Greece’s blocking of a ship carrying Canadian activists, the Tahrir, from sailing for Gaza has the anti-Israel crowd up in arms, with protests planned for the Greek embassy in Ottawa and its consulates across the country. Apparently, no arrests were made, though, the Greek coast guard did attempt to arrest a Canadian, Sandra Rush, who refused to hand over the boat’s registration papers.
According to CTV.ca:
“[Canadian] Organizers are hoping to sail the Tahrir among a flotilla of nine Greek and foreign-flagged ships carrying humanitarian aid supplies to Palestinians in Gaza, in contravention of a blockade Israel says is needed to prevent weapons from reaching the Hamas militants who control the territory. …
“On Friday, Hamas issued a statement denouncing Greece’s ban on ships sailing to Gaza. According to Agence France-Press news agency, Hamas said the decision was ‘inhumane’ and was made because Athens was bowing down to Israeli political pressure.”
The current Israeli blockade was imposed in 2007 in response to the Iran-backed Hamas terrorist group taking control from the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority. The Israeli government believed the blockade was needed to stem the flow of arms and military material to Gaza.
Leftist groups—like the Canadian organizers working with the flotilla now trying to reach Gaza and break the blockade—claim the blockade contravenes international law. And readers will remember that last year, nine blockade-runners were killed and seven Israeli soldiers were injured when the MV Mavi Marmara, attempted to break the Israeli blockade.
The real purpose of these flotillas, which are supposed to be carrying humanitarian aid and supplies to Hamas in Gaza, is two-fold: (a) provoke Israeli reaction that can be used later as propaganda against the Jewish state; and (b) break the blockade so Hamas and residents of Gaza can receive a free-flow of goods from the outside, including military supplies to be used against the Israeli people.
The Government of Canada considers Hamas an organization associated with terrorism. In March 2006, then Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay said “not a red cent” would go to Hamas, which he called a “terrorist organization.” Hamas had recently formed the Palestinian government after winning parliamentary elections earlier—by the way, not a single element of Hamas’s subsequent rule of the Palestinian territory and Gaza can even in the slightest be considered to resemble democracy in any way whatsoever.
It seems clear to me that the Government of Canada intends contact between Canadians and Hamas—or its backer, Iran—to be severely limited, and with good and valid reasons. Both Iran and Hamas hold near-pariah status with most civilized countries, because of their use of terrorism as a tool to further their political aims. Canadian leftists and labour union leaders seem to believe they know better, but, by any reasonable standard, they should not be associating themselves, in any way, with Hamas and, by extension, the rogue state, Iran.
We elected our federal government to set foreign policy, not some leftist group who allows itself to be useful idiots of the Hamas terrorists.