23 June '15..
Joint Arab List MK Basel Ghattas, who plans to join the next Gaza Strip-bound flotilla, made a big to-do Monday about not disclosing exactly where he was, telling Israel Radio's Arabic station he was "somewhere in Greece."
Asked about the nature of the sail Ghattas declined to answer, sounding as if he were taking part in a top-secret mission whose details must be kept from the hostile agents of Israel's intelligence community -- the very country in whose parliament he serves.
"So you are taking part in a flotilla whose details you know nothing about?" the interviewer insisted, alluding to the ill-fated journey by the Mavi Marmara in 2010. At this point, Ghattas reverted to savvy politician mode, saying the current flotilla was on a mission of peace, and that he had personally informed authorities in Israel, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, of his intention to join the sail.
The interview attempted to focus on recent security events and the phenomenon of Israeli Arab individuals who join the Islamic State group, but Ghattas was mostly interested in expressing his disappointment over the fact he was the only Arab MK to join the flotilla.
Already trying to capitalize on the move, which will surely affect his future ranking within the Joint Arab List, Ghattas reiterated how we should all be grateful for his determined initiative, as all he seeks to do is "breach the Israeli siege on Gaza."
Ghattas' hearing out as sea must have been impaired somehow, as the "peaceful sailor"-turned-naval commando apparently found it impossible to hear the harsh questions leveled at him by Israeli media outlets, which asserted that Hamas is a hostile entity seeking to destroy Israel, and that given that the land crossings to the Gaza Strip are open and allow the steady delivery of supplies -- including cement, which Hamas is using to build terror tunnels -- Gaza is not under siege.
The seafaring MK's response was simple, saying he was counting on the fact that Israel is diplomatically isolated in the international arena, and therefore it will not risk making the situation worse by engaging "his" flotilla, thus ensuring its success.
Ghattas further stressed that Israel will not be the one to determine what can and cannot enter Gaza, and that it is inconceivable that children in Tel Aviv would go about their pleasant lives while the victims of Israeli violence were under siege in the Strip.
What was the esteemed MK referring to? Gaza's borders were once wide open courtesy of the smuggling tunnels, but Hamas wanted to do more than transport goods underground and used them to smuggle weapons and missiles. Rather than improve Gazans' quality of life, Hamas constructed a grid of murderous terror tunnels meant to kill Israelis, including children in Tel Aviv.
It never occurred to Ghattas, not for one minute, to condemn that situation. For that matter, in never occurred to Joint Arab List MK Hanin Zoabi either, as she found Hamas' defeat in Operation Protective Edge very disappointing.
Egypt has destroyed the smuggling tunnels on its side of the border, stunting Hamas' cash and arms supplies nearly in their entirety and leaving it to rely on Israel and its harbors, though which it cannot smuggle missiles, for the supplies entering Gaza.
Ghattas simply cannot accept this situation, and when he speaks of "breaching the siege" he is echoing the doctrine preached by his counterparts in the Palestinian Authority, who speak of the "right of return." Ghattas, unfortunately, is in for yet another disappointment.