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Flytilla Grounded by Typical Israeli F*ckery

As a former Knesset Member wrote today…

…”Today is a black and shameful page in the history of the State of Israel. The massive aggressive play staged today at Ben Gurion Airport, the hundreds of police flooding the terminal, the systematic hunt for every traveler who dared to openly admit being headed to Bethlehem, as if this was the most horrible of crimes, the hysterical assault on a handful of Israeli peace activists who dared to express a dissident opinion, the worldwide campaign of pressures and threats to make airlines cancel the flights of hundreds of passengers. Had the government set out to exhibit to the world the image of an ugly Israel – oppressive, aggressive, nationalistic, tolerating no criticism – then today was a huge success. But if they had wanted to corroborate the assertion that Israel is “the only democracy in the Middle East”, the government’s conduct conveyed the very opposite message. The government’s “victory” over the the international activists was the very epitome of a pyrrhic victory…

What truly surprised me was the sheer extent of the collusion between the individual European Govt’s(local and federal), the Airlines, and, Israel…

‘Flytilla’ detentions spark fury

…But Israel vowed to prevent their entry, warning airlines they would be forced to foot the bill for the activists’ immediate return home in a move which saw many carriers toeing the line.

With airlines cancelling at least 300 passengers’ tickets, scores of activists staged angry demonstrations at airports in several European capitals.

At Brussels airport, protests erupted after at least 100 French and Belgian nationals were unable to board flights with Brussels Airlines, Lufthansa and Swiss Air.

In Geneva, several dozen activists held an angry demonstration after around 45 people out of a group of 70 who had been planning to join the campaign were barred from boarding an easyJet flight.

Scores of activists also protested at Charles de Gaulle in Paris, where airport sources said 90 passengers had been prevented from boarding boarding Lufthansa and Swiss Air flights for Tel Aviv.

Flanked by dozens of anti-riot police, they marched up to the Lufthansa counter to demand an “official written statement” as to why they had not been allowed to fly.

At Istanbul airport, another 50 activists were stranded after Turkish Airlines reportedly refused to allow them on board, Anatolia news agency reported.

In Vienna, Austrian Airlines said five passengers were barred from flights to Tel Aviv, and in Rome, Alitalia turned back seven Italian activists, press reports said.

Air France and two British budget carriers, Jet2.com and easyJet, also barred an unspecified number of passengers, with easyJet confirming it had prevented activists from boarding Israel-bound planes from both London and Switzerland.

Despite its diplomatic campaign to pressure European carriers not to allow activists to board flights for Tel Aviv, Israel deployed hundreds of police at its main international airport with orders to “exercise restraint, but to intercept any troublemakers.”

All of Sunday’s arrests took place far from the whirring cameras with police detaining 33 French nationals, two Spaniards, two Italians, one Swiss national, one Canadian and one from Portugal as soon as they landed.

Of that number 27 French nationals were refusing to board planes back to France, immigration spokeswoman Sabine Haddad said, saying they would be “transferred to a detention facility.”

The rest had either already been deported or would be sent back later in the day, she said.

Police also arrested another six Israelis and a French national, who were already in the country, for disturbing the peace at various locations in and around the airport.

Not a single protester was identified passing through the main arrivals hall at Terminal 3, an AFP correspondent said, although two protesters from outside the airport who held up signs reading “Free Palestine” were quickly hustled away by police…

Seriously, why are the ‘local’ authorities so hyper-responsive to Israel’s idiotic demands…?

Consider this little factoid… Israel didn’t have grounds to bar entry of 40% of ‘fly-in’ protesters..

…Forty percent of the non-Israeli citizens who were blacklisted and not permitted entry into Israel on Sunday were kept out even though the Shin Bet security service had no concrete information showing they were connected with so-called fly-in protest. This information comes from a high-ranking Israeli source with knowledge of the blacklist, who added that the Shin Bet also had no solid grounds for believing that 470 of the 1,200 people whom Israel labeled as “pro-Palestinian activists” intended to do anything illegal.

We put people on the list who are as far removed from anti-Israel political activity as east is from west,” one Foreign Ministry official said. “We have insulted hundreds of foreign citizens because of suspicions, and have given the other side a victory on a silver platter.

To add insult to injury… Dear activist, first solve the real problems of the region’… Talk about Chutzpah…!

*gah*

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