On Monday June 29 Free Gaza's latest ship of fools, "Spirit of Humanity" set sail from Cyprus with a false ships manifest, listing its destination as Egypt. That was just the first in a series of lies.
The next lie was sent via press release from spokesperson Greta Berlin: claiming the ship "carries three tons of medical aid, children's toys, and rehabilitation and reconstruction kits for twenty family homes.", in direct contrast with their twitter account which stated "We left this morning, one boat, 21 passengers, 20 olive trees, one symbolic bag of cement" .
The boat was intercepted by Israeli authorities and an immediate cacophony of emails and press releases were sent out calling for a phone and email blasts to Israeli and American officials. The squeals invariably had the theme " Free the 'kidnapped peace activists' who are just trying to give hope to the starving children of Gaza"
The reality is there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza, and there are no starving children. Aid continues to flow through the crossings. This year alone over 366,282 tons of aid and over 45.693 million liters of fuel have been delivered to the Gaza Strip. Just last week, 674 truckloads (16,323 tons) of humanitarian aid were transferred to the Gaza Strip via the Kerem Shalom cargo terminal and the Karni conveyor belt. In addition to food, medicine and hygiene products, games, basketballs and balloons, trampolines and swimming pools, generators, air-conditioning accessories, clothing, shoes and hats, chairs, mattresses and Styrofoam cups; and raw materials for paper production were all transported into Gaza.
Basketballs and balloons. Swimming pools and trampolines. Oh those brutal and genocidal Israelis!!! Oh, those poor suffering Gazans!
If there is no humanitarian crisis why is Free Gaza working so hard to open the sea route to Gaza? Its certainly not cost effective to transport 20 trees this way. Could it be perhaps that its getting harder and harder to smuggle Iranian weapons via land? Its so much more efficient to go the sea route, if only those pesky Israelis would stop defending their borders. Could Free Gaza be trying to smooth the way for a new Karine A?
In 2002, Israel intercepted the Gaza bound Karine A at sea with 50 tons of Iranian and Russian-made weapons - long-range Katyusha rockets and mortar bombs, LAW anti-tank missiles, Sagger anti-tank missiles, mines, sniper rifles, ammunition and more than two tons of high explosives hidden in a cargo of rice, clothes and toys. Sound familiar?
The sad reality remain that until there is a true and lasting peace, checkpoints save lives on both sides of the conflict. And saving lives should be our priority. We all look forward to a day with out the threat of violence, of open borders and crossings. But until the day comes when Israel can live in peace, she needs to live with security. And Israel must control her own borders.