Jihadist, peace activist - what's the difference, really, as long as you hate Israel?
The list of passengers on board the Mavi Marmara revealed the names of two conference participants who had signed the Istanbul Declaration. Their personal involvement in the flotilla demonstrated their commitment to the jihadist cause and their desire to represent themselves as models.
Muhammad Kazem Sawalha -- a fugitive, high-ranking former Hamas Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades commander in Judea and Samaria, currently residing and active in the UK (signature number 72).4 He was involved in launching the previous aid flotilla (Lifeline 3). At the time he noted that the next aid convoy would avoid an "unwanted confrontation" with the Egyptian authorities and that "the confrontation will be directly with the Zionist enemy itself on the high seas" (Al-Intiqad, Hezbollah's website, January 17, 2010). Sawalha, one of the prominent organizers of the flotilla, did not board the ship. Known to Israeli security services and wanted for his notorious Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades activities in Judea and Samaria in the past, it can be assumed he feared being arrested and tried in Israel.
A. Walid Al-Tabtabai -- a prominent Kuwaiti activist who is known to support armed resistance in Palestine and Iraq (signature number 88). At a press conference in Antalya the flotilla organizers asked all the participants to "write their wills." Following the press conference, Walid Al-Tabtabai reportedly "did not hesitate to write his will, in defiance of Israeli threats."5
B. Sheikh Muhammad al-Hazimi -- a member of the Yemeni Parliament and Al-Islah (the Yemini reform bloc) was photographed on the deck of the Mavi Marmara brandishing his large curved dagger (signature number 66).
It is notable that to date, the "anti-violence" Free Gaza movement has not said a word against the violence done by the IHH members aboard the Mavi Marmara. On the contrary, they have consistently defended it.