A group of anti-Israeli, pro-Palestinian organizations and activists from a number of Western countries — including the United States – are planning to organize another “consciousness-raising event” at the Ben-Gurion Airport and in Judea and Samaria on July 8.
The project is the initiative of 15 groups and organizations in Judea and Samaria and abroad, most of them local and Palestinian and is separate from the June 6 Naksa Day protest or the Turkish flotilla to Gaza this Summer, according to a Law Enforcement Examiner source in Israel.
Conspicuous among them is the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), an international network which belongs to the coalition directing the campaign to de-legitimize Israel and which specializes in obstructing the activities of the Israeli security forces.
It has a central role in sending activists from abroad to friction points in the territories such as the villages Bila’in and Ni’lin and its senior members have important positions in organizing the flotillas to the Gaza Strip within the framework of the Free Gaza Movement, with members that include President Barack Obama’s friends Bill Ayers and others.
According to the web site of the event’s organizers, they have chosen to arrive at Ben-Gurion Airport on July 8 because the following day marks the anniversary of the day (July 9, 2004) the International Court in the Hague declared the security fence, (which they refer to as “the wall”) erected to support the settlements, to be illegal.
According to the organizers, 500 people have already ordered tickets for the flights, including families with children. One group connected to the initiative operates in Berlin (according to an interview on Israel Channel 10 TV with one of the activists), and may fly to Israel from there. However, additional groups are organizing to arrive at the same time from other countries. The organizers say delegations will arrive from Europe, North America, South America, Asia and Africa.
The organizers are planning a non-violent protest display in support of the Palestinians at Ben-Gurion Airport on July 8. From there they will leave for Judea and Samaria, where they will visit Palestinian villages and cities for a week, accompanied by local residents.
According to a former U.S law enforcement official now living in Israel, they are aware that it will not be a summer camp because visiting the territories may involve risks. They are taking into consideration that the visitors will come into contact with IDF soldiers and a confrontation may arise. They are also taking into consideration that it is highly likely that Israel will not allow activists from pro-Palestinian organizations such as the BDS to enter the country and will deport them from Israel, but that should not deter them from arriving. In any case, they will be instructed not to hide the fact that they came to visit “Palestinian friends.”
Ideologically, the organizers of the “consciousness-raising event” regard it as a counterweight to and extension of the flotilla and convoy activity. That is because, they claim, the flotillas and convoys focus narrowly on the issue of the Gaza Strip, while Israel (to which they refer as “the Israeli colonial regime”) continues its “apartheid policies” and “racism” throughout “historical Palestine,” including the Negev (southern Israel) and Galilee (northern Israel), violating basic human rights and conducting ethnic cleansing.
The terminology they use (in an announcement issued in March 2011 and since on their web sites) clearly indicates that they do not recognize the State of Israel and belong to the international coalition involved in the campaign to de-legitimize it.
In addition to the fundamental objective of defaming Israel to erode its legitimacy in international public opinion, the secondary objective of the event is, according to the organizers, to protest the limitations Israel places on the arrival of anti-Israeli individuals from Ben-Gurion Airport to Judea and Samaria (or, as they put it, the humiliating attitude of the officials at the Ben-Gurion Airport…and the illegal, offensive, arbitrary opposition preventing humanitarian organization activists and peace activists from reaching Judea and Samaria).
While not mentioned on any of the anti-Israeli movement’s web pages, it was former U.S. President Jimmy Carter who first compared Israel to South Africa in his book – Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid – accusing the Jewish state of practicing apartheid.