By Caroline Glick
Oh the shame of it all. Last month, 1,300 pro-Palestinian activists from the US and Europe came to the region in the name of peace and social justice to demonstrate their solidarity with the Palestinians in Gaza. Led by the self-declared feminist, antiwar group Code Pink, the demonstrators' plan was to enter Gaza from the Egyptian border at Rafah and deliver "humanitarian aid" to the Hamas terrorist organization.
But it was not to be. Led by Code Pink founder and California Democratic fund-raiser Jodie Evans, the demonstrators were not welcomed by Egyptian authorities. Many were surrounded by riot police and barbed wire as they demonstrated outside the US and French embassies and the UN Development Program's headquarters. Others were barred from leaving their hotels.
Those who managed to escape their hotels and the bullpens outside the embassies were barred from staging night protests in solidarity with Hamas on the Nile. In the end, as the militant Israeli pro-Palestinian activist Amira Hass chronicled in Haaretz last week, all but 100 of them were barred from travelling to Gaza.
The lucky few allowed into the Strip included neither Evans nor her friends, former Weather Underground terror leaders Bernadine Dohrn and William Ayres. But they bore no grudge against Egypt. The Egyptians were mere puppets of the real culprit: Israel. As Evans said, "It's obvious that the only reason for [Egypt's treatment of the demonstrators] is to make Israel happy. Israel is behind the refusal [to allow the demonstrators into Gaza] - what other excuse could there be?"
Dohrn, the woman who has called for a "revolutionary war" to destroy the US, felt that the Egyptian authorities' behavior was nothing but an unfortunate diversion from their mission. As she wrote in a blog post from Cairo, "We find ourselves unwillingly in Cairo, drawn into clashes with authorities and one another on side issues, when what we most want is to keep our eyes on the Palestinian people."
Unfortunately for the lucky 100 who were permitted to enter Hamastan, the diversions didn't end at the Egyptians border. Hamas immediately placed them under siege. The Palestinian champions had planned to enjoy home hospitality from friends in Gaza. But once there they were prohibited from leaving the Hamas-owned Commodore Hotel and from having any contact with local Gazans without a Hamas escort.
Rather than being permitted to judge the situation in Gaza for themselves, they were carted onto Hamas buses and taken on "devastation tours" of what their Hamas tour guides claimed was damage caused by the IDF during Operation Cast Lead. And then these international protesters were forced to participate in a Hamas-organized march to the Erez crossing.
As Hass tells it, in "a slap to many feminist organizers and participants," no Palestinian women were allowed to participate in the march, which "turned into nothing more than a ritual, an opportunity for Hamas cabinet ministers to get decent media coverage in the company of Western demonstrators."
But they didn't really mind. Reacting to her effective imprisonment in the Hamas-owned hotel, one of the demonstrators, an American woman named Poya Pakzad, cooed on her blog that the Commodore Hotel was "the nicest hotel I've ever stayed at, in my life."
Pakzad did complain, however, about what she acknowledged was the "farce" devastation tour she was taken on. She claimed that her Hamas guides were ignorant. In her studied view, they understated the number of Palestinians rendered homeless by the IDF counterterror offensive last year by some 60 percent.
Pakzad is something of a Hass groupie. She wrote that on the bus to Gaza, still smarting from the rough treatment the group received from the Egyptian authorities, Hass "made me realize why I came in the first place: to break the siege!"
Hass's participation in the pro-Hamas propaganda trip is a bit surprising. In November 2008, she was forced to flee from Gaza to Israel after Hamas threatened to kill her. At the time, Hass appealed to the Israeli military - which she has spent the better part of her career bashing - and asked to be allowed to enter Israel from Gaza, after sailing illegally to Gaza from Cyprus on a ferry chartered by the pro-Hamas Free Gaza outfit.
Hass's behavior is actually more revealing than surprising. The truth is that Hass and her fellow demonstrators were willing to be used as media props by Hamas precisely because it isn't the Palestinians' welfare that concerns them. If they cared about the Palestinians they would be demonstrating against Hamas, which prohibited local women from participating in their march to the Israeli border, and which barred non-Hamas members from speaking with them. It would offend their sensitivities that Hamas goons beat women for not covering themselves from head to toe in Islamic potato sacks. It would bother them that Hamas executes its political opponents by among other things throwing them off the roofs of apartment buildings.
The demonstrators did not come to Gaza to demonstrate their support for the Palestinians, but rather their hatred for Israel and for their own Western governments that refuse to join Hamas in its war against Israel. As one of the organizers told Hass as she sat corralled by Egyptian riot police outside the UNDP offices in Cairo, "In our presence here, we are saying that we are not casting the blame on Egypt. The responsibility for the shameless and obscene Israeli siege on Gaza rests squarely with our own countries."
By happily collaborating with Hamas in its propaganda extravaganza, these demonstrators demonstrated that the rights of Palestinians are not their concern. Their concern is waging war against their own societies and against Israel. They are more than happy to have their pictures taken with the likes of Hamas terror master Ismail Haniyeh. And while they will never acknowledge that his organization's terror war against Israel is illegal and immoral, or care that Hamas's founding charter explicitly calls for the genocide of Jewry, they will demonstrate from today till doomsday against their governments' recognition of Israel.
In this, the Free Gaza movement members are but a chip off the old psychopathic block of nearly a century of far-left Western activists whose hatred for their own countries motivated them to hide the crimes of mass murderers from Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong to Fidel Castro and Ho Chi Minh to Daniel Ortega and Saddam Hussein. As Jamie Glazov chronicles in his recently published book, United in Hate: The Left's Romance with Tyranny and Terror, their attraction to mass murderers - from Stalin to Osama bin Laden - and their concomitant hatred of their own societies "is a secular religion."
These fanatics are usually dismissed as fringe elements. But the truth is that during the late 20th century, the distance between these true believers and the centers of state power has not been very great. Glazov notes, "The tragedy... is that the Left has shaped much of the cultural and political consciousness of our time. The Left's agenda mattered immensely during the Vietnam War: even former North Vietnamese officials have admitted that the antiwar movement in American can take credit for communism's victory in South Vietnam and, therefore, for the tragic bloodbath that followed."
Likewise, these radical movements' extremism today has not marginalized them politically. Since it was formed in 2002, Code Pink has openly sided with US enemies against the US and its allies. Evans and its other leaders have met with Hamas leaders in Gaza and Syria. They have visited with Hizbullah in Lebanon. They have met with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in New York and Teheran. They have supplied Iranian-backed insurgents in Iraq, and before the US-led invasion in 2003, they organized a solidarity-with-Saddam Hussein mission to Baghdad. And this month, fresh from Egypt and Gaza, Code Pink launched an advertising campaign on the Muslim Brotherhood's English-language Web site.
At home in the US, as documented by Web sites like Big Government and Atlas Shrugs, Code Pink's members have launched psychological warfare operations against American soldiers outside of military bases with the aim of persuading them to desert. They have taunted and frightened children of US servicemen. They have harassed Bush administration officials, their family members and Republican Party leaders.
In Israel, counterparts to Code Pink like Uri Avineri's Gush Shalom acted as human shields to protect Yasser Arafat and his fellow terrorists from the IDF during Operation Defensive Shield in 2002. Anarchists Against the Fence stage violent riots against IDF soldiers every week. Four Mothers successfully compelled the Barak government to surrender south Lebanon to Hizbullah.
Traditionally, the far left's ability to shape national policy in Israel and the US alike has owed largely to the sympathetic coverage they have garnered from fellow-travelling media outlets. In the US, the anti-war movement probably would have failed in its mission of transferring South Vietnam to Communist control if The New York Times and CBS News hadn't supported their efforts. So, too, the Barak government would likely not have withdrawn the IDF from south Lebanon if Four Mothers hadn't been ardently supported by state-owned Israel Radio.
While both the Israeli and American media continue to promote the agendas of far left groups, by among other things, not reporting their open ties to terrorist organizations, today some of these groups have direct access to the halls of power.
Code Pink, for instance, is welcome at the Obama White House. Its leader Evans was an official fund-raiser for Barack Obama's presidential campaign. Evans visited the White House after travelling to Gaza last June. While there she met with Hamas leaders who gave her a letter for Obama. Evans met Obama himself at a donor dinner in San Francisco last October where, while standing in front of cameras, she gave him documents she received in Afghanistan, where she met with Taliban officials.
Then, too, among the board members of the Free Gaza movement is former US senator James Abourezk. Abourezk is reputedly close to Obama and according to knowledgeable sources has been a key figure in shaping Obama's policy towards Israel.
Then, too, like Evans, Dohrn and her husband, Ayres, are also friendly with the president of the United States. Dohrn and Ayres have been Obama's political patrons since he launched his first campaign for the Illinois state Senate in 1996. In White House visitors' logs, Ayres is listed as having twice visited the building since Obama's inauguration.
Israeli authorities tend to treat groups like Code Pink and its Israeli allies as nothing more than nuisances. Since unlike Egypt and these self-proclaimed human rights champions themselves, Israel actually does care about human rights, it would never occur to anyone to treat these demonstrators as Egypt did. At the same time, the Egyptian authorities' actions were clearly informed by their understanding that, with their ties to Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hizbullah, Syria and Iran, Code Pink and its friends are active collaborators with the jihad war machine.
With their open ties to our jihadist enemies on the one hand, and their direct line to the White House on the other, Israel ignores them at our peril.
Obama Funder Jodie Evans Provokes Crisis in Egypt Over ‘Hamas-Aid’ Event, Obama Pals Ayers and Dohrn in Cairo with Code Pink - Big Government (Blog)
Code Pink To Muslims: ‘Help Us Cleanse Our Country’ - David Horowitz's NewsReal (Blog)
Marines Are Going to Haiti, Code Pink is Staying Home - RedState
Adrian MacNair: Code Pink's assault on common sense - National Post (Blog)
What does the Bible say about feminism? Should a Christian be a feminist? - GotQuestions.org
Shackled Warrior: Israel and the Global Jihad - Caroline B. Glick (Book)