From The National Post
Terry Glavin: You don’t end war by aiding terrorists
By Terry Glavin June 3, 2010 – 1:30 pm
No, I won’t. I’m not going to pretend that this has anything to do with “anti-war” activism, or that it’s about bringing relief to the suffering Palestinians. Not going to go along with it. This is about something else. I’ve tried to make some sense of it all today in The Mark.
There’s no lack of cause to slag off Israel for the blockade. Cutting off Gaza has meant a lot of suffering among ordinary people there. But neither is there a lack of evidence that the Foundation for Human Rights & Humanitarian Relief (IHH), the Turkish charity that partnered with the Cyprus-based Free Gaza Movement to launch the flotilla, has a history of shadowy ties with some of the world’s most bloodthirsty terrorists. The IHH is openly affiliated with Hamas, and is also part of an umbrella coalition headed by Muslim Brotherhood leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who says suicide bombing is wrong except when it targets Israelis, and even pregnant Israeli women are fair game.
You have to look hard to find these facts reported anywhere unless they are presented as merely claims that Israel is making, but you will spend a much longer time looking for any reports at all that reveal just what the flotilla’s other big sponsor, the Perdana Global Peace Organization, is all about.
The New York Times disclosed that Perdana helped the Free Gaza Movement buy two yachts and a cargo ship for the flotilla, but even the Times noticed only that Perdana “describes itself on its Web site as opposed to war.”
Perdana’s founder and guiding light is the deranged former Malaysian strongman Mahathir Mohamad, who was harping on about “hook-nosed” Jews as far back as 1970. Up to the days immediately before his retirement in 2003 he was still carrying on about how “the Jews rule the world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them.”
Only a few months ago, Mohamad proclaimed that European Jews “had to be confined to ghettoes and periodically massacred. But still they remained, they thrived and they held whole governments to ransom … Even after their massacre by the Nazis of Germany, they survived to continue to be a source of even greater problems for the world.”
That is what this “anti-war” activism is about, and no amount of histrionics, excuse-making, yes-buttery or cunning public-relations work can wash the blood from their hands. Hideously self-aggrandizing revisionism cannot cover up what this spectacularly narcissistic act of moral exhibitionism was intended to conceal from the start. “This mission is not about delivering humanitarian supplies.” That’s not me talking. It’s what flotilla organizer Greta Berlin said, before the bloodbath. This is not charity. This is politics.
This is about the continuing isolation and demonization of Israel, undermining the Palestinian Authority, and strengthening Hamas – which now enjoys the support of only 16 per cent of the people of Gaza, its stronghold.
The dead are dead. Some of them got exactly what they wanted out of this – glorious death. From the Palestinian Authority daily newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida: Three of the four Turks killed in the Israeli attack on the ‘Freedom Flotilla’ bound for the Gaza Strip wanted to die as Martyrs, said their relatives and friends.
While the flotillistas pat themselves on the back, the true friends of the Palestinian cause for freedom carry on, alone. Like One Voice. Like Combatants for Peace. Like Trade Unions Linking Israel and Palestine:
We are very much aware of the ongoing suffering of the inhabitants of Gaza. We are also aware that the inhabitants of Gaza are held hostage by the terror regime of Hamas which violently took over the Gaza Strip in 2007 and uninhibited, has exerted any means to harm peace, human rights and workers supporters (including PGFTU leaders and representatives who were forced to flee to the West Bank in order to save their lives and the lives of their families) and persecute them in a brutal manner. This terror organization, whose main objective is the extinction of the Israeli State, has harmed Israeli innocent civilians and workers by firing missiles in the past ten years which intensified after the withdrawal of Israel from the Gaza Strip in 2005.
The Histadrut, whose value of solidarity is its top priority, supports the humanitarian assistance for the residents of Gaza, coordinates the access for different Confederations and unions to Gaza and ensures the success of their activity through coordination with the Israeli security forces.
This activity of the Histadrut proves that it is possible to offer humanitarian assistance to the residents of Gaza via peaceful means whose positive results yield assistance and aid that are meaningful.
The conduct of the flotilla’s organizers and their methods of action utterly contradict the cooperation and the responsibility to achieve the goal we all aspire to attain — effective humanitarian assistance for the residents of Gaza. . .
Journalist, author and blogger Terry Glavin is an adjunct professor of creative writing at the University of British Columbia and editor of Transmontanus Books. He was awarded the 2009 B.C. Lieutenant-Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence.