Israeli commandos board ship to Gaza and direct it to Israel

crew on estelle
Crew of the Estelle, October 19, 2012. (Photo: ShiptoGazaSE/Facebook)

This morning at 10:15 am Jerusalem time masked Israeli commandos boarded the Estelle, a Gaza-bound aid ship, and rerouted the passenger vessel to Ashdod Port in Southern Israel. Dror Feiler a Swedish-Israeli representative on the Ship to Gaza Sweden said the ship was “attacked” while in international waters and was surrounded by six armed vessels. However Israeli authorities are disputing the location of the ship, contending it was within Israel’s marine space.

Screen shot 2012 10 20 at 2 02 30 PM
Unconfirmed photograph of the Estelle during the raid by the Israeli military [text on the original]. (Photo: ShiptoGazaSE/Facebook)

“Our cargo consists of footballs and cement and musical instruments and children’s books,” said Mikael Löfgren, a spokesperson for the Estelle who is unable to make contact with the aid ship at this time. Speaking to Al Jazeera English today Löfgren said he fears the passengers will be towed into the Israeli port without their consent and then charged with illegally entering the country, as was done in 2010 to passengers aboard the SV Mavi Marmara during a raid when Israeli soldiers killed nine peace activists.

The Israeli army confimed in a statement that the activists were being taken to an immigration facility at Ashdod but did not indicate if they would be criminally charged:

When the passengers made it clear that they would not cooperate or accept the invitation to sail to the Ashdod Port, it was decided to seize the vessel and lead it to the Ashdod Port.

Pre-recorded message from Jim Manly, former Canadian member of parliament and retired minister, released today on October 20, 2012 after organizers lost contact with the Estelle.

The Estelle, sailing under a Finnish flag, departed from Sweden earlier this year in June. Before heading for the besieged Gaza Strip the ship, carrying 3o international activists including members of European parliaments, stopped in 20 European ports that included cargo inspections.

Screen shot 2012 10 20 at 1 31 56 PM
Israeli activists protesting on the beaches of Ashdod. (Photo: Yael Marom/Facebook)

In response to the raid of the aid ship, Israeli activists have gathered at the Ashdod Port to protest the Israeli military and the six-year siege of the Gaza Strip. For the latest updates from the Ship to Gaza Sweden see @ShiptoGazaSE.

About Allison Deger

Allison Deger is the Assistant Editor of Mondoweiss.net. Follow her on twitter at @allissoncd.
Posted in Activism, Flotilla, Gaza, Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, Occupation | Tagged

{ 48 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. talknic says:

    Keeping it in th’ news …. drip drip drip … bravo!

  2. American says:

    This isn’t surprising, happens every time.
    Least they didn’t kill anyone this time…maybe they learned something from their attack on the MM.

  3. pabelmont says:

    Illegally entering Israel? As if their desired destination, Gaza, were part of Israel? As if Gaza’s waters are Israel’s waters? Hunh?

    Reminds me of the time that an airplane was forced to land in the USA by bad weather and a Canadian, who had no intention of traveling to USA, was taken off the plane, arrested, deported [to Syria I think] for torture, etc. Why? In part, because he was on American soil — even though he had not come through the immigration barrier.

    Beware the strong arm of anyone who has one. And forget “the law”.

    • seafoid says:

      Israel and the diaspora Zionist leadership don’t recognise the occupation.

      link to haaretz.com

      “If the minister had been present he would have understood that the SAJBD (South African Jewish Board of Deputies) and SAZF (south African Zionist Federation) are not opposed to the use of labeling, but object to the technically incorrect use of the term ‘occupation’.”

      Gaza is part of Erez Israel. It’s the only part of the country where Israel controls how much everyone eats.

    • Rusty Pipes says:

      As if the natural gas off of Gaza’s and Lebanon’s coasts were Israel’s alone to be able to exploit.

  4. amigo says:

    If they (Commandos ) are carryi9ng out a perfectly legal manouver then why the Masks.

    I guess Israel masks it,s every move as part of it,s Zionist culture.

  5. amigo says:

    Why the masks????.

    Afraid your brave commandos will be recognised at some Airport when attempting to leave the scene of their crimes.

    • karendevito says:

      Without the masks, it would be clear that they are just kids. Those baby faces are just not intimidating enough. Still, if it was like the last time, they probably stumbled over each other as they tried to act tough. It would be comical if they did not have lethal weapons pointed at the passengers’ heads.

  6. Dutch says:

    Here is a press release by Gush Shalom:
    link to zope.gush-shalom.org

    Note the ‘attempt to illegally enter Israel’.

  7. AlGhorear says:

    While reading about the Estelle yesterday, I came across this tragic story about a young Gaza mother who is dying of breast cancer because the cancer medication she needs is on the banned list.

    Link to The human consequence of the blockade. A true story by the pediatrician Henry Ascher

    “As a pediatrician and a professor of public health, I strive against elements that limit people’s right to health. In Gothenburg, this primarily means dealing with increasing social inequalities, ignorance concerning the needs of refugees and child refugees and limitations of the right to medical treatment of people not possessing identification papers. In other parts of the world, people are dying as a result of political decisions.

    Let’s call her Mona. She is 32 years old and a mother of 2 young children. She discovers two lumps in her breast. Soon she finds out that she has breast cancer. She gets an operation and begins chemotherapy—cytostatics—to kill the remaining cancer cells. She undergoes two treatments and, aside from the usual side effects of chemotherapy, everything goes well.

    That’s when the problems start.

    At the hospital there is no medicine left and there isn’t any to be found anywhere else. Why? Mona was born and lives in Gaza. Along with 1.6 million other people, most of whom are children, she lives on a small strip of land which is less than one third the size of Öland. For more than five years, Mona and all Gazans have been living under a land and sea blockade enforced by Israel. The import of goods is very restricted and many items are not allowed in at all. Essentially all exports have been halted.

    For Mona this has become a question of life and death. She must receive cytostatics in the right amount at the right time in order for her healthy cells to have enough time to regenerate between treatments without the cancer cells having time to spread. She applies to have treatments at a hospital in Israel. Her application is approved and she applies for a permit to cross the Gazan border into Israel. When the day for her treatment arrives, she still has not received her permit to enter Israel. After the hospital puts some pressure on the Israeli authorities, Mona gets her permit some weeks later, but by that time her appointment at the hospital is long gone.

    Eventually Mona is finally able to get her third treatment, but several months too late. When it is time for her fourth treatment, the whole charade begins again. She has to wait many months before she gets her fourth treatment. Finally she gives up.

    At this point, Mona’s breast cancer should be treated with radiation, but this is impossible—not because Gaza hospitals lack the competence, but because the radio-active substances that are needed are not allowed into Gaza.

    After some months, Mona begins to get intense pain in her back. The doctors at the Gazan hospital suspect that her cancer has spread. They want to find out if they are right and to see if the new tumor can be removed, but this diagnostic examination, scintigraphy, requires a weak radio-active isotope, which Israel does not allow into Gaza.

    Mona’s story is told by Dr. Rebecka Gardell Abu Asba at a seminar about the health situation in Gaza at Karolinska University Hospital during Almedalen Week. Dr. Gardell Abu Asba met Mona during a visit to Gaza last spring. Unfortunately, Mona is not the only one in this situation. The blockade is often discussed in general political terms. It’s about terrorism, Hamas, fundamentalism and rockets. Mona’s story shows just one of the effects the blockade has on average Gaza citizens. Roughly 12,000 people have been denied travel to Israel for medical treatment. The lack of fuel is also taking a great toll on health care. Diseases also spread, because 90% of the drinking water is polluted and over 90 million liters of water a day run into the Mediterranean without adequate treatment. Why? The import of spare parts for the treatment plants is blocked.

    When the Swedish doctor Rebecka Gardell Abu Asba meets Mona in Gaza, she knows that Mona will not live much longer. She is in severe pain, but she doesn’t receive any real treatment for the pain. The medication she needs is not available, since its import is prohibited under the blockade.

    I don’t know if Mona is alive today, or if her two young children have become motherless, but I know that she might have had an 80% chance to be cured from her cancer under normal circumstances. Health care in Gaza is high quality and with modern-day breast cancer treatments, the prognosis is good.

    Mona’s story brings up many questions. Does access to cancer medicine constitute support for Hamas? Do painkillers for the dying equal support for terrorism? In what way does a block on building materials, which prevents the reconstruction of the schools and homes destroyed by Israel during Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009, reduce the risk of rocket attacks? And how can spare parts for water plants, sewage treatment plants and power plants be construed as a threat to Israel, one of the world’s strongest military powers?

    Many analysts, even in Israel, say that the blockade on Gaza has not weakened Hamas at all, rather, in fact, that it has contributed to making them stronger. The blockade has forced a tunnel economy which Hamas has reaped great financial profits from. The rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel have not stopped either.

    Repeated reports from UN agencies and others warn of a dramatic deterioration in the physical and mental health of Gaza’s children, who make up over 50% of Gaza’s population. It is in precisely this way that Israel’s blockade affects the average person in Gaza. The UN, WHO and UNICEF, along with some 50 other organizations, among them the Swedish Society of Nursing and the Swedish Association of Health Professionals, warn of the consequences of the blockade and demand that it be ended immediately.

    Mona will not survive a cancer which could have been cured. Two children will lose their mother. Israel’s illegal blockade leads to death and suffering for the population of Gaza. This is why I have been taking part in Ship to Gaza since 2010; with peaceful non-violent methods, we are working against the blockade. I intend to continue until the blockade has been lifted.

    As a pediatrician and a professor of public health, I strive against elements that limit people’s right to health. In Gothenburg, this primarily means dealing with increasing social inequalities, ignorance concerning the needs of refugees and child refugees and limitations of the right to medical treatment of people not possessing identification papers. In other parts of the world, people are dying as a result of political decisions.

    Let’s call her Mona. She is 32 years old and a mother of 2 young children. She discovers two lumps in her breast. Soon she finds out that she has breast cancer. She gets an operation and begins chemotherapy—cytostatics—to kill the remaining cancer cells. She undergoes two treatments and, aside from the usual side effects of chemotherapy, everything goes well.

    That’s when the problems start.

    At the hospital there is no medicine left and there isn’t any to be found anywhere else. Why? Mona was born and lives in Gaza. Along with 1.6 million other people, most of whom are children, she lives on a small strip of land which is less than one third the size of Öland. For more than five years, Mona and all Gazans have been living under a land and sea blockade enforced by Israel. The import of goods is very restricted and many items are not allowed in at all. Essentially all exports have been halted.

    For Mona this has become a question of life and death. She must receive cytostatics in the right amount at the right time in order for her healthy cells to have enough time to regenerate between treatments without the cancer cells having time to spread. She applies to have treatments at a hospital in Israel. Her application is approved and she applies for a permit to cross the Gazan border into Israel. When the day for her treatment arrives, she still has not received her permit to enter Israel. After the hospital puts some pressure on the Israeli authorities, Mona gets her permit some weeks later, but by that time her appointment at the hospital is long gone.

    Eventually Mona is finally able to get her third treatment, but several months too late. When it is time for her fourth treatment, the whole charade begins again. She has to wait many months before she gets her fourth treatment. Finally she gives up.

    At this point, Mona’s breast cancer should be treated with radiation, but this is impossible—not because Gaza hospitals lack the competence, but because the radio-active substances that are needed are not allowed into Gaza.

    After some months, Mona begins to get intense pain in her back. The doctors at the Gazan hospital suspect that her cancer has spread. They want to find out if they are right and to see if the new tumor can be removed, but this diagnostic examination, scintigraphy, requires a weak radio-active isotope, which Israel does not allow into Gaza.

    Mona’s story is told by Dr. Rebecka Gardell Abu Asba at a seminar about the health situation in Gaza at Karolinska University Hospital during Almedalen Week. Dr. Gardell Abu Asba met Mona during a visit to Gaza last spring. Unfortunately, Mona is not the only one in this situation. The blockade is often discussed in general political terms. It’s about terrorism, Hamas, fundamentalism and rockets. Mona’s story shows just one of the effects the blockade has on average Gaza citizens. Roughly 12,000 people have been denied travel to Israel for medical treatment. The lack of fuel is also taking a great toll on health care. Diseases also spread, because 90% of the drinking water is polluted and over 90 million liters of water a day run into the Mediterranean without adequate treatment. Why? The import of spare parts for the treatment plants is blocked.

    When the Swedish doctor Rebecka Gardell Abu Asba meets Mona in Gaza, she knows that Mona will not live much longer. She is in severe pain, but she doesn’t receive any real treatment for the pain. The medication she needs is not available, since its import is prohibited under the blockade.

    I don’t know if Mona is alive today, or if her two young children have become motherless, but I know that she might have had an 80% chance to be cured from her cancer under normal circumstances. Health care in Gaza is high quality and with modern-day breast cancer treatments, the prognosis is good.

    Mona’s story brings up many questions. Does access to cancer medicine constitute support for Hamas? Do painkillers for the dying equal support for terrorism? In what way does a block on building materials, which prevents the reconstruction of the schools and homes destroyed by Israel during Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009, reduce the risk of rocket attacks? And how can spare parts for water plants, sewage treatment plants and power plants be construed as a threat to Israel, one of the world’s strongest military powers?

    Many analysts, even in Israel, say that the blockade on Gaza has not weakened Hamas at all, rather, in fact, that it has contributed to making them stronger. The blockade has forced a tunnel economy which Hamas has reaped great financial profits from. The rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel have not stopped either.

    Repeated reports from UN agencies and others warn of a dramatic deterioration in the physical and mental health of Gaza’s children, who make up over 50% of Gaza’s population. It is in precisely this way that Israel’s blockade affects the average person in Gaza. The UN, WHO and UNICEF, along with some 50 other organizations, among them the Swedish Society of Nursing and the Swedish Association of Health Professionals, warn of the consequences of the blockade and demand that it be ended immediately.

    Mona will not survive a cancer which could have been cured. Two children will lose their mother. Israel’s illegal blockade leads to death and suffering for the population of Gaza. This is why I have been taking part in Ship to Gaza since 2010; with peaceful non-violent methods, we are working against the blockade. I intend to continue until the blockade has been lifted.”

    It’s criminal for Israel to deny her the cancer drugs that could have saved her life and the pain medications that could have eased her suffering.

    • AlGhorear, thanks for the link. when i was in gaza we toured the hospitals and spoke with hosptial administrators and doctors. they have whole rooms full of equipment without the necessary electricity or parts to service them or the radio-active substances mentioned. really, just whole wings of hospitals crammed with equipment they cannot use. it’s really cruel. to etthis kind of treatment they have to travel and get approval from israel and rely on israel…if they are lucky. it’s horrible.

      also, i thought i’d mention it’s best to link and blockquote a few paragraphs. just letting you know in case a comment like that gets blocked in the future. try posting again with less text. especially if it’s an msm source because it is against fair use policy and MW policy. it also drives traffic to sites we like to support when people want to read the rest link to shiptogaza.se and in general is just not good policy to publish others work without permission.

    • seafoid says:

      That is dreadful. And to think of the rabbis who gave their blessings to Cast Lead .

    • elephantine says:

      Makes me sick to my stomach.

  8. AlGhorear says:

    Sorry, I didn’t realize that article was so long. Should have just posted an excerpt.

  9. AlGhorear says:

    Thanks, Annie. I posted my comment about it being too long before I saw what you wrote.

  10. Les says:

    Here’s a comment on Raw Story’s report:

    Even the Nazis protected their concentration camps equally jealously making sure no help ever reached their captive starving Jews.

  11. sad that the government of Gaza manages to “import” so many things …but not the needed medications.

    sounds almost like one of those stories that point out the adverse consequences and evils of war.

    • Inanna says:

      How do they import radioactive isotopes for medical use? Or the types of chemotherapy and radiation medicines for treating cancers? Or high-schedule narcotics? Do you even know the type of security and restrictions to access there are on these goods? As for spare parts for sewage and electricity equipment, yeah, those things just fall off the back of a truck. If you look into what gets smuggled through the tunnels, it tends to be more accessible goods like food, basic non-prescription meds, fuel, motorbikes, cement, basic consumer goods etc.

      The stupidity of your comments is only exceeded by your lack of compassion for the suffering of Gazans and your need to defend the indefensible when it’s done by Israel.

    • AlGhorear says:

      @more progressive says “sad that the government of Gaza manages to “import” so many things …but not the needed medications. sounds almost like one of those stories that point out the adverse consequences and evils of war.”

      No, it sounds like the unending cruelty of the Israeli government that practices collective punishment against the population of Gaza. The Gaza government doesn’t control any of its borders and is completely at the mercy of the government of Israel who is blocking these life saving cancer drugs, diagnostic equipment and pain medications from entering Gaza, in violation of its duties as an occupying power. Just count it among the growing number of Israel’s crimes against humanity.

  12. jon s says:

    The Estelle should have been boarded and searched, to make sure it wasn’t carrying arms . Once it was known to be “clean” , it should have been let through.
    Today’s stunt reflects back on the Marmara incident. Had the activists on the Marmara been non-violent, like those on the post-Marmara boats, including the Estelle – no one would have been hurt.

    • Nevada Ned says:

      The activists on the Mavi Marmara were non-violent. But the Israeli terrorists (“commandos”) were violent, killing nine activists, one of whom was a US citizen.

    • Inanna says:

      I’ll just put aside the fact that international law was violated by Israel here, as well as your contentious recounting of what happened on the Marmara. I’ll just say that if Israel is so scared by a bunch of ageing hippies on an old boat carrying coloring books, that tells me that Israelis are not too confident about their experiment in massacre, expulsion and theft, particularly at the time when Jews have become a minority between the river and the sea. Oh that demographic bomb is exploding.

      • piotr says:

        This is broken windows theory. First you allow unauthorized coriander or coloring books. Then you will be getting a boat after boat after boat and suddenly Hamas will be as well armed as Hezbollah! A calamity!

        So letting Estelle through would be a mortal danger to the Jewish nation because it could create a threat as horrible as Hezbollah! And how horrible Hezbollah is? They sent an unarmed drone.

        To understand the latest calamity you should follow Hazbarah a bit and everything is clear. To chief asset of Israel is it moral superiority, which is measured as a ratio: shit done / shit that could be done. For example, during the last war in Lebanon Israel was vastly superior because it was PULLING PUNCHES and Hezbollah did not. Moreover Israel could NUKE THEM and make PARKING LOT. Which it did not!

        How Hezbollah has the ability of striking any target in Galilee and further, and according to Hasbarah, it hid missiles in thousands of private home. Presumably, many thousands of misslies. And yet it sends an unarmed drone. Unarmed drone activates the rule and reveals moral superiority of Hezbollah. And now imagine Iran having nukes and not using them. Moral parity! (Nukes = weapons of massive moral superiority.)

    • jon s says:
      “The Estelle should have been boarded and searched, to make sure it wasn’t carrying arms.”

      Agree! Just to make sure no atomic bombs were about to be smuggled!!!
      You Israel apologists guys are more like caricatures. You don’t even realise how distorted you are.

    • Rusty Pipes says:

      Right: if those Mavi Marmara passengers had not been on the deck shooting (their cameras) those brave commandos wouldn’t have had to start spraying the deck with gunfire as they rapelled down from the helicopter and then confirmed the kill with pointblank shots to the activists’ heads — in self-defense.

  13. 9 activists on the beach?
    sums up the israeli movement for peace and justice in one picture.

    there are about a hundred principled and *active* jewish israelis, dedicated to the cause.

    now i know there is fear of retribution from the state, but can anyone speak to why the ~20% arab israeli population is largely inactive, as well? what kinds of retribution does israel take, if they work on actions in “israel proper”? i know of course they would be unwise to protest in the territories of course.

  14. Shmuel says:

    The Italian activist aboard the Estelle arrived in Rome this morning, and expressed satisfaction with the assistance he was given by the Italian embassy in Tel-Aviv.

    The three Israelis aboard the boat are still in custody and scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow. They are being charged with “incitement, encouraging revolt, violating the law of disengagement and lying about cargo”.

    • Shmuel says:

      The Italian activist Marco Ramazzotti-Stockel was just interviewed on RAI News. He described the situation in Gaza (bombardment, dependence on Israel, UN report on water, open-air prison) and criticised European and Italian policy toward Israel. The interviewer noted that the Estelle was intercepted in international waters. Ramazzotti-Stockel (who was also on a previous Freedom Flotilla boat) said that violence on the part of the Israelis – apart from the interception itself, with large forces – was relatively minimal, with the exception of the 3 Israelis, who were handled pretty roughly, and a Greek activist who “was doing absolutely nothing” and was tasered 5 times.

  15. yomochai says:

    The commandos being masked is outrageous – they should have the guts to wear name badges!

  16. pipistro says:

    Cut the excuses. There ain’t no legitimate blockade. Some pirates have just seized a boat carrying humanitarian aid in international waters. And most of the western world is a bystander.
    Add this to the rest for the ICC.

  17. sandhillexit says:

    US tried this kind of economic warfare on a civilian population in Iraq for almost a decade but without the intensity and focus needed to be successful. (struggling to remember what we wanted them to do exactly, besides rise up against the dictator). Analogous in some ways to to the US version of concentration camps vs same in the hands of the properly determined. Gaza will be studied in war manuals for centuries as the best of its kind. Recognize that Americans imagine Gaza as Wounded Knee, a sort of last stand by the despairing in place both isolated and desolate. They would be shocked to know that this like taking Santa Monica and turning it into a hell hole. So who will be in charge of trying to destroy the civil life of Iran? The lackadaisical Americans or the properly focused Israelis?

  18. Shmuel says:

    Update from Nurit Peled, on the Israelis arrested aboard the Estelle:

    Today the judge dropped all the accusations against ELik, Yonatan and Reut, including the new one – knowingly assisting the enemy because the police had no proof for anything.
    Elik showed his arms that were burnt by the tyzers and Yonatan said the Europeam MPS were tyzered as well and not allowed to meet their ambassadors.
    They can hardly get any sleep and looked drained. wonderful children who fight for justice.
    The whole session was a farce.

    Who will stop this horrible regime???

    • dimadok says:

      Regime?!!! Go and vote- and don’t complain if you loose. Go and convince the public in Israel- and don’t ask for foreign money and mouthpieces. Forget your morning coffee and start talking to general public, instead of high browed speeches.

      • Shmuel says:

        Regime?!!! Go and vote- and don’t complain if you loose.

        I believe Nurit Peled does vote, although she lives in an ethnocracy that limits her electoral choices (see “Basic Law: Knesset”); indoctrinates members of the charter ethnic group to embrace a racist and militaristic state ideology; has ethnically cleansed a good part of its potential electorate; and prevents millions of members of the “wrong” ethnicity under de facto Israeli control for nearly half a century from exercising the right to vote.

        Go and convince the public in Israel- and don’t ask for foreign money and mouthpieces. Forget your morning coffee and start talking to general public, instead of high browed speeches.

        Nurit Peled actually does work very hard to convince “the public in Israel” (not limited to Jews, of course), and “foreign money and mouthpieces” are part and parcel of Israeli politics (ask Netanyahu or “Im Tirtzu”). (I was not aware that Nurit Peled has “asked” for either, and actually refers to the three Israeli citizens on the Estelle, in her above comment.)

        As for “high browed speeches”, do you mean that people like Nurit Peled should try to manipulate public fears and prejudices like Messrs. Netanyahu and Lieberman, rather than provide rational arguments?

        • dimadok says:

          @Shmuel.
          “she lives in an ethnocracy that limits her electoral choices”- how exactly are her choices limited? She’s prohibited to vote for any particular party? Are there any parties, who deny the rights of Israel as a Jewish State being banned from participating in elections? She can vote for anyone she seems fit and no one will tell her what to do. However, the majority of VOTERS still prevail over her personal and political beliefs, making her accusations of “regime” silly and infantile.
          “As for “high browed speeches”, do you mean that people like Nurit Peled should try to manipulate public fears and prejudices”-
          I do believe that if Mrs. Peled would like to do something meaningful for a change, she would recognize that by placating the majority of people in Israel as hate-filled racists and indoctrinated mob, she does not help either her cause nor the cause of Palestinians. However, I becoming fully convinced that her actions and the actions of others “good” Israelis (by the local definitions here) are for the self-promotion and the ongoing publicity.

        • Shmuel says:

          Are there any parties, who deny the rights of Israel as a Jewish State being banned from participating in elections?

          The exact wording of the Basic Law (art. 7a) is “negation of the existence of the State of Israel as the state of the Jewish people”, but do you think the lack of such parties might have something to do with the fact that they are banned?

          However, the majority of VOTERS still prevail over her personal and political beliefs, making her accusations of “regime” silly and infantile.

          Not really, because that “majority” was achieved through 64 (or 95, or 130) years of electoral engineering, including selective immigration, ethnic cleansing, gerrymandering and apartheid. What is silly and infantile (not to mention dishonest) is to pretend that Israel is an ordinary democracy with an ordinary electoral process.

          I becoming fully convinced that her actions … are for the self-promotion and the ongoing publicity

          There couldn’t possibly be any other explanation for Dr. Peled’s activism (including the bereaved families’ circle) and scholarship, so naturally, she must be after the publicity. So obvious. How could we have missed it?

        • elephantine says:

          How is “regime” an accusation?? It’s a statement of fact.

          noun
          1. a mode or system of rule or government: a dictatorial regime.
          2. a ruling or prevailing system.
          3. a government in power.

        • eljay says:

          >> how exactly are her choices limited? She’s prohibited to vote for any particular party? Are there any parties, who deny the rights of Israel as a Jewish State being banned from participating in elections?

          Are there any parties who advocate for Israel as a secular, democratic and egalitarian Israeli state – rather than an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish state” – being banned from participating in elections? If so, her choices are being limited.

        • dimadok says:

          @Shmuel- Please explain to me how the party, which denies the Basic Laws f the State, can wish to be elected or allowed to participate in the elections to the parliament of the same state? I will go further than that- I presume that upon their election, these parties would claim salary payments from the same State and government that they do not recognize? You should learn from Neturei Karta Jews- they do not recognize State of Israel, do not vote and do not get governmental payments and services. You can’t hold a stick by both ends.
          “Electoral engineering”-it’s a fancy word indeed, except 130 or 95 or even 64 years ago there were no such ideas, just plain Jews vs. Arabs wars.

        • dimadok says:

          @eljay- She could vote for Israel Communist party (HADASH) or for MERETZ, or for any Arab-based parties( 3 in total). So here are the 5 choices-how many do you have in your country?

        • eljay says:

          >> @eljay- She could vote for Israel Communist party (HADASH) or for MERETZ, or for any Arab-based parties( 3 in total). So here are the 5 choices- …

          So, just to clarify: These five parties advocate for Israel as a secular, democratic and egalitarian Israeli state rather than an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish state”, yes?

  19. piotr says:

    Most people here are from North America and Europe, so we want to work through regimes there. Public in Israel is a lost cause.

    • dimadok says:

      @Piotr. Than leave us alone, for heaven’s sake. Deal with your intolerance and hate, xenophobia and economy. And suddenly when left alone, both Israel and Palestine will recognize, that it’s better to work together.

      • elephantine says:

        Yes, “leave us alone “… Is that alone with or without the billions of dollars in aid ? Exactly how alone do you want to be left? Or do you want to keep the money coming in – just not any strings or accountability with it?

        • dimadok says:

          @Elephantine-you may keep the change… I think without the aid Israel would be better.

        • Mooser says:

          “I think without the aid Israel would be better.”

          Oh, you do? That’s nice. Naturally, that changes the situation. Now that I know that you, “dimadok” don’t want the aid, it changes everything!

          Man, what a doofus that dimmy is!

  20. elephantine says:

    Did they have a difficult time finding any women who would sail on the Estelle? Seems odd there seems to be only a couple of women with a large group of men on that picture.