UN 1701: Hezbollah setting up missile launchers in Southern Lebanon is fine, but a floating Premenstrual syndrome is against the rules. it was postponed before because of the public relations backfire from the original flotilla turning out to not be a humanitarian venture. I still don't get how this is not against UN 1701
A ship full of women - including nuns, teachers, doctors, lawyers and a very pregnant mother - is due to leave Tripoli, Lebanon on Sunday night, on its way to Cyprus and then - organizers hope - to Gaza.
The Saint Mariam, or Virgin Mary, has a multi-faith international passenger list, including the Lebanese singer May Hariri and a group of nuns from the US. "They are nuns, doctors, lawyers, journalists, Christians and Muslims," said Mona, one of the participants who, along with the other women, has adopted the ship's name, Mariam.In Israel, we are not impressed.
The Mariam and its sister ship, Naji Alali, had hoped to set off several weeks ago but faced several delays after Israel launched a diplomatic mission to pressure Lebanon to stop the mission.
The co-ordinator of the voyage, Samar al-Haj, told the Guardian this week the Lebanese government had given permission for the boats to leave for Cyprus, the first leg of the journey, this weekend.
Israel says it is concerned a flotilla from Lebanon, with whom it has ongoing hostility, will smuggle weapons to Gaza. Israel's ambassador to the UN, Gabriela Shalev, has warned that Israel reserves the right to use "necessary measures" in line with international law to stop the ship.
But al-Haj says the mission is purely humanitarian. "Our goal is to arrive in Gaza," she said. "It is the responsibility of the government to deal with the politics. We are not political."
Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev told Israel National News, “There are no limits on goods going to Gaza, and any ships trying to bring so-called aid to Gaza will be regarded as provocations.”Here's betting that if the Cypriots let the boats go (they may not), they will be non-violently disabled and towed into Ashdod.
The sight of women—supposedly unarmed—facing Israeli naval commandos trying to stop it from breaking the sea embargo on Hamas-controlled Gaza faces Israel with a new public relations challenge. The women have dramatized possible violence by preparing to travel equipped with blood test equipment “in case we come under attack from Israel and you need a blood transfusion," al-Hajj said.
She added, "We will not even bring cooking knives” in order to prevent accusations that they are armed.
Israel has warned that allowing ships, even those with aid, to reach the Gaza coast would set a precedent that would allow Hamas to freely import advanced weapons.
Hamas recently has complained that much of the aid on the six-ship flotilla May 31 included useless medical equipment and outdated medicines. The Mavi Marmara ship, whose activists clashed with Navy commandos, was later found to be sailing without any humanitarian aid.