Another vessel has joined the latest “Freedom Flotilla” which is chugging away towards Gaza with the promise of an illegal attempt to breach Israel’s sovereign maritime boundaries.
And it appears that France — unsurprisingly — is again working both sides of the street.
Some of the troublemakers are indirectly sponsored and funded by the French government, which has provided half a million Euros ($558,400) to the Plateforme des ONG Françaises pour la Palestine (Platform of French NGOs for Palestine.
The Marianne of Gothenburg vessel, sponsored by The Platform, is the latest to join four other vessels flotilla heading towards Gaza. It set sail from Sicily last week, with such headline grabbers as former Tunisian president Moncef Marzouki and Spanish MEP Anna Maria Miranda Paza.
The biggest “star” on board, however, is Israeli Arab Knesset Member Basel Ghattas (Joint List), whose presence aboard a vessel that intends to deliberately breach the blockade and break Israeli law is at the very least, controversial. The blockade itself, however, was found in an exhaustive 2011 United Nations investigation that resulted in the Palmer Report, to be entirely legal and within Israel’s sovereign rights.
One might therefore ask how to classify the criminal presence of a Knesset member aboard this vessel, despite the fact that as a lawmaker, Ghattas automatically is granted immunity. Those aboard intend to break the law by breaching a blockade designed to defend the nation against terrorist infiltration and passage of weapons to Gaza.
It is also here that the question arises regarding the sponsorship of the government of France. It was the French head of state who so passionately asserted earlier this year that French Jews need never fear terrorists, he said. France would always defend her citizens, including Jews, from terror. The plain fact is, however, Gaza spawns terrorists for export. So what is a French government-funded vessel doing in this year’s illegal “freedom flotilla?”
France took a dim view of simple wiretapping by American spies over the past several years, and that did not involve any active breach of its anti-terror defensive operations. How might Paris react were the situation with Israel were reversed?
The French government is blatantly granting funds to the Plateform via the ‘Agence Française de Développement’ (AFD) or French Development Agency. The AFD is the French government agency equivalent of USAID, carrying out global “sustainable development programs.” Other French, Palestinian and Israeli NGOs receive direct funding not only via AFD, but also through the French Consulate in Jerusalem, according to the watchdog organization NGO Monitor.
The Platform umbrella group is active in the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement (BDS) against Israel and shelters more than 40 anti-Israel organizations. Included is the CCFD-Terre Solidaire, which received a three-year grant of 770,032 Euros ($859,971) from France in April 2014, the NGO Monitor reported. CCFD gleans its information from its Israeli anti-Israel partners such as Zochrot, Breaking the Silence, HaMoked and Sadaka-Reut.
In March 2014, it received a three-year grant of 225,000 Euros from AFD for work in “Palestine.” According to a 2014 NGO Monitor report the group also received thousands of Euros in donations from French lawmakers as well.
The Platform, with all of its member organizations, demands the European Union sever all ties, relations and agreements with the State of Israel. Dozens of other French and other anti-Israel organizations are also receiving French government funds to carry out actions against Israeli government policy and disrupt domestic affairs on her own soil as well.
How should all this be viewed by the leadership and citizens of the Jewish State?