By Jim Kouri
Despite the failure of the last Free Gaza flotilla to reach the Gaza Strip, anti-Israeli organizations and activists intend to continue challenging Israel with “awareness-raising” events, including flotillas, convoys and fly-ins, according to analysts at the Meir Amit Information Center, a counterterrorism think-tank.
In some instances, the behind-the-scenes presence of international networks promoting the delegitimization of Israel can be felt, while in other instances local activists organize on their own to conduct ad hoc events. There is nothing new in the tactics they plan to use, however, in some of the events the organizers are planning to apply the lessons they learned from previous failures.
The following is an initial report provided by Meir Amit to the Law Enforcement Examiner this week:
An Islamic display called the “Million Man Worldwide Caravan” to be held near the Israeli-Jordanian border is planned for November 25, 2011: The participants will gather in the Jordanian valley north of the Dead Sea. They are liable to try to march to the Israeli border, even though in such a case they may be halted by the Jordanian security forces. Their main stated goal is to emphasize the Islamic nature of Jerusalem. In addition, towards the end of November, close to the 29th (the day the UN voted in favor of the Partition Plan), there may be rallies, demonstrations and other events in various locations in the Middle East and around the globe.
Sending isolated vessels to the Gaza Strip (no specific date known as yet): Applying the lessons learned from the failure of the July 2011 flotilla to reach the Gaza Strip, the flotilla organizers have announced that they plan to use a new strategy of sending isolated vessels from various ports instead of large flotillas with extensive media coverage, like the two vessels which set sail on November 2 and approached the Gaza Strip on November 4. Their objective is to exhaust Israel and exert continuous media and operative pressure. In addition, convoys routinely enter the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing after coordinating with the Egyptian authorities.
In April 2012 protest fly-in of pro-Palestinian activists is scheduled to arrive at Ben-Gurion Airport, who will proceed to the Palestinian Authority territories: The objective of the fly-in, according to its website, is to “again challenge the Israeli policy of isolating the West Bank.” The activists will reenact their (unsuccessful) July 2011 arrival by air. It can be assumed that this time the organizers will attempt to bring a larger number of activists and will apply the lessons learned from the previous fly-in in an attempt to overcome the preventive steps taken by Israel, other countries and international airlines.
Plans made by various anti-Israeli networks around the globe whose objective is to breach the borders of the State of Israel in March 2012 to reach Jerusalem: Anti-Israeli activists plan to arrive in the Arab states bordering on Israel in convoys from countries in Asia, North Africa and Europe. Such events can take place only if the governments of the relevant Arab countries agree, which at this stage is not entirely certain.
Some of the events involve networks and activists familiar from their participation in previous anti-Israeli events. In general, in planning the events they are torn between their desire for broad media coverage to recruit as many activists as possible for impact, and the need for secrecy and keeping a low profile (as manifested by the last flotilla) to make it difficult for Israel to deploy and prevent them.
The Muslim Brotherhood, whose activists are important participants in the campaign to delegitimize Israel, is apparently involved in organizing the event on November 25. That is in spite of the fact that the movement spokesman in Jordan claim the event has been initiated by “international organizations” and “Arab organizations” to “defend Jerusalem” against Israel’s efforts to Judaize the city (Arabsolaa.com website).
Kazim Ayash, Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood activist, said that the event was “a very large popular movement directed at Jerusalem” and that its objective was to send a message that would “shock the Zionist entity” and make it clear that the Jordanians would not be silent in the face of “a deliberate, organized Israeli attack on Jerusalem” (The Muslim Brotherhood’s Al-Sabil, Jordan)