Irene set to land within 24 hours

We can buy them food... or we can buy this totally bitchin boat!

Originally set to depart in July, but delayed by a $28,000 budget shortfall, the Irene set sail from Cyprus, destination Gaza. On board are 9 Jewish activists and crew members as well as a “symbolic” humanitarian cargo of toys, fishing nets and prosthetic limbs. Why is it symbolic? Well, because the Irene is a 33 foot Catamaran. With 9 people on board, there’s just not a lot of space for cargo. In this case “symbolic” simply means “not a whole hell of a lot.” Which is too bad really. Even a basic, used, 10 year old 33 foot Catamaran can cost upwards of $120,000. Add to that the travel costs of getting the passengers to the boat and all other associated expenses and it’s clear that this isn’t a humanitarian mission whose aim is to ease the suffering of a besieged and impoverished population. The money could simply have been donated to any of a number of reputable NGOs working in Gaza. No. This is simply a PR stunt put on by the sponsor organizations taken straight out of the Anti-Israel Activism for Dummies Handbook, chapter 1.

Lets look at the Jews on the boat. Why we have none other than Yonatan Shapira, co-founder of Combatants for Peace and an IDF refuser. Yonatan achieved a bit of notoriety this summer after he vandalized remnants of the Warsaw Ghetto wall by spray painting them with the message “Free Gaza and Free Palestine” as well as “Liberate all Ghettos.” Despite his blatant comparison of Israel with Nazi Germany, Shapira asserted that “I am not saying there is a comparison with the monstrosity of Nazi death camps, but I am saying we must talk about the silence in Israel and the world when people are confined in a ghetto-like place.” And just to drive the point home that this humanitarian mission has nothing to do with comparing Israel to Nazis, the organizers saw fit to include Holocaust survivor Reuven Moskovitz and Lilian Rosengarten, a refugee from Nazi Germany. I can already hear the maudlin sound bites.

This reminds me of how in his early speaking tours, Norman Finkelstein would shlepp his decrepit Mother to speaking engagements. After Finkelstein would finish, she would get up, feigning spontaneous indignation, and announce that not only was she a Holocaust survivor, but that what Israel was doing to the Palestinians was worse (!!) than what the Nazis had done to the Jews. It’s very dramatic of course and the message is quite compelling. It’s genius really, using the Holocaust as a weapon against the Jews, but it’s complete bullshit. Not only that, it’s craven and despicable and will not help the Palestinian cause one bit. But then again, this exercise was never about actually helping the Palestinians, was it?

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About the author


Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.


  • Imagine where Finkelstein and Shapira would be if we treated our traitors like the Palestiniand treat their traitors. Maybe we should.

  • I don’t think we should. I mean first of all are they even traitors per se? Are they breaking any civil or criminal laws? No. Religious laws? Perhaps. But that penalty in any case is probably something like Karet, being cut off from the Jewish people – and in Finkelstein’s case, I think he did that himself a long time ago. Nope. We’re better than that. Finally, your assertion presupposes universal savagery amongst the Palestinians. That’s also a notion I don’t agree with.

  • the captain glyn secker is my dad and ive never been more proud of him in my life.

    breaking the blockade – even in a symbollic way – is important. it shows the world that there are some jews who have respect for the palestinian people.

    yonatan did an amazing thing by refusing orders and instead obeying his conscience. as a jews i feel we all have a historical responsibility to stand up to oppression, in whatever form it takes. we have to admit that gaza resembles the warsaw ghetto.

    this is what my dad told me before he left (im writing an article on it so took notes):

    ‘For me, and many other Jews supporting this mission from around the world, it’s absolutely vital that we’re able to establish in the eyes of Palestinians… that we stand for a different Jewish tradition…the tradition that has always stood for human rights. It was those like Marek Edelman who stood for that tradition, who were the ones who fought back against the Nazis, who organised the uprisings in the Warsaw ghetto.’

    Marek Edelman, the last surviving leader of the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto uprising against the Nazis, claimed that it was the Palestinians, not the Israelis, who carry the mantle of the Warsaw Ghetto’s resistance.

  • I didn’t realize the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto launched thousands of rockets at Nazi towns. Oh wait, that analogy fails because the civilians in Sderot aren’t Nazis or Nazi supporters. In fact, if the Gazans would stop attempting violence against Israel and Israelis, then the Israeli border crossings would be open to the Gazans. If the Gazans didn’t seek israel’s destruction, the borders would be open to them. If their rhetoric wasn’t antisemitic, then the borders would be open to them. Most important, however, is the constant improvement in the military capabilities of Gaza, which would be happening even more rapidly without the blockade this group and others are trying to destroy. In other words, it appears that this group is not just seeking to provide a yacht for some rich Gaza businessman or political leader, but are in the process of directly or indirectly dupporting the arming of Gaza so that it can wage war (again) on Israel.

  • Just a bunch of kapos supporting Islamic terrorists whose main goal is to wipe out Israel and kill Jews. I’m not surprised the scumbag “captain” named his kid Khalil.

  • Interesting that some comments on Jewlicious ridicule the notion of the last survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising that it’s the Palestinians who carry the spiritual mantle of that uprising. No respect for a survivor who was there. Instead jeers because the Warsaw Ghetto uprising didn’t include cheap rockets–totally ignoring that the Ghetto uprising used every weapon it could get its hands on, which were few and puny compared to what the Germans had, same as the stones and cheap rockets are puny compared to the US armed IDF. Amazing how Israel uber alles types dumb down–they are ruining the idea that jews are smart. Who wears the goyishekopf now, frum boys?

  • No Joe, you are so confused with the ridiculous analogy that you appear to need a map.

    1. The gazans have gotten rockets that can hit Ashdod and Beersheba. They felt cocky enough before Cast Lead that they threatened the IDF that Gaza would become a graveyard for Israeli soldiers.

    2. The Gazans shoot their weapons at Israeli civilians intentionally. It’s not like they’re fighting soldiers. They are initiating attacks with their prime targets being civilians.

    3. The gazans are not lacking for food, medicine, energy, or security. Even during Cast Lead they continued to receive ample supplies.

    4.the Gazans have Egypt on one side and the Egyptians opened their border and promptly had to stop a large weapons shipment that included anti-aircraft rockets.

    5. The Gazans have their own elected government.

    6. The Gazans get international media and diplomatic delegation visits.

    7. Israel has no genocidal intentions regarding Palestinians or anybody else.

    One thing is certain. In the Negev town of Sderot, they now have bomb shelters all over the city. I wonder whether the Nazis would have permitted the Jews of Warsaw to target German civilians to the degree that surrounding towns would have had to build shelters and new fortified buildings. If you answered “yes” you need to go back to your elementary school history classes.

  • Hi, my name is Nathan Nagelkerk and I live in Grand Rapids, MI. My e-mail is I am 31 years old.

    Random information right? I know.

    I do want to say that a person is not right in comparing the Nazi Holocaust to the Palestinians living in Israel because if Israel’s intent was genocide, they’d have done it a long time ago.

  • I’ve been to Sderot, I know how terrifying it is to live there. Of course loads of Gazans are incredibly anti-semitic, just look at how they’ve been treated by Jews. They don’t get to see friendly Shabbat dinners and handshakes. They get to see IDF bombs.

    The Gaza strip is like a pressure cooker. Its one of the most overcrowded and impoverished places in the world. They lack food, clean water, medicines and housing. Cast Lead took a crisis situation and made it worse. It killed 300 children.

    If a Jewish nation does that to them, then of course anti-Semitism is going to grow big and strong. During Cast Lead 300 children were killed. Say all you want about ‘collateral damage’ but try explaining that to grief stricken parents.

    Try explaining the concept of ‘collatoral damage’ to an 18 year old kid who wants revenge because his baby sister was buried alive in their home during Cast Lead. When he takes revenge by firing a rocket into Israel to kill children there, do you think he’d listen if you tried to explain the concept of ‘collateral damage’? Would you listen if it was the other way around?

    • Khalil, Haj Amin al Husseini hooked up with the Nazis in the early 1940s. Palestinians massacred Jews for no reason other than hatred back in 1929. Palestinians massacred Jews back when they were only a tenth of the population back in 1920. So go tell your stories to somebody who doesn’t know anything.

  • My knowledge of history isen’t that detailed, but I’m sure your right. There has always been a history of religious conflict in and around Jerusalem.

    But why make that violence continue? Violence breeds violence. Anyone with an ounce of common sense knows that. If someone killed a member of your family in cold blood, you’d want revenge.

    You seem to be saying though that Palestinian anti-Semitism is somehow genetic and unchangable. You seem to think that Israel’s actions (kind or cruel) have no effect on how the average Palestinian feels towards Jews. thats ridiculous. Cruelty breeds cruelty.

  • I’d like to add that Cast Lead actually endangered the Jewish people in the long run. Hamas rocket attacks have been reduced in the short term, but what about all the Gazan orphans who’s parents were killed by IDF rockets? They will grow up being told that ‘Jews killed your parents.’ Because of the blockade, they don’t get to see the positive, peaceful and compassionate aspects of Israel. They will never go to school with Jewish children. They will never learn about Hadessah hospital, where Arabs and Jews are treated with equal medical compassion.

    That’s why the Jewish boat to Gaza was a very important symbolic act. It showed the people of Gaza that not all Jews hate them. It reduced anti-semitism.

  • Khalil, you should be taking your complaints to the government of Gaza, Hamas. There would have been no Cast Lead if it weren’t for Hamas. The way Cast Lead had to be fought would have prevented many civilian casualties if Hamas hadn’t organized its fighting around civilians. They preferred media victory to saving their people and they preferred war to peace. It’s really very simple. You need to be writing on their websites and speaking to Gazans and Hamas people especially.

    As for the poor, starving, water-deprived Gazans, from what I’m reading, they’re having a nice little ol’ construction boom right now and are doing just fine.

  • Yes, Hamas must take some responsibility. They knew that continued rocket attacks on Sderot and Ashkelon would eventually lead to retaliation.

    But that doesn’t mean Israel can disown responsibility simply by saying ‘Its not our fault, they started it.’ For example, leaflets were dropped on Gazan homes advising people to evacuate. They went to a nearby UN school, assuming it would be safe. 2 days later, Hamas fired a rocket from the back of a pick up truck near to the school, then immediately drove. 24 hours later, the IDF blew up the school with 80 civilians inside, claiming it was a military target. The UN publicly declared this a war crime.

    As for the humanitarian situation, why would the Red Cross, UNICEF and Medecins Sans Frontieres all go to Gaza if their was no humanitarian crisis?

    • No Khalil, Hamas has to take full responsibility. You can’t expect to keep attacking a country and not receive a war in return. Except that Hamas was expecting a war and in preparation they decided to fight from amongst their civilian population. This is something they learned from Hizbullah and since Iran is a patron of both Hizbullah and Hamas, it made sure that Hamas used the same, extremely successful, tactic of placing missiles and fighters amidst civilians because there is no way to lose – if your fighters score kills, they win, and if your fighters get killed but so do civilians around them, they score a media win.

      The UN school story you bring up is a perfect example of a media win because of the Hamas/Hizbullah strategy of fighting from within a civilian population. At the time, it was reported as an attack on a UN school, and that 43 Palestinian civilians hiding out inside were killed. That’s not what happened, however. I don’t have the time to give you all the links, but you can find many of the articles in the footnotes section of the Wikipedia article about this supposed attack on a UN school. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about it:

      The al-Fakhura School incident refers to events that took place nearby a United Nations (UN) run school of al-Fakhura located in the Jabaliya refugee camp in the Gaza Strip on January 6, 2009 during the Gaza War.[4] In response to alleged militant gunfire coming from beside the school, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) fired upon the targets that the UN and several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) say killed 42, 41 of them civilians, and that according to the IDF killed 9 Hamas militants and 3 noncombatants.[5][6][7][8][9][3] In April 2009, The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) listed 12 people as killed “near” the school and another 8 “opposite” the school.[10] Several people listed as civilians in the PCHR report are claimed by Hamas as its fighters according to Israeli think tank International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT).[11] In the last week of January, the UN explicitly clarified that no deaths occurred within the building itself and that the rounds struck the street outside the school. A “clerical error” in UN reports had previously stated otherwise.[12]

      Several news reports initially stated that the attack directly hit the school itself, and that the victims had taken refuge there to escape the fighting between the IDF and Palestinian militants.[5][6][13] The response, before it was learned that the school itself was not attacked, lead to a renewed push for a cease-fire in the Gaza War.[6][7] The attack had created a public outcry and prompted condemnation from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, members of the news media, and international aid agencies.[13] Numerous testimonies from local residents confirmed later that militants fired mortars from a location close to the school compound and that there were no fatalities inside the school.[14][15]

      Of course, the articles show that there was no “alleged” firing in the area. There was real firing from the area and the IDF was responding. Who is responsible? Hamas.

      Regarding the Red Cross, UNICEF and Medicins Sans Frontieres, you have to ask them why they are there. The Red Cross, for example, managed to not visit Gilad Shalit even once in the 5 years of his captivity – that captivity being, by the way, a Hamas war crime.