The Young Leadership Department of the World Mizrachi Movement and the student organization Yavneh Olami have announced their plans to hold a special flotilla, this time in support of Israel.
The “Blue and White Flotilla,” which is scheduled to sail from Ashkelon to Ashdod on August 14, is aimed at providing a pro-Israeli response to the freedom flotillas that have been sent to Gaza by anti-Israeli organizations.
The organizers of the “Blue and White Flotilla” plan to hold a special ceremony during the flotilla to honor the soldiers of the IDF’s Shayetet 13.
It was the Shayetet 13 soldiers who boarded the Mavi Marmara during the 2010 flotilla which attempted to break Israel’s naval blockade on the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. The soldiers were attacked by self-proclaimed 'peace activists' on board the ship, who attempted to lynch them and kidnap them.
Nine members of the lynch-mob were killed when the commandos were forced to open fire to save their imperiled comrades.
Anti-Israel organizations attempted to launch a similar flotilla this year, but it fizzled when the vessels that docked in Greece were refused permission by Hellenic authorities to sail for Gaza. Two were turned back by the coast guard after leaving port without authorization. Flotilla organizers claim two other boats were sabotaged.
The lone ship that did manage to set sail, the Dignite al Karama, was peacefully intercepted by the Navy and was taken to the Ashdod Port.
The organizers of the “Blue and White Flotilla” do not plan to stop at just supporting the Navy, and will also call on the Hamas terror group to release captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
Shalit was kidnapped in June of 2006 by Hamas terrorists and has been held in Gaza ever since. He has not been allowed visits by the International Red Cross for the entire time, and the organization recently called on Hamas to prove that Shalit is still alive.
“Beyond an expression of solidarity and standing alongside the State of Israel, the goal of the ‘Blue and White Flotilla’ is to rouse young Jews around the world, prepare for and to assist Israel in coping with the challenges it faces in the near future, with the expected announcement of a Palestinian state in the United Nations, and in the face of further anti-Israel flotillas which are expected to arrive in the future,” the organizers said in a statement on Thursday.
“We intend to sail with several yachts and boats from Ashkelon to Ashdod, on Aug, 14, 2011,” they added. “During the journey, we will hold a special ceremony saluting the soldiers of Squadron 13 and the Navy, and call upon the terrorist organization, Hamas, and countries around the world, for the speedy release of Gilad Shalit, who remains in captivity for over five years.
“At the end of the flotilla there will be a special event and concert in Ashdod.”