Thursday, December 29, 2011

Human Wrongs: The Worst of Amnesty, HRW, and others in 2011

As 2011 concludes, NGO Monitor released a list (below) of the most outrageous and absurd NGO actions from the past year, demonstrating the political nature of NGOs involved in the Arab-Israeli conflict. NGO Monitor also published an op-ed in the Jerusalem Post on the NGOs' lack of preparedness in 2011 during the Arab Springs. Another op-ed appeared in JTA as a letter to Tom Friedman and Hillary Clinton, facetiously discussing the state of American democracy.

The list:
1. Amnesty International's new Israel Researcher, Deborah Hyams, has a history of radical
anti-Israel activism.

2. HRW's Sarah Leah Whitson
race-baited American Jews and ignored the embarrassment of having praised Saif-Islam Qaddafi as a human rights reformer.

3. German NGO
"Remembrance, Responsibility, and Future (EVZ)" exploited government funding designated for Holocaust reparations and education in order to join the delegitimization campaign against Israel and added to new antisemitism.

4. Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR)
condemned as "war crimes" the IDF response to the terror attack in Eilat.

5. A number of
NGOs attacked Judge Richard Goldstone after he honestly admitted the need to "reconsider" his UN report.

6. HRW appointed Shawan Jabarin to its Middle East Advisory Board, an alleged senior activist in the PFLP terrorist organization, and head of Al-Haq.

7. Members of Machsom Watch supported and
hugged relatives of the murderers of the Fogel family killers.

8. Amnesty International
defended Ittijah head Ameer Makhoul, a convicted Hezbollah spy.

9. Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP)
accused the New Israel Fund (NIF) of being an "ally" of NGO Monitor, after NIF was forced to finally end funding to the pro-BDS group.

Wikileaks revealed that NIF Associate Director in Israel Hedva Radanovitz believed that "the disappearance of a Jewish state would not be the tragedy that Israelis fear since it would become more democratic."

11. Itamar Shapira of Breaking the Silence
claimed "we are creating the terror against us, basically."
12, Kathleen Peratis, co-chair of HRW's Middle East and North Africa Advisory Committee, held
meetings with Hamas

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Panetta Shows How the Obama Administration is Selling Out Israel

Secretary of Defense Panetta Shows How the Obama Administration is Selling Out Israel and US Interests
By Barry Rubin December 4, 2011

In a major address on U S. Middle East policy U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta gave us a clear picture of the Obama Administration’s view of the region. With Hillary Clinton’s recent speech, we know the following of Obama’s policy:

It is dangerously and absurdly wrong. This administration totally misunderstands the Middle East. They are heading in the opposite direction of safety.

Despite good relations on a purely military level, the Obama Administration is not a friend of Israel, even to the extent that it was arguably so in the first two years of this presidency.
It is now an enemy; it is on the other side. Again, the issue is not mainly bilateral relations but the administration’s help and encouragement to those forces that are Israel’s biggest enemies, that want to rekindle war, and that are 100 percent against a two-state solution. And I don’t mean the Palestinian Authority, I mean the Islamists.

And the Obama Administration is also a strategic enemy of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Morocco, and Jordan. It is also a strategic enemy to the democratic opposition forces in Iran, Syria, Turkey, Tunisia, and Egypt.

In his speech, Panetta has bashed Israel based on a ridiculously false premise. Here it is: “I understand the view that this is not the time to pursue peace, and that the Arab awakening further imperils the dream of a safe and secure, Jewish and democratic Israel. But I disagree with that view.” Nevertheless, Israel needs to take risks and particularly, “The problem right now is we can’t get them to the damn table, to at least sit down and begin to discuss their differences.”

First, there is a phrase not seen used even once to describe the Middle East events of 2011, “Arab awakening” instead of “Arab Spring.” This from a new book about these events.
But what is the origin of this phrase? The Arab Awakening was the famous book written by George Antonius (subsidized by a U.S foundation to do so, by the way) advocating Arab nationalism and opposition to Zionism in 1938. The Arab Awakening began a half-century pan-Arab struggle against Israel’s creation or existence might this not give us a hint of what the new “Arab Awakening” is going to do? Oh, and 1938 marks the year when Great Britain desperately tried to sell out the Jews in order to gain Arab support (for the coming war with Germany and Italy).

Interesting parallels.
But there are three other major questions raised in Panetta’s statement.

a) does the current “Arab Awakening” imperil Israel? Yes, of course it does. By changing a reasonably friendly Egyptian government into a totally hostile Muslim Brotherhood and Salafi dominated political system closely allied with Hamas and by helping establish Islamist regimes in Tunisia and Libya allied with this Muslim Brotherhood International; this creates a 4-member group intent on wiping Israel off the map.

Add to that, Islamist domination of Lebanon by Hizballah, an Islamist regime in Turkey, and the continuing threat from Iran and you’ve got quite a regional situation.

b) Second, and more interestingly, why is the above true?
- Democracy in theory is admirable but when you have masses imbued with very radical views, strong Islamist movements, and weak moderate ones, the election winners will be extremely radical Islamists. By winning massive victories, facing a weak United States, and more extreme forces becoming so popular (the Salafists in Egypt) the Islamists are emboldened to be even more radical in their behavior. We are thus not facing a springtime of democracy but a springtime of extremism

- The Islamists don’t want peace with Israel on any terms. They want its destruction. They will not be dissuaded by a peace agreement. They will do anything possible–starting with demagoguery and ending with terrorism or even war–to block a peace
The following are governed or will soon be governed by Islamists who want Israel’s destruction and genocide against the Jews there: Egypt, the Gaza Strip, Iran, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Tunisia, and Turkey. The following are governed by those who want peace with Israel: Jordan.
Not only is the United States not opposing this development it is supporting it. In other words, U.S. policy is intensifying the threat to Israel, not helping Israel.

c) Why are there no negotiations? As the history of the issue since January 2009 shows, it is the refusal of the Palestinian Authority to negotiate with Israel. If Panetta and the Obama Administration were either wise or honest they would acknowledge this fact. Instead, they blame Israel. Once again, U.S. policy is not helping Israel.

Consequently, Panetta’s statement that Israel has a responsibility to build regional support for Israeli and United States’ security objectives is nonsense. Let me put it in the form of a lesson in logic:
· Israeli security objectives and the U.S. national interest are consistent.
· Israeli security objectives and Obama administration objectives are not consistent.
· Obama administration objectives and the U.S. national interest are not consistent.

Consider Panetta’s statement:
“I believe security is dependent on a strong military but it is also dependent on strong diplomacy. And unfortunately, over the past year, we’ve seen Israel’s isolation from its traditional security partners in the region grow.”

But why has it grown? Because of the advance of Islamist radical regimes and movements which are not tolerant of Israel’s security needs or in fact of Israel’s existence. This is the equivalent of Neville Chamberlain making the same statement in 1938 regarding Czechoslovakia

Panetta’s suggestion is that Israel should reach out and mend fences with those who share an interest in regional stability – countries like Turkey and Egypt, as well as Jordan,”
That statement is false. Israel can’t reach out and mend fences with Turkey and Egypt because they do not share an interest in regional stability. They are no longer status quo powers; they are countries that want revolutionary change in the Middle East.

Turkey today is not the Turkey of the past. Israel had good relations with Turkey when it was governed by center-right or social democratic parties. Today Turkey is governed by Islamists who hate Israel. Doesn’t Panetta understand the difference? No! Now that’s scary.

Here’s the truth: The Islamist regime in Turkey has replaced Israel as the number-one Middle East friend and advisor. And this is a government about which a half-dozen years ago Israel’s ambassador told an American counterpart (as we see on Wikileaks) that this regime hates Israel and hates Jews. That message is in a State Department cable.

What about Egypt? Well, the Obama Administration helped get rid of that security partner. And as for Jordan, it is understandably scared stiff. In the environment of Islamist advance it is trying to appease its own Islamists and is moving closer to Hamas as a way of surviving. And last month the king of Jordan said in a Washington Post interview that nobody could depend on America any more.

Panetta said, “It is in Israel’s interest, Turkey’s interest, and US interest for Israel to reconcile with Turkey, and both Turkey and Israel need to do more to put their relationship back on track,” But it is not—repeat not—in the interest of the current government of Turkey to reconcile with Israel. We saw this in the Israel-Turkey negotiations over the flotilla in which the Turkish prime minister wanted to ensure there would be no deal.

There are two more shockingly absurd pieces of advice Panetta has for Israel.
“This is not impossible [for Israel to try to mend fences]. If the gestures are rebuked, the world will see those rebukes for what they are. And that is exactly why Israel should pursue them.”
What does an Israeli audience think of when it reads this? Of the same old message from the West to Israel: make gestures, give concessions, take risks, and when they are rebuked “the world will see.” This is precisely the same advice given regarding the 1990s’ peace process, the freeze of construction on settlements, and the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. And every time the world doesn’t see. After the risk is taken (and Israel’s security suffers), and the concessions are made (and Israelis die), the world is even more critical of Israel and repeats, as Panetta does, that Israel has done nothing for peace.

These are harsh words about the Obama Administration and for those who don’t understand the current situation in the Middle East they will no doubt seem partisan, extreme, and alarmist. This is the worst tragedy of all: sadly and regrettably they are quite true.

Son of Hamas Supports Israel

In a departure of our usual format we are recommending that you view the attached video.

Although Mosab Hassan Yousef Khalil, now known as ' Joseph', is the son of senior Hamas leader, Sheikh Hassan Yousef Khalil, he became one of the most important agents ever to have worked in Israel's Shin Bet, where he was known by the nickname, "Green Prince." Green for the colour of the Islamist group's flag, Prince, because he was the son of a senior Hamas leader.

His story can be read in his book, "Son of Hamas," published in 2010. The book, originally written in English, has been translated into several languages, including Hebrew.

From Israeli Soldier on Egyptian border

From Israeli Soldier on Egyptian border

I am 25 years old, was born in Brooklyn NY, and raised in Efrat Israel. Though very busy, I don’t view my life as unusual. Most of the time, I am just another Israeli citizen. During the day I work as a paramedic in Magen David Adom, Israel’s national EMS service. At night, I’m in my first year of law school. I got married this October and am starting a new chapter of life together with my wonderful wife Shulamit.

15-20 days out of every year, I’m called up to the Israeli army to do my reserve duty. I serve as a paramedic in an IDF paratrooper unit. My squad is made up of others like me; people living normal lives who step up to serve whenever responsibility calls. The oldest in my squad is 58, a father of four girls and grandfather of two; there are two bankers, one engineer, a holistic healer, and my 24 year old commander who is still trying to figure out what to do with his life. Most of the year we are just normal people living our lives, but for 15-20 days each year we are soldiers on the front lines preparing for a war that we hope we never have to fight.

This year, our reserve unit was stationed on the border between Israel, Egypt and the Gaza Strip in an area called “Kerem Shalom.” Above and beyond the “typical” things for which we train – war, terrorism, border infiltration, etc., – this year we were confronted by a new challenge. Several years ago, a trend started of African refugees crossing the Egyptian border from Sinai into Israel to seek asylum from the atrocities in Darfur.

What started out as a small number of men, women and children fleeing from the machetes of the Janjaweed and violent fundamentalists to seek a better life elsewhere, turned into an organized industry of human trafficking. In return for huge sums of money, sometimes entire life savings paid to Bedouin “guides,” these refugees are promised to be transported from Sudan, Eritrea, and other African countries through Egypt and the Sinai desert, into the safe haven of Israel.We increasingly hear horror stories of the atrocities these refugees suffer on their way to freedom. They are subject to, and victims of extortion, rape, murder, and even organ theft, their bodies left to rot in the desert. Then, if lucky, after surviving this gruesome experience whose prize is freedom, when only a barbed wire fence separates them from Israel and their goal, they must go through the final death run and try to evade the bullets of the Egyptian soldiers stationed along the border. Egypt’s soldiers are ordered to shoot to kill anyone trying to cross the border OUT of Egypt and into Israel. It’s an almost nightly event.

For those who finally get across the border, the first people they encounter are Israeli soldiers, people like me and those in my unit, who are tasked with a primary mission of defending the lives of the Israeli people. On one side of the border soldiers shoot to kill. On the other side, they know they will be treated with more respect than in any of the countries they crossed to get to this point.

The region where it all happens is highly sensitive and risky from a security point of view, an area stricken with terror at every turn. It’s just a few miles south of the place where Gilad Shalit was kidnapped. And yet the Israeli soldiers who are confronted with these refugees do it not with rifles aimed at them, but with a helping hand and an open heart. The refugees are taken to a nearby IDF base, given clean clothes, a hot drink, food and medical attention. They are finally safe.Even though I live Israel and am aware through media reports of the events that take place on the Egyptian border, I never understood the intensity and complexity of the scenario until I experienced it myself.

In the course of the past few nights, I have witnessed much. At 9:00 PM last night, the first reports came in of gunfire heard from the Egyptian border. Minutes later, IDF scouts spotted small groups of people trying to get across the fence. In the period of about one hour, we picked up 13 men – cold, barefoot, dehydrated – some wearing nothing except underpants. Their bodies were covered with lacerations and other wounds. We gathered them in a room, gave them blankets, tea and treated their wounds. I don’t speak a word of their language, but the look on their faces said it all and reminded me once again why I am so proud to be a Jew and an Israeli. Sadly, it was later determined that the gunshots we heard were deadly, killing three others fleeing for their lives.

During the 350 days a year when I am not on active duty, when I am just another man trying to get by, the people tasked with doing this amazing job, this amazing deed, the people witnessing these events, are mostly young Israeli soldiers just out of high school, serving their compulsory time in the IDF, some only 18 years old.
The refugees flooding into Israel are a heavy burden on our small country. More than 100,000 refugees have fled this way, and hundreds more cross the border every month. The social, economic, and humanitarian issues created by this influx of refugees are immense. There are serious security consequences for Israel as well. This influx of African refugees poses a crisis for Israel. Israel has yet to come up with the solutions required to deal with this crisis effectively, balancing its’ sensitive social, economic, and security issues, at the same time striving to care for the refugees.

I don’t have the answers to these complex problems which desperately need to be resolved. I’m not writing these words with the intention of taking a political position or a tactical stand on the issue.

I am writing to tell you and the entire world what’s really happening down here on the Egyptian/Israeli border. And to tell you that despite all the serious problems created by this national crisis, these refugees have no reason to fear us. Because they know, as the entire world needs to know, that Israel has not shut its eyes to their suffering and pain. Israel has not looked the other way. The State of Israel has put politics aside to take the ethical and humane path as it has so often done before, in every instance of human suffering and natural disasters around the globe. We Jews know only too well about suffering and pain. The Jewish people have been there. We have been the refugees and the persecuted so many times, over thousands of years, all over the world.

Today, when African refugees flood our borders in search of freedom and better lives, and some for fear of their lives, it is particularly noteworthy how Israel deals with them, despite the enormous strain it puts on our country on so many levels. Our young and thriving Jewish people and country, built from the ashes of the Holocaust, do not turn their backs on humanity. Though I already knew that, this week I once again experienced it firsthand. I am overwhelmed with emotion and immensely proud to be a member of this nation.


NGO Monitor November 15, 2011

The Israeli public, media, government and Knesset (legislature) are conducting an intense debate on massive foreign government funding for highly political non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Important concerns about the manipulation of Israeli democracy by foreign governments through NGO funding, and on influence of these groups, triggered this debate.

The media coverage of these issues, both in Israel and outside, is often distorted and confused. Basic questions about NGOs, NGO funding, and proposed Knesset legislation, need to be addressed.

Following are FAQs which address the core questions and present the basic facts, to promote a more informed and substantive discussion on these complex issues.

What is an NGO?

In theory, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are autonomous, non-profit and politically unaffiliated groups that claim to promote an agenda based on universal moral values, such as human rights, democracy, the environment, etc. NGOs can contribute to civil society and democracy by using their soft power to challenge governments and promote social interests, but they themselves are not necessarily democratic institutions. NGOs lack a system of checks and balances, and their powerful officials generally only provide accountability to their funders and activist members, and not to the citizens or societies whose lives are directly impacted by their activities.

Can an NGO receive sizable portions of its budget from governments and still qualify as a “non-governmental” organization?
No. As noted above, NGOs are meant to represent civil society, not the interests of foreign governments. Israeli NGOs that receive foreign government funding benefit from the misleading image of being “non-governmental,” non-political, and based in “civil society.” The government funders also use this framework to justify their use of NGOs as a policy instrument, and on a scale which is unique to Israel.

How many NGOs funded by foreign governments operate in Israel?
While the level of European and other foreign government funding for Israeli political advocacy NGOs is very large, it is impossible to provide a comprehensive accounting because, for many years, this funding was mostly done in secret. In addition, many Israeli non-profits, in violation of Israeli law, do not submit annual reports to the Registrar of Non-Profits (Rasham Amutot). However, as more information becomes available, particularly after the NGO Transparency Law (February 2011), additional and verifiable information will become available.

As of November 2011, NGO Monitor’s research reports list 23 Israeli political advocacy NGOs funded by foreign governments, all of which actively oppose, in varying degrees, the policies of the democratically elected government of Israel. A number of powerful groups receive more than 70% of their annual donations from foreign governments. (See Appendix 1)
How do these NGOs contribute to political campaigning and advocacy outside of Israel?
Although most of the foreign government funding is formally designated for “educating the Israeli public” and “changing public opinion” (both in violation of the norms on non-interference in other democracies), these Israeli NGOs are very active externally, in the delegitmization and political warfare against Israel.

Many of these Israeli NGOs, (including B’tselem, Adalah, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, Public Committee Against Torture in Israel) have lobbyists in foreign capitals, who seek additional funding and promote the private political agendas of the NGOs. The use of government funding for such lobbying is incompatible with good governance principles.
Why do foreign governments provide so much money to Israeli political advocacy NGOs?
European and other governments use direct funding for Israeli NGOs in order to promote their own views and interests, regardless and often in opposition to the policies of the democratically elected representatives of the Israeli public. The NGOs that receive such funding promote opposition policies on highly complex and sensitive issues such as Jerusalem, the future of the West Bank, responses to terror in Gaza, and other core issues which are central to the lives of Israeli citizens. As opposed to presenting their views in public via standard diplomatic practices, foreign governments manipulate Israeli democracy through massive funding of an ideologically narrow spectrum of the Israeli political map.

Which governments are primarily involved?
The major government funders to Israeli NGOs are the European Union and individual European states including Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain Finland, Belgium, and France.

Most of these governments fund Israeli NGOs both via multiple frameworks, including national ministries of foreign affairs and through EU-membership.

Additionally, many governments outsource foreign aid – including support for NGOs – to local and international humanitarian organizations that distribute funds within Israel. This means that Israeli NGOs often receive both direct and indirect funding from a given government. For example, funding from ICCO (Netherlands), Oxfam Novib (Netherlands), Diakonia (Sweden), DanChurchAid (Denmark), and Trocaire (Ireland) – to list a few – originates with foreign governments.

Is it true that much of this European government funding for political NGOs in Israel is not transparent, in violation of basic democratic norms?

Yes. While some governments, notably the UK, have increased transparency, and others provide substantive responses to NGO Monitor research requests, most of the decisions in this area violate transparency norms. There is little information on how funding decisions are made, and who makes them; project evaluations (if they exist) are not made public, and often the amounts and other details are tightly held secrets, and if released, are in a highly confusing and incoherent format. The lack of parliamentary oversight in most countries and the EU adds to the consequences of the secrecy.

Within Israel, many NGOs do not submit the requisite annual reports to the Registrar of Non-Profits (Rasham Amutot). This situation has persisted for years due to lax enforcement and limited consequences for violators.

In other instances, the funding decisions are secretly made by unknown individuals chosen by embassies in Tel Aviv, representative offices in Ramallah and other regional frameworks, using processes that are hidden from top officials and ministerial oversight.

Due to this secrecy, conflicts of interest and other violations of due process cannot be prevented or exposed.

How much money is involved?
Due to a lack of transparency on the part of European funders and Israeli NGOs, and major indirect funding via aid organizations, no accurate number is available. We know that over 27 million NIS annually is provided to Israeli political advocacy NGOs by foreign governments. (Additional foreign government funding goes to Palestinian and international NGOs active in delegitimization campaigns.)

What is the NGO “halo effect”?
Statements made by self-proclaimed human rights NGOs are routinely accepted at face value by journalists, diplomats, academics, UN representatives, etc. Instead of viewing these political advocacy organizations as such, important audiences often perceive these NGOs to be morally objective arbiters. This “halo effect” provides immunity from scrutiny and criticism, and greatly increases NGO power.

Is the role of NGOs funded by foreign governments in Israel unique?
Both the amount of money given to NGOs and the quantity of these types of NGOs is not found elsewhere. Only Israel has dozens of NGOs operating under a fa├žade of human rights whose credibility and impact are artificially amplified by massive foreign funding.
What can be done to offset the artificial influence of foreign-government funded NGOs in Israel and their role in political warfare?

Transparency and informed public debate, both in Europe and Israel, are vital. It is entirely appropriate for democratically elected representatives to introduce legislation that seeks to address this problematic funding. Committees debate the legislation, amendments are offered, and rigorous debates takes place – all reflecting a vibrant democratic system.

To address the root of the problem, European governments must enforce transparency, facilitate informed public debate, and hold themselves accountable for their NGO funding.
On the proposed Knesset legislation
What do the proposed bills say?

Two different bills have been proposed and approved for further consideration by the Ministerial Legislative Committee:

1. Proposed Bill for the amendment of the Income Tax Order (Taxation of public institutions that receive donations from a Foreign State Entity), 2011 (Fania Kirshenbaum – Israel Beiteinu

2. Proposed bill The “Amutot Law” [Non Profit Society] (Amendment – Banning Support by a Foreign State Entity), 2011 (Ofir Akunis and Tzipy Hotovely – Likud
For complete translations, see Appendix 2.

Has Israel already banned all government funding for political NGOs?
No. The proposed bills are in the earliest stages of the legislative process. As demonstrated by the NGO Transparency Law and many other examples, a bill can change dramatically from its initial introduction until it finally becomes Israeli law, if in fact it does.
NGOs and officials of European governments involved in funding them have campaigned against all regulation proposals, condemning them as “anti-democratic” or “fascist.” Are these descriptions accurate?

Unfortunately, NGO officials who fear that they will lose their political power and influence have labeled all critics “McCarthyites,” and all attempts to increase transparency regarding their funding and activities as “anti-democratic.”

By blurring the lines between valuable contributions to democracy and truly problematic bills, and greatly over-exaggerating the faults in those proposals, NGOs muddy a very important public conversation taking place.

Experience has shown that, as in most liberal democracies, the robust Israeli legislative process serves as a corrective mechanism, ensuring a proper balance of democratic values and societal concerns.

Anti-Israeli networks and activists to initiate propaganda events to challenge Israel.

Anti-Israeli networks and activists to initiate propaganda events to challenge Israel.
From the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center

They are planning, among other events, an Islamic gathering near the Israeli-Jordanian border, dispatching more boats to the Gaza Strip, and a protest "fly-in" to Ben-Gurion International Airport.

1. Regardless of the last flotilla's failure 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. In some instances, the behind-the-scenes presence of international networks promoting the de legitimization 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.

2. The following is an initial report of the main events planned for the near future:
1) 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.
2) 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.
3) 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.
4) 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.

3. 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.

4. The fact that Israel prevented the last flotilla from reaching the Gaza Strip and the number of flotilla failures during 2011 notwithstanding,1 the organizers do not intend to resign themselves to failure and are planning to continue their efforts to challenge Israel in various ways, including flotillas, convoys and fly-ins. As in the past, there may be a discrepancy between the intentions of organizers and their realization. Their main weak points are raising money (especially for purchasing ships), the international acceptance of Israel's closure of the Gaza Strip as legal (The Palmer Report), international reservations concerning the flotillas, the objections of the Arab states to potentially violent activities along their borders and Israel's early deployment. However, in our assessment, the networks and activists are implementing the lessons learned from previous failures and are looking for ways to overcome the weak points.
1 For further information see the September 14, 2011 bulletin "Analysis of four propaganda displays in May – July 2011: background, analysis and conclusions" at
2 For further information see the November 4, 2011 bulletin "Another Flotilla to the Gaza Strip" at
4 For further information see the August 3, 2011 bulletin "Senior [figure]s in Interpal, a British fund that supports Hamas, play a major role in sending aid convoys to Gaza. South African organizations belonging to the Union of Good are also involved. It is our assessment that convoys portrayed as a humanitarian project are also a means of transferring money to Hamas" at