Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Cruising For A Bruising

At Slate today, Christopher Hitchens poses some questions for the organisers of the imminent follow-up to last year's "Freedom Flotilla", whose explicit purpose was to aid Israel's enemies by illegally breaking its perfectly legal blockade.

Specifically, Hitchens focuses on the flotilla's ties to Hamas, a fact which he does not document in any detail but is nevertheless a reality. For example:

Amin Abou Ibrahim, also known as Amin Abou Rashed, is one of the main organizers of the ”Freedom Flotilla 2″ and a founder of the ECESG, a central organization participating in the flotilla. Recently, the Dutch daily newspaper De Telegraaf cited Abou Rashed as the “brain behind the flotilla”...

Abou Rashed was an active participant in last year’s flotilla as well. His name also came up during the prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation by the US government in 2007. The Holy Land Foundation is designated by the US Treasury as a Specially Designated National and banned by the EU for its direct financial and material support to Hamas. During the Holy Land Foundation trial, a letter was shown written by Abou Rashed to Akram Mishaal, a director of the Holy Land Foundation and a cousin of Hamas leader Khalid Mashaal.

In the letter found at Holy Land Foundation headquarters and used as a court case exhibit by the US government, Abou Rashed lists the names, addresses, and bank numbers of “charitable organizations working for Palestine in Europe.” Abou Rashed was writing as a representative of the Al-Aqsa Foundation, an organization designated by the US Department of Treasury as a charity financing terror and “a critical part of Hamas’ terrorist support infrastructure.”

These “charitable organizations” cited in Abou Rashed’s document were also later declared by the US Department of Treasury to be supporters of terrorist organizations, specifically Hamas, and consequently their assets were frozen.

Many Hamas affiliated organizations, as recognized by the US Treasury, were organizations in which Amin Abou Rashed was a very active participant in to say the least. Now, as leader of the current flotilla to Gaza, this raises deeper questions regarding the intentions of the flotilla organizers and their further connections to Hamas.

Let us hope that when "The Audacity of Hope" eventually reaches Gaza, the IDF send it and all of its miserable participants straight down to the seabed and to hell.

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