Roger Fowler, chair of the hate group Kia Ora Gaza, has recently attended a planning meeting for the 2020 “Freedom Flotilla” alongside terrorists.
Also pictured with Fowler and the Hamas affiliates is:
- Mick Napier, who has accused the Israeli embassy in the UK of being behind allegations of antisemitism in the UK Labour Party and is the secretary of a group that forced Jewish shops to close with a “campaign of intimidation.”; and
- Torstein Dahle, a Norwegian politician who said that the Taliban and other Afghan rebels had the full right of fighting the Norwegian soldiers of the International Security Assistance Force stationed in Afghanistan.
The activists met as part of the “Freedom Flotilla Coalition”, which was formed in 2010. Members of the Coalition include:
- the Turkey-based Humanitarian Aid Foundation (IHH), which is listed by several Western governments as a terrorist entity and has alleged links with Hamas and Al Qaeda (and was founded by Amin Abu Rashed); and
- the European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza, which according to the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center is a pro-Hamas umbrella organization operating in Europe.
The stated goal of the Flotilla is to “to end the blockade of Gaza”. The maritime blockade of Gaza was imposed in 2007. That is two years after Israel unilaterally withdrew all Jews from the area and shortly after Hamas took control through a violent coup following elections.
After Hamas took control, Israel and “The Quartet on the Middle East” (US, Russia, UN, EU) imposed economic sanctions and restrictions on Gaza. The naval blockade and land crossing policies were instituted as a response to rocket attacks and expressly for the purpose of stemming the flow of weapons into Gaza.
Despite the blockade, thousands of truckloads of goods enter Gaza from Israel, even when Hamas and other terror groups continue to indiscriminately send flaming kites, mortars, and missiles over the border. Thus, the ships are clearly not intending to provide any aid to Gaza; but aim to reduce restrictions on terrorists acquiring weapons.
The 2018 “flotilla” participants admitted their medical cargo was “merely a gesture. We’re talking just a few boxes”. Kiwi activist, Mike Treen, was on that boat with shipmates known to support terror groups, including Hamas as PFLP. New Zealand Labour MP, Duncan Webb, hosted a lunch for Mr Treen on his return.
New Zealand Green MP, Marama Davidson, joined a boat in 2016 alongside a woman who created a video game that encourages kids to shoot as many Israelis as they can and another who accused Israel of orchestrating the recent terrorist attacks in Munich and Nice.
And in 2015, a Maori TV journalist, Ruwani Perera, boarded a ship. Ms Parera said the activists were after publicity alone, and the crew members agreed, saying the flotilla “is a solidarity, not an aid mission“.
The United Nations panel, chaired by Sir Geoffrey Palmer, deemed Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza legal and a necessary step to protect its citizens from the onslaught of rocket attacks from Gaza. In order to maintain the legal blockade, Israel must stop any boat attempting to breach it. That is why the previous attempts have ended with the Israeli navy interceptions and arrests. It is also why the report considers attempts to breach the blockade “a dangerous and reckless act” and stated:
“…Where a State becomes aware that its citizens or flag vessels intend to breach a naval blockade, it has a responsibility to take proactive steps compatible with democratic rights and freedoms to warn them of the risks involved and to endeavour to dissuade them from doing so.”UN report
Thus, while not delivering any aid, the publicity stunts should also be proactively dissuaded by governments.
Since 2008, activists have sailed 35 boats to try and breach the legal blockade and render it illegal; thus, allowing weapons to more easily flow to terror groups. There is no evidence that New Zealand officials have complied with the UN report in taking proactive steps to warn participants of the risks involved.
If you would like to ask MFAT why they have not taken steps recommended by the UN report, click here.
Meanwhile, Roger Fowler continues to associate with terror affiliates and is clearly planning to send another Kiwi on the reckless publicity stunt.