Flotillistas sometimes remind me of the Victorian gentry who condescended to visit the hovels of poor to gratify their self-regard and fulfil their obligations to the status quo. Sometimes they remind me of those sections of the international left intelligentsia at the time of the Spanish Civil War who toured round southern Europe socialising and seducing each other while somehow avoiding actually participating in the fight for democracy.
A few days after undertaking to mind her party’s language about Jews, Caroline Lucas was praising a party boat whose effort for Gaza was limited to sailing up and down the Thames. She said:
“It is hard not to be aware of Palestine when it’s the root of so many injustices in the Middle East today.”
Surely Caroline Lucas must have meant “perceived injustices“, referring to the way that governments of the Middle East use Palestinians to divert attention from their own failures and abuses? Because those who are at this moment fighting their governments for their rights in the Middle East could easily disillusion her that Palestine is the root of their injustices. The problems of the Middle East are of course many and diverse, including democratic accountability and governance, corruption, ethnic and religious oppression, water, the position of women in society – the list goes on.
Meanwhile Gisha, the Israeli Legal Center for Freedom of Movement which has not let up its criticism of the Israeli government since Gaza was contained, is frustrated with flotillas:
As the flotilla approaches, Gisha warns that the focus on humanitarian aid by both flotilla organizers and the Israeli government is infuriating and misleading.
“The problem in Gaza is not a shortage of food but rather a violation of the right to productive, dignified work. There is just one solution that will respect the rights of Gaza residents to freedom of movement and livelihood while protecting Israel’s legitimate security interests: Israel must lift the ban on construction materials, exit of goods and travel between Gaza and the West Bank”.
According to Mohammed Tilbani, owner of a sweets factory in Gaza: “The market for my goods in the West Bank is blocked, because of the restrictions on export, and local consumption is limited, because of the high unemployment. A factory that cannot sell its goods outside of Gaza is a factory that cannot prosper”
HT Just Journalism.