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Jewish Lobby? US Jews Help Save Pro-Hamas Flotilla

A large group of US Jews joining the pro-Hamas flotilla throws cold water on the allegation of a unified pro-Israel “Jewish lobby” in America.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 6/21/2011, 2:58 PM / Last Update: 6/21/2011, 3:14 PM

Religion for peace.com

American Jews comprise more than 25 percent of the pro-Hamas flotilla that aims to challenge the IDF on the high seas and reach Hamas-backed Gaza, throwing cold water on the allegation of a unified pro-Israel “Jewish lobby” in the United States.

"It's important that Jews are in this boat... The Jewish lobby in this country is so powerful," New York Jewish labor attorney Richard Levy told media agencies.

Comments by the Jews reflect mis-information that is omnipresent in mainstream media, particularly when referring to the supposed “blockade” on Gaza in order to prevent the smuggling of advanced weapons, explosives and terrorists whose aim is to attack Israel civilians and soldiers.

Israel imposed a partial blockade after Hamas’ terrorist militia ousted the rival Fatah faction in a bloody war more than four years ago. Thousands of tons of humanitarian aid were allowed through land crossings, and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu last year canceled the blockade on all goods except for material that can be used for the Hamas terrorist infrastructure.

The maritime embargo remains in effect because of the ease with which Hamas can use fishing boats to bring into Gaza weapons from Iran and Syria.

The American Jews on the flotilla, like millions of other people, still refer to the “Israel blockade,” which Levy said is “morally and juridically unsupportable.” He then made an inexplicable connection to “slaughter,” stating that “no more people should be slaughtered in the name of the Jews."

The Americans hope to sail from Greece on "The Audacity of Hope” this week with the announced intention of breaking the maritime embargo, but Israeli military commanders have said that the goal of the pro-Hamas organizers behind the flotilla is to try  to force the IDF into a clash, similar to last year's confrontation with Turkish-based IHH terror activists.

The Americans undoubtedly are not looking for a fight but are part of a larger community of American Jews who are unfamiliar with Israel but whose idea of the Jewish state is one that adopts Christian values of “turning the other cheek.”

Jewish activist Leslie Cogan told the French news agency AFP, the flotilla is "a cargo of friendship, a cargo of peace."

Last week, Jewish anti-Zionists in London rallied in memory of the nine IHH members who were killed by Israeli Navy commandos last year after brutally attacking the soldiers, who reached the deck of the Mavi Mamara ship virtually unarmed except for paint guns and small revolvers.

After last year’s clash on the high seas, the leader of the German-Jewish organization Jewish Voice for Peace in the Middle East said the group actually wants to “preserve” Israel.

"Some see what we are doing as a betrayal. But the question is what do they really know about the whole thing. Some people don't want to be educated," Kate Katzenstein-Leiterer told the German news agency DPA.

In contrast to the American Jews’ efforts for the flotilla, pressure from French Jews prevented the departure of a ship to Gaza, according to the Turkish newspaper Today’s Zaman.