.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Who is funding the Lebanese ships?

Even Arab journalists who are known for their hatred of Israel are getting uncomfortable with the Hezbollah-backed "flotilla" of a women's ship and a reporters' ship that have been announced to leave from Lebanon. From Asharq al-Awsat's Diana Mukkaled:

Initially I believed that the mechanisms used to publicize the Freedom Flotilla in support of the Palestinians in Gaza were justified because of the nobility of the cause of breaking the blockade. The cause deserves our efforts to be creative in mobilizing public opinion....

However, with the increase in Arab and international division over the Palestinian cause and in light of the extent to which this cause is being exploited, it is difficult to turn a blind eye to the ambitions of local and regional parties that explicitly expressed their positions and their superficial ambitions – something the organizers of the “Mariam” and “Naji al Ali” freedom flotillas could not distance themselves from.

The Journalists Without Limits organization paid $100,000 US dollars in outstanding fines to the Lebanese government so that it could lift the restraints on the "Naji al Ali" ship and the organization could set sail [for Gaza], although the ship has a seating capacity of only 16 persons.

An organization in possession of this sum should reveal the source of this money to journalists as it is an organization that speaks on their behalf. The transparency of NGO activity requires disclosure of financial sources especially as this organization is new and this sum of money may raise questions that might harm the enthusiasm, zeal and sincerity of many of those who are part of it.

[E]very time I saw the organizers of the two voyages on television or heard their statements and read about their positions, I realized that some former journalists fell into the traps sets by others who have achieved nothing in supporting the Palestinian cause but have achieved other feats that I do not want to be part of.
She doesn't want to say the word "Hezbollah" but it is obvious that she knows who is paying the bills for these ships, and even she sees that these ships have nothing to do with aid or even helping Gaza but everything to do with politics.