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David Frum

 
How Israel’s Lawyers Stopped the Second Flotilla

by David Frum, July 9th, 2011 www.frumforum.com

Israel has deployed a powerful new strategy against the latest wouldbe Gaza flotilla activists: Bore them to death.

For three weeks, the activists aboard the lead flotilla boat, an old freighter renamed the “Tahrir,” have languished in port on the Greek island of Crete.

Greek law is very precise: Before a boat can leave port, its paperwork must be in order.

Curiously enough, militant terrorist groups such as Hamas -whose front organizations in London organized the flotilla -tend not to be very good at paperwork. By contrast, the Israeli lawyers filing applications in the Greek courts are very good at spotting mistakes. Following Greek law, the Cretan harbor authorities have again and again refused the Tahrir permission to depart.

On July 3, the flotilla activists lost patience. They disregarded local rules, and steamed out of port without the necessary permissions. A Greek coast guard vessel intercepted the Tahrir and forced it back to port.

The next day, the activists were brought to court on charges of leaving port without a permit and obstructing the coast guard in the course of its duties. (Two of the activists had descended from the Tahrir in kayaks to interpose themselves between the coast guard vessel and the freighter.)

A Greek court fined the activists 80 euros each and sentenced them to a month in jail -suspended. No drama. No martyrdom. Just another round of visits to another set of clerks’ offices. And of course -more forms to fill out.

There is something almost exquisite about the justice here. The flotilla has been organized by London-based proHamas front groups. As a terrorist organization, Hamas of course rejects the very idea of a society based on law. What more appropriate fate, then, for supporters of this Hamas project than to be tangled forever in legalities?

Only one boat of all the flotilla vessels has managed to depart Greece: a Gilligan’s Island-style motor yacht with nine activists aboard. Israeli vessels should be able to manage it without difficulty.

On Thursday, an attempted “flytilla” was defeated when 200 would-be protesters arrived at Paris airport to board flights to Israel. Lufthansa, Malev, Alitalia and other airlines regretfully informed the protesters that their names appeared on a list of persons who would be denied entry to Israel -and who would therefore have to be returned home at the airlines’ own expense. The protesters had to do their picketing in Paris instead, denouncing Charles de GaulleRoissy as “Israeli occupied territory” -quite a funny idea when you think about it.

To read more, click here:
http://www.frumforum.com/how-israels-lawyers-stopped-the-second-flotilla

 
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