May 28, 2010
In News The Israel-Palestine Conflict
Israel education group ‘StandWithUs’ to meet ‘Free Gaza’ activists at sea.The European “Freedom Flotilla” will have a surprise waiting when it reaches Israel’s southern waters this weekend. Israel advocacy non-profit StandWithUs plans to greet the European convoy with its own demonstration at sea. The organization expects the flotilla of European left-wing activists to reach Israeli waters this weekend, although their arrival has been delayed. A fleet of privately owned Israeli boats will leave the Ashdod and Herzliya marinas in hopes of surprising the European activists Friday at 1 p.m. The counter flotilla ships will be covered in “Free Gaza from Hamas” banners and boat owners will wear blood stained tee shirts, representing Hamas’s terror record. The demonstration will be funded by StandWithUs and individual donors. The organization described their “Free Gaza from Hamas” flotilla as a “counter PR stunt.” “What the other anti-Israel flotilla is doing is ignoring human rights abuses and focusing on a fake situation,” Michael Dickson, StandWithUs Israel Director, told The Jerusalem Post Thursday. Dickson believes the European flotilla cares more about hurting Israel than helping the Palestinians in Gaza. Lior Meyer, a StandWithUs Project Manager planning the counter flotilla, hopes their demonstration will show that Gaza is under Hamas siege, rather than Israeli occupation. “I hope they’re not expecting anything. When someone’s surprised by the truth it’s only a good thing,” Meyer said, claiming that few people know the nature of Hamas’s control. Dickson said that the European activists’ aid could have reached Gaza in one day instead of one week if they weren’t interested in making a publicity statement. “I think that the key thing is that this is not some fare minded mission coming in that cares for peace. Their flotilla is driven by hate rather than peace. They don’t really care about the victims who live under Hamas in Gaza and the south of Israel,” As of Thursday afternoon, five individuals volunteered their boats. Dickson predicted more individuals would join their flotilla. “If the activists had done their homework instead of believing Hamas propaganda, they would also have found out that their assistance isn’t needed. There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza,” Dickson said.