PR Success for Israel's Enemies

I met the Free Gaza Movement group in Cyprus.

David Bedein,

OpEds לבן ריק
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credit David Michael Cohen
The Israel Ministry of Defense allowed the Free Gaza Movement boats to land in Gaza, after the Israeli Minister of Defense Ehud Barak determined that there were no weapons aboard them. The Minister of Defense should learn the expression, chayim v'mavet b'yad halashon - "Life and death rest in the use of the tongue."
The group was officially invited by the Hamas regime.

Indeed, the Gaza landing of two boats filled with PR professionals represents an unprecedented propaganda success for the most sophisticated of Israel's adversaries.

In my capacity as a correspondent for the Philadelphia Bulletin, I met the Free Gaza group in order to find out what they intended to do. For whatever reason, I was the only reporter from Israel who bothered to visit with them in Cyprus before their voyage. Their spokespeople made it clear that their intention was to establish an international grassroots PR support network for the Hamas' Gaza regime; and that is just what they have done.

From their web site,, it is clear that the group was officially invited by the Hamas regime to make this trip. They have succeeded in their mission: to establish in Gaza an international support network for the next battle in the Hamas war on Israel.

After all, Hamas has embedded combatants in every possible civilian area. It has been widely reported that Hamas has armed children as combatants. All this has one transparent purpose - to absorb civilian casualties and to blame Israel for each and every child who will die. You will see from the Free Gaza website that they have 300 grassroots support groups from around the world who will spread the message that Israelis are child-killers.

In the tradition of Goebbels, whose approach was that a lie repeated often enough can become believable, the people are bringing hearing aids for Gaza children whose hearing has been impaired by... rockets that Israel is firing at Arab villages in Gaza.
It may be hard to imagine that after eight years of Gazans firing Kassam rockets at Sderot and the Western Negev, the support network, now firmly established in Gaza, will try to convey the opposite message, and convince the world that Israel is murdering the children of Gaza.

Spokespeople of the Free Gaza Movement were asked if they would request that the Gazans stop firing missiles on the Western Negev. Their answer was that this is "a political question."

Epilogue: What Can the Average Citizen Do?
There are activist options available to the average citizen. Cooperation with Hamas is clearly seen by the Israeli law enforcement system as a severe offense against the security of the state of Israel. Citizens can file police
Citizens can file police complaints against the Israeli citizen and the Israeli organization that stood behind
complaints against the Israeli citizen and the Israeli organization that stood behind and its cooperation with Hamas. That Israeli citizen is Prof. Jeff Halper.

His organization is known as ICHAD - the Israel Committee Against Home Demolitions, located at 8 Ben Yehudah Street, Jerusalem. It is a group that fights alleged Israeli government demolitions of Arab homes (ICHAD said nothing against Israeli government demolitions of Jewish homes in Gush Katif and Samaria).

In terms of the Hamas-sponsored "boat to Gaza" project, Halper and ICHAD took credit for initiating It will be instructive to see how the Israeli police react to complaints against an Israeli citizen who has crossed the line to join forces with an entity in an active state of war with the state and people of Israel.

Another level of security complaint should filed with the European Union in Israel, which funds ICHAD. The offices of the European Commission delegation to the State of Israel are located at 5-7 Shoham Street, Ramat Gan. They can be contacted as follows:

PO Box 3513
Ramat Gan 52136
Telephone: +972-3-6137799 / Fax: +972-3-6137770