The loose-knit network behind the stranded aid flotilla that has garnered international attention has little to tie it together except a cause, and now it is dispersing after at least two weeks in Greece. Many American activists flew home on Wednesday, and a peaceful sit-in by Spanish protesters at their embassy in Athens was dwindling in size.But we all really, really hate Israel!
Members of this genial Tower of Babel, including veterans of leftist politics, gave formal news conferences in casual attire in the past week to drum up publicity, one of the few tools at their disposal in the face of government pressure blocking their flotilla.
The movement included Dror Feiler, an Israel-born musician who moved to Sweden decades ago; Vangelis Pissias, a professor at the Technical University of Athens; and Jane Hirschmann, a psychotherapist from New York City and member of a group called "Jews Say No!"
There was also a Swedish crime writer, an Irish rugby player and a former indigenous chief from Canada.
"We are people that normally never communicate with each other," said activist Mattias Gardell, a Swedish academic who has studied religious extremism in the United States. "We disagree heavily on other subjects."
As options dwindled, organizers declared victory anyway, citing the attention they drew to their cause.An origami flotilla! That's such a great idea!
"Maybe if we're here a bit longer, we will learn the Greek language," joked Raef El-Ghamri, a native Egyptian who now lives in Germany and helped prepare an ambulance with medicine and a wheelchair for delivery to Gaza's population. He said a cargo vessel that is supposed to carry the equipment had not been loaded, another sign of how far the flotilla was from achieving its goals.
...On the surface at least, many adhere to a Woodstock-era message of harmony that verges on simplistic at times. It would be hard to imagine a number of them engaging in lethal combat.
"Exist to Resist," is one snappy slogan. "Stay human, brother," is a rallying cry.
Some flotilla news conferences resembled religious revival meetings, with activists chanting and holding "Free Gaza" signs. On the podium, French organizer Thomas Sommer-Houdeville drew applause when he said:
"We are not terrorists, we are victims of love!"
Canadian activists, whose boat is called "Tahrir" after the square in Cairo that became a symbol of the Egyptian uprising, urged people back home to put a boat symbol in their office or home windows. They posted instructions on how to make an origami boat on their website.
So here's the contest: Create a moonbat origami boat, decorated appropriately, and email me a photo. I'll choose the best ones to post here.
For instructions to make an origami boat, check here, here here, here or here.