Palestinians: Leftist boats didn't bring any food - just lots of talk!!
So the Leftist propaganda boat project flopped. Israel got smart and let the boats through, thus defusing the antagonist's desired media spectacle.
What was even more stark was the amazing disappointment that was clear on the Gaza beach upon the boat's arrival. News reports and insider info tell of local residents in Gaza yelling at the Leftist activists in anger as they arrived on shore.
The locals were apparently extremely disappointed to find that the Leftist's so called 'peace boats' were carrying mostly elderly and tired anti-Israel activists who wanted to make their own anti-Israel political headlines using the Gazans as a backdrop - and the massive amounts of free provisions promised were nowhere to be found. The 6,000 children-sized hearing aids turned out to be less than 200 and the amount of food on board could not feed an average Gaza family for a day. What the provocateurs did bring plenty of were baloons - 5,000 baloons with "Free Gaza" and "End the Occupation" printed on them.
Though only a few dozen families were organized by Hamas to gather at the Gaza beach to "celebrate" the boat's arrival, most locals soon left in disillusioned after realizing that the much celebrated boats were a sham - a publicity stunt gone bad.
What still remains to be seen is if the United States Attorney General will act against the organizers who broke United States law during the run-up to the project (see earlier posts on this blog).
Following is YNet Story By Ali Waked
Latest Update: 08.23.08, 19:22 / Israel News
Palestinian disappointment: A Gaza activist told Ynet Saturday that local residents were disappointed by the small quantities of food brought in by two boats carrying international leftist activists.
"Many people thought these boats will make a significant contribution to break the siege, not only politically but also in terms of brining in goods, equipment, food, and medicine," he said. "However, once it turned out these boats contain too little food and mostly activists…some people left the beach disappointed."
Hundreds of Gazans reportedly received the leftist activists at the beach. A Hamas source told Ynet the initiative was proven successful, but added that "the Arab and Muslim world should draw lessons and learn from those dozens of activists, because they risked their lives at sea for the sake of Strip residents and against the siege."
The source also slammed Egypt for being "an inseparable part of the siege."
The two boats, carrying 44 international left-wing activists, reached the Gaza shore around 6:00 pm Saturday. Earlier, Israel announced that it will allow the boats to reach the Strip.
Foreign Ministry official Aryeh Mekel said Israel allowed the boats to enter Gaza in order to "prevent a media-covered provocation at sea."
"We know who's on these boats and what they contain, and therefore we'll allow them to reach shore," he said. Meanwhile, dozens of Gazans headed to sea in fishing boats to welcome the leftist activists, who includeTunisian, German, and American nationals, as well as an Israeli activist.
Earlier, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Aviv Shiron told Ynet that Israel will allow the boats carrying left-wing activists to reach Gaza.
The Foreign Ministry slammed the leftists and said that they did not deserve to be referred to as "peace activists," branding them as a "handful of provocateurs seeking a public relations stunt who initiated a political protest aimed at boosting Hamas' regime of horrors in Gaza."
"How does such delusional journey promote peace?" the Foreign Ministry added. "What kind of contribution does this journey make to the promotion of ideas of reconciliation and compromise? None."
Israeli officials noted that genuine humanitarian groups can provide humanitarian aid to the Palestinian population through existing land crossings, branding the leftist activists as "propagandists."
Earlier, Hamas Spokesman Sammy Abu Zuhri said that Israel's initial insistence on torpedoing the arrival of boats carrying international activists headed to Gaza "attests to the Israeli distress caused by this international peace initiative."
Anat Shalev contributed to the report
First Published: 08.23.08, 17:23