Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or, to take a chance with the vagaries of the Israel Immigration Service!
(With apologies to the Bard)
It seems that the “silly season” is starting earlier this year, as the misguided and ill informed loons of the world once again set off on their journey to nowhere.
Or, maybe, this time, most of them will not, actually, be allowed to set off. Israel was successful in preventing a second “Flotilla” fiasco last year, and also succeeded in greatly diminishing the effect of the first “Flytilla.” Now, according to media reports, Israel has submitted lists of names to those airlines selected by the new generation of “useful idiots” to be their airborne equivalent of the infamous “Mavi Marmara”, with the instruction that they not be allowed to board the aircraft.
Of course, the organisers are screaming “breach of International Law”, as if such a law actually exists, that permits people whose intention is, at the very least, to embarrass the Israeli government, to have free access to allow them to take any action they choose, after entering the country.
It is laughable that they have tried to cloak their actions as being those of simple “supporters” of Palestine, and have declared this “Palestine” to be their destination. It frequently appears to escape the attention of the world that there is no longer any such country as “Palestine”. It ceased to exist in 1948 following the creation of Israel.
A considerable number of people hold the view that neither is there such an historical entity as “Palestinians.” The organisers also seem unclear about which “Palestine” they mean. Are they referring to the state that the Arabs constantly reject in the geographical area of Judea and Samaria, or is it the “other Palestine” in what is now Gaza.
Given that the Arabs have yet to agree among themselves as to which body actually represents them, Fatah, Hamas, the PLO or the Palestinian Authority, it is hardly surprising that outsiders are confused.
It is an unfortunate fact that, in our media driven world, perception is everything. And, of course, this same media is very selective in the subjects it chooses to cover, and – insofar as matters Israeli are concerned – also very selective with the truth.
In the case of these potential demonstrators, the Israeli government is damned if it does, and damned if it doesn’t take action.
I have always argued for the right of free speech and free expression, and have suggested that these rights should have no limits. But it’s a matter of interpretation. This issue, for me, is not the right to have an opinion and to express that opinion, no matter how misguided it may be, but WHERE that opinion can be expressed.
If people wish to say bad things about Jews, Israel, or, actually, about anyone else then, as far as I’m concerned, they can. But there is a vast difference between “saying” and “doing”. When it come to physical actions, this is a totally different ball game. In this instance, considering the potential for violence that could result in death or injury to both protesters and security forces, the famous definition of American Supreme Court judge, Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. that the right to free speech does not include the right “to shout fire in a crowded theatre” seems to apply.
The control of the effects of any actions, in terms of public order, is the responsibility of the appropriate authorities in the countries of which these agitators are citizens. For example, Israel does not have any jurisdiction over how the British Police, control (or didn’t control) a demonstration outside the Israeli Embassy in London.
By this token, the “world” has no right to tell Israel (which some of us still believe to be a sovereign nation) how it should deal with threats to public order here. I don’t know why Israel is constantly having to defend itself against actions that are accepted as normal for all other states.
Controlling who may enter your country, and for what purpose, is a basic standard of every country in the world. It is so obvious that, even having to mention it is absurd. But, when Israel is involved, it seems that nothing is too absurd.
At the time of writing, it is not yet clear what will be the outcome. It has already caused the country unnecessary expense, and will cost more. I hope that a way can be found to recoup some of this taxpayer’s money from the participants and organisers.
At the very least, they need to learn the lesson that actions have consequences.
Andyboy – Telling it as it Is!
- Pro-Palestinian Activists Dismiss Israel Warning – ABC News (abcnews.go.com)
- ‘Flytilla’ Activists Planning to Defy Israeli Ban (lehitgayernews.wordpress.com)