If Israel was a democracy, Freedom Flotilla would be allowed to Gaza

Richard Sudan
Richard Sudan is a London-based writer, political activist, and performance poet. His writing has been published in many prominent publications, including the Independent, the Guardian, Huffington Post and Washington Spectator. He has been a guest speaker at events for different organizations ranging from the University of East London to the People's Assembly covering various topics. His opinion is that the mainstream media has a duty to challenge power, rather than to serve power. Richard has taught writing poetry for performance at Brunel University.
FILE PHOTO: Activists gesture from the "Stefano Chiarini" ship, which is part of the "Freedom Flotilla II", during a demonstration against the Greek authorities' ban on Gaza-bound ships on the Greek island of Corfu July 2, 2011. (Reuters / Marko Djurica)
Three of the four boats in the Gaza-bound Freedom Flotilla have turned back as the flagship Marianne was intercepted by the Israeli military and rerouted to Ashdod port. If Israel was a democracy it would grant this boat safe passage to Gaza.

These activists are peaceful people sailing in international waters, and are attempting to bring aid, and to donate a fishing boat to the people of Gaza, who are at the mercy of one of the most ruthless and sophisticated armed forces in the world.An attempt to stop them while they are in international waters, itself constitutes a breach of international law. Israel commits war crimes which are acknowledged by the United Nations and many human rights organizations.Let's consider who the real terrorists in this scenario are.It isn't the people struggling to have a decent quality of life in the most densely populated piece of land in the world.The idea that Palestinians could present a threat to such a powerful state such as Israel is simply ludicrous.Israel holds the political, military, and economic power and controls the information narrative.

READ MORE: Israel intercepts & escorts Gaza flotilla flagship, RT columnist aboard

We should never forget when thinking about the Freedom Flotilla Coalition, that when Israeli forces stormed the Mavi Marmara in 2010, in an act of piracy, they killed nine people with one person later dying from injuries.The authorities have acted as if no crime was ever committed and as if Israel has nothing to answer for. That is state-sponsored violence with complete immunity.

Our boat is the last to set sail.However, we were told Sunday that our boat for now remains in Athens, and is not moving.At the moment, that's all I can say.

For this reason, at the time of writing, we are preparing to deviate from the original plan and are making alternate plans to reach our ultimate destination. I would like to be specific at this point but cannot say much more than I already have.What I can say however, is that everyone here is motivated by a drive to highlight what is happening in Gaza through peaceful means.

We are being labeled as trouble makers and as agitators who are trying to make trouble for Israel, which of course is always is presented as being guilty of nothing.

Past and present parliamentarians from different nations, aid workers, scholars, and journalists do not paint a picture of terrorists.Actually they have a track record of working against terrorists, many of them working in areas of conflict in the past with people who have had their lives torn apart by war.

They say, as they do when anyone tries to reach Gaza that the act in itself is an act of terrorism because the government in Gaza is run by Hamas. Hamas - who were elected and who represent the people.

Whatever one might think of Hamas is irrelevant, unless of course you happen to live in Palestine. Hamas did not bomb hundreds of innocent people last summer including hundreds of children.

The act of trying to prevent some fishing boats being delivered to people who are trapped and who have no freedom of movement is a monstrous one.These activists are unarmed and are 100 percent not a threat to Israel; they are pretty selfless human beings who simply care.If Israel was a democracy it would grant these activists safe passage.Israel however fulfills none of its obligations to the people of Palestine, and so it’s no surprise that it refuses to acknowledge the humanitarian crisis it has created.

READ MORE: Gaza bound: Intimidation tactics will not deter us

What is wrong with equal rights for everyone under a system which treats everyone the same?If it was good enough for South Africa then surely it’s good enough for the rest of the world.

The FF3 coalition is a peaceful campaign absolutely maintaining a policy of nonviolence. It seems pretty clear though at this stage as if Israel is determined to allow no aid through to Gaza, and will continue to act as judge, jury, and executioner towards anyone that dare question or disagree with the colonial settler state.

I hope the brave souls who are on the vessels already at sea make it and that no harm comes to any of them.They do not deserve to have their names dragged through the dirt by a largely ignorant liberal press, and it’s an utter disgrace that many are happy to highlight a humanitarian crisis elsewhere in the world, while Palestine gets pushed to the side-lines.If FF3 serves to highlight any of this then the campaign will have been worth it.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.