The latest (‘Floptilla’) anti-Israel publicity stunt gets a reality check in Jordan

A guest post by AKUS

The 100 or so people who wasted their money flying to Amman, Jordan last week found a few surprises when they arrived there. They may have also learned a few lessons about the reality regarding Jordan’s view of the Palestinian issue and how foreign interference is viewed by an Arab country whose relationship with the Palestinians has been uneasy, to say the least.

Lesson 1: Jordan has little patience for these stunts. Unlike the participants in the flytilla, Jordanians and Israelis cannot pack up and fly home after appearing on TV. They have to live there as neighbors.

According to Lebanese cyberpaper Naaharnet, Jordan made sure that they could not cross into the West Bank at the Allenby Crossing, leading to an accusation – perhaps true – that Jordan did not want to make Israel responsible for turning the participants in the flytilla back.


Jordan on Sunday barred pro-Palestinian U.S. and European activists from trying to cross into the West Bank for delivering school supplies to students.

“Two buses carrying 100 activists were not allowed to leave the Jordanian side” of Allenby Bridge Crossing, also known as King Hussein Bridge between the West Bank and Jordan, Walid Atallah, a spokesman for the “Welcome to Palestine” campaign in Jordan, told Agence France Presse.

“The Jordanian authorities stamped their passports and charged them fees and everything was okay. When the buses left, the last checkpoint on the Jordanian side was closed. No reason was given.”

Atallah said the “activists left the buses and started to demonstrate near the checkpoint. One of them fainted and was taken to hospital.”

“This was deliberate. Jordan did not want Israel to be held responsible for denying the activists entry,” he added. [emphasis added]

Lesson 2: Jordan, like other Arab states, is not very accommodating to the Palestinians. Even so, Palestinians are in no hurry to exercise the “Right of Return” to Gaza.

Elder of Zion noted that one group, “EuroPalestine” discovered apartheid in Jordan.  They paid a visit to a refugee township at Jerash and found things rather different than they may have anticipated:

A hundred men, women and children, from the mission WELCOME TO PALESTINE went Saturday to the Palestinian refugee camp of JERASH, Jordan, near Amman.

They were warmly welcomed by officials and residents of this camp which includes more than 35,000 Palestinians from all of the Gaza Strip.

These people have a special place in the tragedy of the Palestinian people and in fact arrived in Jordan after the 1967 war, not during the Nakba of 1948, and have a status of “displaced” and not “refugees”.

Grouped in an area of ​​75 hectares, the 3000 Jerash families have no nationality and no longer receive any benefits since 2010 from UNRWA, the UN agency responsible for Palestinian refugees. [emphasis added]

These stateless people are refused citizenship by Jordan, but do not want to return to Gaza (so much for the “Right of Return” in practice!). In addition, they are treated, in many respects, as non-Whites were in apartheid South Africa:

The only camp school is obliged to accommodate 6400 pupils, part-time only, in overcrowded classrooms as we imagine. The camp has indeed no right to construct new buildings and expand on the land leased by UNRWA for a period of 99 years.

Even after graduation, students who have received scholarships to go to the Dalhousie University in Jordan can not engage in employment in the public [sector] and remain stateless for life.

As EoZ observed:

Yes, an Arab from Yemen or Egypt can become a citizen of Jordan, but one from Gaza cannot. Sounds like apartheid to me.

Lesson 3: Protests against the Israeli Embassy are not tolerated in Jordan

The Jordan Times reports that “Activists from the ‘Welcome to Palestine’ campaign were dispersed by police while demonstrating outside the Israeli embassy on Thursday after refusing to relocate.”

The activists were protesting against Israel’s decision to deny them entry to the West Bank last week.

The police asked the activists to move to a different location farther from the embassy, but they refused, and when police officers arrived to physically remove them, some sat or lay down on the ground.

Olivia Zemore, the campaign’s spokesperson, told The Jordan Times that the protesters had decided to relocate to the Kalouti Mosque, around 400 metres away, where Jordanian activists were holding a weekly pro-Palestine demonstration.

“We were not allowed to protest here and that is why we are marching to the Kalouti Mosque, where there are Jordanian protesters.”

The demonstrators who refused to move were placed in police vans and driven to the alternate site; none were arrested.

See Lesson 1 – Jordan has little patience for these stunts. This is not London where protesters can spend an afternoon hurling abuse at Israel outside the embassy there. Perhaps, also, the Jordanians felt that things might get out of hand if, say, the local branch of the Muslim Brotherhood joined in.

Lesson 4 is yet to be learned: Egypt, not just Israel, also blocks access to Gaza.

The activists are planning an attempt to enter Gaza through the Rafah border crossing with Egypt sometime this year.

Al Ahram reports :

Sinai residents have reported to Ahram Online that heavy machinery of the state-owned Arab Contractors company is being used to destroy tunnels linking Egypt and the besieged Gaza Strip. The destruction of the tunnels is happening under the supervision of Egyptian military forces.

Egyptian authorities on Monday announced the closure of the Rafah Crossing.

According to Khaled Abu Toameh, even the Palestinian Authority wants to limit access to Gaza:

Abbas urges Egypt to destroy underground tunnels

For first time, PA publicly calls for destruction of underground tunnels to Gaza, asking Egypt to them to tighten blockade.

Buoyed by growing tensions between Hamas and Cairo in wake of last week’s terrorist attack in Sinai, the Palestinian Authority on Saturday called on the Egyptians to tighten the blockade on Gaza by destroying all tunnels under their border with the Strip.

Oh dear. It sounds like a new floptilla will be a rerun of the 2010 flop:

George Galloway deported from Egypt

George Galloway was today deported from Egypt after plainclothes police officers refused him re-entry into the Gaza Strip and bundled him on to a plane for London.

The Respect MP Galloway, declared “persona non grata” by the Egyptian foreign ministry, arrived back in the UK at around 1pm.

Even after the disastrous Arab Spring, I would bet that foreigners trying to get to Gaza through Egypt will have no better luck with the new administration. People in the Middle East have simply had enough of being a backdrop for these egotistical publicity seekers.

But will all this be enough to dissipate the desire among well-fed Westerners to participate in more of these flops? Will it ever dawn on these Israel-bashing monomaniacs that the situation of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank is immeasurably better than their situation under the rule of their Arab brothers or Hamas?

Unfortunately I doubt it, but whatever the enthusiasm outside the Middle East for these stunts, the countries in the Middle East have had enough.

10 replies »

  1. Palestinians aren’t trusted by any other Arabs. I know someone (non Arab Muslim) who has lived in the Gulf States for many years and he was saying that Arabs there wouldn’t even let Palestinians into their offices, never mind giving them a job. The only people rooting for Palestinians are lazy students searching for a cause (living away from mummy for the first time), opportunistic lefty venal politicians, their friends in the media and gullible Western feminists with unshaven armpits.

  2. Great post Adam (and EoZ).

    The entire world believes that Israel/Jews are the downfall of the Palestinian Arabs. Nothing could be further from the truth, but the world, the Palestinian Arabs and the Arabs themselves believe this.

    It is way past time that the world and the Palestinian Arabs woke up to the facts and those facts are that the Arab League, following the 1948 war, determined a policy that prevented Palestinian Arab refugees from having passports, citizenship or meaningful employment in ANY Arab state.

    They were to be used as a stick with which to beat Israel. And today, 64 years later, they still are.

    And that’s Israel’s fault?

    • Good post AKUS

      cityca in the brain-numbed, reality-challenged worlds of Jew/Israel haters it is always Israel’s fault as well you know. Indeed, since the Palestinians have hard-wired into their psyches that they cannot be to blame for anything which befalls them, no matter how stupidly or murderously they have behaved (and this is reinforced and colluded with by their useful idiot, codependent supporters), I would not be surprised if some way was found to blame the closing of the crossings at Rafah on Israel too, at least at the Guardian.

  3. Hilarious read. Just goes to show what you can do when you stop these muppets in time. Israel should pay attention and arrest and deport all ISM clowns ASAP. As an alternative to Jordan may I suggest Syria ! There the activists can see what human rights abuses look like and witness a huge war machinery murdering 20000 thousand people. Flattening entire neighbourhoods and visit the 1,5 million internally displaced. If they are still up for more activism and fun , they can kvetch on all along the Turkish borde, 80000 refugees! or head ova to Jordan to see more home made Arab refugees.
    Should they get sniped in the head or pancaked by earth moving machinery head to the nearest police station to file a complaint. Or their embassy, if it’s still maned, and give an interview to either Press TV, RT TV or CCTV. Meeting Judith Butler, fresh oudda Frankfurt, in a transsexual sit in would also be splendid for all those who could make it.
    Hell yeah!

  4. Please, knock it off with the decidedly unfunny remarks about the “unshaven armpits” and/or transsexual women. You are shooting yourself in the foot by showing your own prejudices against feminists -I am one- and/or members of the LGBT community -I am not, but I have friends who are- . who are faithful Zionists and spend quite a lot of time and money fighting the quasi-generalized prejudice against Israel.

    • Myriam,
      No homophobia from me. More a sarcastic comment on Butlers hypocrisy in regards to the position of gays in Arab\Persian society, or minorities as a whole. When you refer to Islamists as anti imperial Leftists while in Iran gays are hung/murdered for being gay you gonna get some flack. Screaming about the Pals lot yet silence over decades of despotism across the Muslim board in the ME will cause sniping against those gays in the west who hold human rights high only when it serves their own political agenda.
      In other matters. I hope that the LGBT film festival in Tel Aviv will be continued to be funded by the city or government and that we will have a great selection of films from across the world, including the Arab world.

  5. What a bizarre performance. True comedy gold. It would make a great Carry On movie. Carry On Floting perhaps?.

    • Andy,
      Imagine being with GG when he travels across Europe and north Africa in some ancient ambulance to be delivered to Hamas. They are of course stopped and ultimately kicked out of Egypt for being a pain. Also the riot against Egyptian police near Rafah and more jokes by Ken O’keefe and others. Carry of Aza!