A ship of fools

David Cumin, Juliet Moses and Paul Moon write:

The sovereign integrity of states is one of those building blocks on which the modern world operates.

 It is a guiding tenet of international law, and one of the founding principles of the United Nations.

In the case of Israel’s protection of the waters on the southern end of its country, these principles are confirmed by the Oslo Accords and more recently by the UN Security Council.

So when a New Zealand politician openly and unashamedly decides to violate international law and another country’s sovereignty for the sake of a media stunt, that act will inevitably reflect poorly on that politician, the party they represent, and sadly, even on our Parliament.

What made matters worse in this case was that the politician concerned – Green MP Marama Davidson – participated in a breach of Israel’s sovereignty for no apparent purpose. When the protest ended more mundanely than expected, she was forced to resort to melodramatic language to dramatise events.

Ms Davidson described the Israeli Navy’s female crew taking her and the other activists to safety as a “kidnap,” and herself as a “hostage.”  Both terms are wildly inaccurate, and seem designed more to achieve provocation than reconciliation.

As I understand it the activists were treated wonderfully. They were even asked as they were departing if they had any complaints over their treatment, if the food was good enough etc – almost like a Trip advisor review. And Marama even had Israeli taxpayers pay for her flight home.

Women do suffer in Gaza, at the hands of the governing power  Hamas, an Islamist organisation.

But Hamas’ honour killings, persecution of gays, genocidal charter, and state-sanctioned misogyny do not rate a mention by these activists on the “women’s peace boat”.

Of course not.

Nor does Egypt’s stricter blockade of Gaza.

What many don’t realise is that while there is a total blockade by sea, there is regular passage by land. Thousands of trucks every week go into and out of Gaza. The only thing is they pass through a security checkpoint where it can be verified they are not smuggling guns etc.

The “peace activists” include a woman who created a video game that encourages kids to shoot as many Israelis as they can and another who accused Israel of orchestrating the recent terrorist attacks in Munich and Nice. Are these aligned with Green party or Kiwi values?

Now Kiwi values.

There was no aid on board.

This is something not publicised much. The boat had no aid or supplies on board at all. It was just an expensive PR stunt that backfired.