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TEL AVIV “FLY IN” July 7, 2011

Posted by wmmbb in Israel-Palestine.
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Much of the flotilla to Gaza is still contained in Greece, although some ships seem to be at sea.

It is not clear what the Greek Government can gain by its actions, and one assumes it is the favour of the Americans rather than the Israelis that are the major influence on its actions. Why is the American Administration so keen to support Israel and by implication the policies that have dispossessed and oppressed the Palestinian people? Israel has much to hide from the eyes of the rest of the world and to deny the voice of the Palestinians from reaching the ears of the world. Israel in this situation in this situation can only use violence, and at some point the many excuses become not merely lame lies but disgraceful human conduct.

But now there is a new approach – travel to Israel by passenger plane. Al Jazeera reports:

This Friday, July 8, hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists are planning to fly to Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport in a display of solidarity with Palestinians living in the occupied territories.

According to organisers, at least 500 people have already scheduled flights to Israel, including Palestinians that will fly from Europe, North and South America, Asia, and Africa.

The “fly in”, as organisers are referring to the action, will bring protesters to Tel Aviv where they will all arrive within a two-hour period. At least fifteen organisations are involved in the event which is timed to coincide with peaceful demonstrations and actions within the occupied territories that have been set up by Palestinians. The travellers plan to travel from the airport to the West Bank, a move that would challenge the long-standing Israeli government policy that has forbidden such movement.

“The goal is very clear, we are all fed up with being obliged to lie when we arrive in Allenby [bridge] or Ben Gurion [Airport] when visiting our Palestinian friends,” Mireille Rumeau, an organiser with the International Solidarity Movement in Paris told Al Jazeera.

“We are fed up with lying about being tourists, or coming for a pilgrimage. Now, they are all going to say: ‘we are coming to visit our Palestinian friends that have invited us.’ If they get through, there are events planned for Palestinian groups for us to take part in, as we were invited by them six months ago, and we are answering their call.”

The Israeli Security Minister describes the visitors as “hooligans” and the plan is to segregate them and send them back. As noted this stands in contrast to the treatment of Israeli air passengers who land at other international airports intending to visit people in other countries.

These might be seen as merely symbolic actions, even as demonstrations of solidarity with the oppressed, so why does Israel seem to need to set up structural barriers combined with overt violence to oppose them? After all as “the only democracy in the Middle East”, it must be familiar with demonstrations and have developed policing protocols to deal with them.

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