Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council

The Flotilla: Much ado about very little?

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There has been a great deal written and said about the second flotilla of activists supposed to be departing for Gaza very shortly in defiance of Israel's naval blockade.

However, an internal document from flotilla organisers published by an Israeli newspaper suggests the whole event may be something of a fizzer. According to the document, the flotilla is expected in the end to carry fewer than 300 passengers - possibly much fewer.

According to the documents published by Ynet.com:

The organizers' most optimistic scenario is that there will be 292 passengers with an additional 36 journalists.

Moreover, even these numbers are probably an exaggeration because:

...it is highly likely that some of the ships will be declared unfit to sail. In addition, it is possible that the Greek government will withhold a departure authorization, making the number of participants even smaller.

Dror Feiler, a former Israeli who is one of the flotilla organisers, admitted that the number of participants is relatively low, saying "The situation isn't good..." He went on to accuse Israeli divers of having sabotaged one of the ships.

Anyway, it now looks possible - after all the ink spilled and international airtime taken up - that the whole actual "second Gaza flotilla" will end up being something pretty close to a non-event. Of course, sadly, given that the whole aim of flotilla organisers was to stage a media stunt (and not, as documented on this blog yesterday - see here and here - to bring any concrete aid to Gazans), it may not matter. By gaining lots of media attention, they've pretty much accomplished their purpose even if not a single boat ever leaves for Gaza.

 

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