In an Op-Ed published in the Wall Street Journal today, DFM Ayalon discusses the hypocrisy behind the Lebanese flotilla to the Gaza Strip.
In an Op-Ed published in the Wall Street Journal today (July 29 2010), Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon discusses the hypocrisy behind the flotilla from Lebanon, and notes that with over 400,000 Palestinians living in Lebanon deprived of their basic rights and treated like second class citizens, it is truly ironic that a Lebanese flotilla is organizing to leave the port of Tripoli in the next few days to bring aid to Palestinians in Gaza. Furthermore, with over a hundred armed conflicts and dozens of territorial disputes around the world, with hundreds of millions around the world living in abject poverty without access to basic staples, it seems quite extraordinary that hundreds of high-minded "humanitarian activists" are spending millions of dollars to reach Gaza and hand money to Hamas that will never reach the innocent civilians of Gaza – an attitude that exposes the dishonesty of the whole flotilla exercise.
While Israel’s policy is to continue to see that all civilian needs are addressed, it cannot allow Hamas to rearm and use Gaza as a base to attack Israel and beyond. For this reason, Israel initiated a blockade, fully legal under international law. Despite this, organizations that wish to deliver goods or aid to Gaza are welcome to do so through the Kerem Shalom crossing.DFM Ayalon adds that anyone seeking to break the blockade is interested only in provocation. If these confrontational flotillas – which have nothing to do with humanitarian concerns and everything to do with delegitimizing Israel – successfully open up a shipping lane for arms smuggling, then not only will the entire region suffer, but the peace process will be endangered as well.