After 2 and a half years it’s time to to step back and reevaluate.
Taking a leaf out of Chas Newkey-Burden’s book.
Thanks for reading and a special thanks to all those who have been kind enough to support me.
I will be back later in the year.
Am Yisrael Chai
… what the F… is going on!?
The much vaunted Flotilla 2 failed to get beyond Greek waters. The Mavi Marmara, star of Flotilla 1 was withdrawn under pressure from the Turkish government and the original 1500 became only a few hundred which rapidly dwindled to nothing.
Israel actually succeeded in bringing Greece and Turkey together in preventing a confrontation at sea!
And now the ongoing aerial assault on Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, know as ‘Flytilla’ or ‘Airtilla’ has also foundered as France, the Netherlands and others prevent ‘activists’ intent on causing trouble, from flying to Israel.
Meanwhile at Ben Gurion, those who have managed to land find themselves at a remote terminal, well away from the main tourist area, and are either put on the next flight or arrested.
Israel has every right to deny entry to anyone it pleases, for whatever reason it chooses as a sovereign nation. These ‘activists’ are intent on challenging Israel’s sovereignty, not helping Palestinians.
You can find it in their rhetoric; they are flying to ‘Lyd’ airport in ‘Palestine’. Get it? Israel is Palestine. They are not coming to protest blockades, sieges or occupation, they are coming to delegitimise Israel itself.
Those taking part in both fiascos are a bunch of self-righteous hypocrites. They wouldn’t even allow their so-called fig-leaf humanitarian aid to be shipped to Israel and then taken by the Israelis into Gaza.
They came intent on breaking one blockade and then ended up having to contend with two as the Greek port authorities blocked their departure or chased them as they tried to slip away.
There was even the irony of Gazans staging demonstrations against the Greek blockade.
Following the hashtags #flotilla2 and #flotilla or #freedomfllotilla required enormous will power not to put two fingers down one’s throat one minute and the same two fingers at their tweets the next.
All sorts of hilarious conspiracy theories floated like so much flotsam to the surface of the twitosphere: The Israelis bribed the Greeks who needed the money; the Israelis had sabotaged two boats even though the Turks, of all people, denied this; the Greeks had to do what the EU wanted because of their debt crisis; yada, yada.
They convinced themselves that the Greek people were with them and their government had been suborned by those dirty Zionists.
They are a bunch of whining hypocrites. They fly into the only country in the region that tolerates free speech, almost to the point of stupidity, to try to prove that Israel is an apartheid state. Then they act in a way, and with a declared intention, that guarantees they will be expelled or arrested or both so they can whine a bit more about how Israel is a ‘police state’ not a ‘true democracy’, and closes down free speech. You get the idea? They are excrement-stirrers.
This is an extension of the assault on Israel’s borders on the ‘Naksa’ demonstrations in the Golan. Let me repeat: they are coming from foreign countries to demonstrate, demonise and delegitimise the state. Why should they be tolerated? Which country would tolerate this?
Let me see them fly into Lhasa not Gaza and see what happens. Let them try to fly to Grozny. Let’s see how much luck they have in Damascus or Beirut or Alexandria.
The irony is that Ben Gurion in Tel Aviv is one of the few places where they know they are safe to fly to because they know, despite their declarations, that Israel is not a police state, that it will not treat them as harshly as other states. They pretend to be brave but they are really cowards.
There is a tremendous feeling in the pro-Israel community that this time Israel used diplomacy well and played the activists’ game better than they did. No-one has been hurt, let alone killed; no real confrontation and best of all, the flotillards have gone home (well apart from a small boat that evaded the Greeks) as sick as a Captain Flint.
Yes, the futile flytillaniks still arrive at Ben Gurion as dozens continue to be killed in Syria every day.
Here are some others’ views of this week’s events:
Stephen Pollard on CiF in the Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jul/08/gaza-flotilla-israel-diplomacy
even better from Israel’s perspective, the attempt at a second flotilla has prompted the arrival of a new ally: Greece. The Greek coastguard has been vigilant in intercepting three would-be flotilla boats and watching the remaining seven in Greek ports. Last week, IDF helicopters were part of a large military exercise with the Greek army, after which Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu thanked Greek PM George Papandreou for all his help.
Some activists have responded with pure antisemitism, arguing that the impoverished Greeks have caved in to Israel’s financial power.
The Greeks’ behaviour has not escaped Erdogan’s notice and has resulted in a form of bidding war between the two leaders to help Israel stop the flotilla. As a senior IDF officer told the Jewish Chronicle this week: “We will make peace with the Palestinians long before the Greeks and Turks resolve their differences.”
Emanuele Ottolenghi in the Commentator http://www.thecommentator.com/index.php/article/292/gaza_flotilla_flops
He speculates about why Flotilla 2 has failed where Flotilla 1 succeeded. He puts Turkey at the centre of the reasons for failure:
With Turkey unwilling to play along and a coming UN report endorsing Israel’s blockade as legal, the Greek government similarly had enough cover to go after the boats and their activists. If the blockade is legal for the UN, blocking the flotilla in Greece is just as legal.
And he also notes elements of anti-Semitic canards in the flotillards pathetic excuses:
Angry flotilla participants have variously blamed the Greek government for preventing their departure – with one activist bordering on the usual anti-Semitic imagery and saying that Greece caved in to Israel due to its economic circumstances.
The idea that helping Israel against the flotilla could bring financial respite to the Greek economy is ludicrous – Israel would have to single handedly control the IMF, the World Bank and the European Investment Bank– and possibly the Bundesbank too – in order to deliver the additional help that Greece may need to avoid default.
That this idea was voiced at all reveals the activists’ conspiratorial mind set.
Yes, folks. The blockade of Gaza is legal. The UN says so. And if the flotillards want to ignore the UN they can’t accuse Israel of doing the same without an enormous dollop of hypocrisy.
Which is exactly their position.
This is a cross post by Dr Rivka Shpak Lissak first posted at her RSL website.
This is a short cri-de-coeur from an Israeli academic and writer. Of course, there is a lot more to these activists than their hypocrisy. They are ideologically driven to destroy Israel and replace it with another failed Arab state.
True activists with genuine humanitarian objectives should be entitled not to be told to ‘go home’ as Dr Lissak angrily advises the flotillards. These were not humanitarians, these people are politically motivated, self-righteous, useful idiots who will be the first to be thrown off the tops of buildings if their beloved Hamas were ever to have control of ‘Palestine’.
To All the So Called “Human Rights Activists”
Did You Solve All the Problems At Home That You Have Started Telling Us How to Solve Ours?
People from France, Britain, Sweeden, Norway, USA and other Western Countries have formed organizations with the intention to join the Palestinians in their campaign against Israel, blaming Israel for the situation in Gaza and the West Bank.
If these people are so eager to help solve the Israeli- Palestinian conflict, they should hear both sides before making up their minds.
Did they come to Israel to learn about its society, to meet people of different views about the conflict?
How can they be so sure that they have all the information if they never even tried to listen to the Israeli side?
But above all:
Have these people solved all the problems of their own societies that they can come to the Middle East to advise us how to solve our problems?
What about the Muslims who live in European countries? Are all the socio-economic and other problems solved?
What about the socio-economic problems of the lower classes in the USA and Canada?
What about the minorities in these countries? Are all their problems taken care of?
It’s very easy to be a “human rights activist” telling others what they should do. It’s easier to get involved in others’ problems than with your own.
In short, go home and deal with your own problems and let us deal with ours.
[Minor edits by RPC]
Two years ago, when I first decided to become involved in blogging and trying to learn more about Zionism, the Middle-East and Israel, I joined an online Zionist group set up by Ami.
I had just written an article in praise of one of his articles in the Jerusalem Post and this led me to find his group and to apply for membership.
His first response was to warn me that he didn’t want any ‘lurkers’ only committed activists. I bristled, sent him an angry response, he apologised, I apologised and it was only later that I began to realise what a great man he was. I was soon to discover the huge corpus of information on his websites Zionism-Israel.com and MidEastWeb.org.
Ami turned out to be a truly inspirational contact. He wrote brilliantly and his depth of knowledge and his many links to politicians and influential people made him a priceless source of wisdom. I didn’t always agree with him but my respect was boundless. He taught me a great deal over the coming months. In many ways he helped me form my own stance on the issues and he showed me that there is rarely anything black and white about the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Ami always, always told it like it was. He disagreed with many of Israel’s policies and bemoaned its inability to make its case properly in the international arena. He was never an apologist for what he knew was wrong, and he was always a champion for what he knew was right: peace and reconciliation.
I never met him. In April this year I spoke to him on the phone when I was in Israel. His first words were: “Where are you?” Not “How are you”. He was an American-born Israeli – not for him the niceties of polite conversation that I, a Brit, am used to. He really did want to know where I was because he wanted to meet me. Finding I was in Jerusalem, he replied that it was the best place to be.
Instead of discussing Israel and politics he gave me advice on how my son could get a job when he came to Israel – and it was good advice.
Ami’s slurred speech was a remnant of the stroke he had suffered months earlier. It never occurred to me that his life was so fragile.
I don’t feel I can do justice to Ami, his intellect, his genius and his humanity. I have to quote his brother’s eulogy, read by one of Ami’s sons at the funeral, and I also want to link to some magnificent tributes from those who knew him much better than I did.
Eulogy for Ami Isseroff Wednesday June 29, 2011
When Ami was born with a congenital heart problem, the doctors said he would not survive, but his mother, Batia, refused to listen and through her perseverance he was able, after several operations, to lead an almost normal life.
She always felt that he was destined for greatness. Today, she would be very proud of him. He fulfilled her fondest dreams in that he married a sweet and caring girl and had three exceptional children, Asaf, Amit and Michal.
He will always be remembered in their hearts as a loving, if irascible husband and father. But the rest of us, will remember him for his wit, intellect and unique outlook on life.
He and I shared many adventures and their retelling always brought us much pleasure.
Early on, we in his immediate family recognized his superior mental abilities as he excelled in his studies throughout high school and college. His memory was phenomenal. He played the piano and guitar as a teenager and his love of music continued throughout his life.
With Ami’s talent for writing and oral disputation, the family thought he would choose to study law. Instead, his Zionist inclinations led him to join a kibbutz in Eretz Ysrael. There, for a time, he was happy to perform socialistically heroic tasks such as driving tractors, moving irrigation pipes, feeding pigs and cleaning out their pens. Difficult as these jobs were, it was the lack of an intellectually stimulating environment that caused him to leave the kibbutz.
He couldn’t believe that at the end of the workday kibbutzniks preferred to watch television rather than have a rousing discussion on some aspect of world affairs, politics or the class struggle. Hence, he embarked on a program of graduate study in Psychology at the Universities of Jerusalem and Haifa.
It was at the University in Jerusalem that Ami met the love of his life, Ruth. Through his long and exhausting, years as a graduate student that included many disputes with his faculty advisors as well as exasperating turf wars between them, it was Ruth”s love and support that kept him from giving up and returning to the States. When the warring parties and their various factions finally agreed to award him a Doctorate in Experimental Psychology we thought that he would be offered secure employment. However, the weak economy and an excess of trained Psychologists made it difficult for Ami to find and keep a University job, despite post-doctoral training at Yale and Worcester Universities.
Fortunately, in the course of his graduate studies he had developed a number of computer skills, including the ability to write complex programs that were at the cutting edge of the technology. These skills made it possible for him to earn a living and to pursue a new vocation as a respected observer and opinion maker in the World’s media and on the internet. It was here that he found his true calling as an outspoken advocate for peace and good will between Palestinians and Israelis.
I know that Ami believed that if ever these two peoples should arrive at a state of mutual trust and respect his major life-effort would not be in vain.
With sadness and love to you all, Hadar Isseroff
I think this is so powerful and moving: http://simplyjews.blogspot.com/2011/06/ami-isseroff-rip-heart-of-real-zionist.html from someone who knew him.
I also recommend this: http://fresnozionism.org/2011/07/ami-isseroff
We often hear people say ‘He/she will be sadly missed’; in Ami’s case this is painfully true. I still feel like a guiding spirit has been taken from me.
The best we can all do to honour his memory is to carry on with renewed vigour from the inspiration we have, and will continue to receive from one who truly is irreplaceable.