11 April '12..
Perhaps you have heard about the upcoming "flytilla" into Israel.
Israeli police expect 500-1,000 pro-Palestinian activists will try to land in Israel on 20 flights from Western Europe and Turkey throughout the day Sunday, April 15, 2012. Organizers say 2,000 people will attempt to arrive. The French delegation alone claims they will have 600 participants.
The leader of the French delegation is Olivia Zemor, 63, a well-known anti-Israel protester. She heads the group Euro Palestine and is a member of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Israel blacklisted her last July when she attempted to participate in the first (unsuccessful) "flytilla."
Zemor describes the motives of those engaging in the event:
The majority of the participants are not activists, they are people that are against the occupation. They want a free Palestine. They want Israelis and Palestinians to live in peace with equal rights. They have wanted to meet Palestinians and to go to Palestine to tell them they support their struggle for freedom.
Well, if the non-activists want Palestinians to have "equal rights," maybe they should fly into Jordan, where Palestinians face discrimination, are treated as foreigners and required to pay fees in foreign currency, making it difficult to enroll in Jordanian universities. Career options of Palestinians are limited to the private sector, access to decision making circles and state institutions is denied. Due to a law meant to limit Palestinian representation in the Jordanian parliament, as many as 1.6 million Jordanians of Palestinian descent of have been stripped of their citizenship, and with it numerous rights, including Palestinian Authority and PLO officials.
Or, perhaps the non-activists would like to "support the struggle for freedom" in Lebanon, where basic human rights are denied to Palestinians, where they are legally prohibited from high-status professions including law, medicine, pharmacy and engineering, excluded by law from owning real estate, denied civil identity registration and with it access to basic health services, education, civil, social and economic rights, registration of marriages and registration of newborns. The Lebanese army severely restricts Palestinian refugee camps where curfews are in place, where residents pass through military checkpoints, and where walls are being constructed, isolating them from their surroundings. Palestinian Arabs have been subject to arbitrary arrest, detention, and torture and denied legal representation.
And of course, if the non-activists want a "free Palestine," they should try to protest in Gaza, under the authority of Hamas, where political freedom, religious freedom and freedom of association are severely curtailed, women's rights are limited, terrorist activity is located in civilian centers transforming residents into human shields and often causing them injury and death, human rights activists are targeted, and homosexuality is a criminal offense.
It is very possible that "flytilla" participants didn’t know how to plan their trip properly because the media rarely if ever mentions the oppression Palestinians face at the hands of their Arab "brothers." Maybe Zemor and her compatriots should be asking, "Where’s the coverage?"
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