemble Fatah's (Irish Times, June 8 2010)
2. International Donations Not Always Welcome in Gaza (Der Spiegel, June 07, 2010)