Former Weather Underground leaders William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, as well as Code Pink founder Jodie Evans, helped organize the Free Gaza Movement, which launched the six-ship flotilla from Turkey to Israel that ended in a violent clash with Israeli Defense Forces, BigGovernment.com reported.
In January, the trio were spotted in Egypt attempting to stir up crowds on the streets with 1,400 other left-wing activists after the Egyptian government refused to allow Free Gaza Movement members to enter the Gaza Strip. About 100 marchers were eventually allowed to cross the border, where they were met by former Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh.
BigGovernment quotes author Philip Weiss, who wrote that he witnessed Ayers and Dohrn arguing with fellow activists over whether to accept Egypt’s offer to allow a small number of them into Gaza:
“Dohrn said that the principle of ‘All or none’ was a miserable one for activist politics. You always took what you could get and kept fighting for more. A European man in a red keffiyeh screamed at her that she was serving the fascisti. Her partner Bill Ayers gently confronted him and asked him why he was so out of control. Between getting on and off the bus, Dohrn, who wore a flower in her hair, said that she didn’t like the absolutist certainty of the people on the other side of the police barricades, and having been in the Weather Underground, she knew something about absolutist feeling.”
As political theater, an argument between the aging flower child/domestic terrorist and a fellow traveler over who knew more about “absolutist feelings” would be hard to top.
This wasn’t the first time that the Free Gaza Movement, whose board of directors include well-known leftists Noam Chomsky and Naomi Klein, sent vessels to Gaza to deliberately provoke a reaction from Israel.
“On August 23, 2008, two FG boats – one of them a 66-foot yacht named The Dignity – sailed from Cyprus to Gaza, where they docked and symbolically ‘broke’ the Israeli ‘siege’ when their passengers disembarked. The Israeli navy, seeking not to ignite international disapproval by intercepting the boats, made no attempt to stop them. The passengers, who were greeted by crowds of thousands in Gaza, claimed to be the first people to freely enter Gaza in 41 years,” according to David Horowitz.
“Two months later The Dignity made its second trip from Cyprus to Gaza, this time carrying 26 FG activists and some medical supplies. The yacht arrived at a Gaza port on October 29, 2008 – again with no resistance from the Israeli navy… FG made another voyage to Gaza in November 2008, when its members accused Israel of conducting ‘chemical warfare on Palestinian fishermen.’”
“On December 29, 2008, The Dignity, bound for Gaza, was loaded with 3.5 tons of Cypriot-donated medical supplies and 16 radical activists, including former Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney. At the time, a major Israeli military offensive was taking place in Gaza, in retaliation for Hamas’ relentless rocket attacks against southern Israeli cities….Because of the tense situation, on this occasion the Israelis diverted The Dignity before it could arrive in Gaza.”
And if there’s any doubt that this was a political set-up instead of a humanitarian mission, the fact that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez promised to join a future convoy should dispel any doubts.