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Welcome to Israel
Joseph Dana has been stationed in Ben Gurion Airport all day reporting on the "Welcome to Palestine" initiative. The scene he has shared can only be described as chaos. Israel has barred journalists from entering the airport, arrested Israeli activists who came to Ben Gurion in solidarity and stood aside as Israeli passerbys cursed, spit on and punched "Welcome to Palestine" travelers arriving from abroad.
In an piece on +972 titled “Air Flotilla” successful in exposing Israeli blockade of West Bank, Noam Sheizaf has described Israel's response to the protest as "panic" and added, "it seems that the whole country has gone mad." That looks about right, and it appears the "air flotilla" has also been successful in exposing the delusional siege mentality that seems to be governing Israel and the vast majority of its citizens these days. The government's existential fear of tourists visiting the occupied territories is yet another sign that the delegitimization of Israel is a self-fulfilling prophecy that Israel's leaders seem bent on bringing to fruition.
Below is Dana's live twitter stream from this morning and be sure to read over the last few hours. http://twitter.com/ibnezra
Welcome to Palestine ibnezra 7 minutes ago RT @bangpound: “Aided by Facebook, Israel on Friday prevented scores of activists from boarding Tel Aviv-bound flights.” http://t.co/WTQNAeK ibnezra 17 minutes ago Also to the Pali tweeters #ff @Budouroddick @JalalAK_jojo @Palestine15Mar @PalYouthVoice @ManaraRam @ASE @fadiquran ibnezra 19 minutes ago A big #ff for some of the best tweeters out there @Ali_Gharib @myaguarnieri @georgehale @MaxBlumenthal @avinunu @almagdela @AJStream ibnezra 30 minutes ago RT @New_Voices_Mag: Any Jewish college students on the #flotilla? Would like to get in touch with them. ibnezra about 2 hours ago Taking a step back from everything, hard to believe that a couple of hundred euros were able to create such a circus by just going to the WB ibnezra about 2 hours ago The last tweets just reflect the exhaustion and circus of the event today at the airport #airflotilla ibnezra about 2 hours ago New on +972, Larry Derfner talks about being attacked by a mob at the airport covering the #airflotilla http://t.co/22lm4rI ibnezra about 2 hours ago RT @lisang: Easy Jet confirmed in writing that it prevented "Flytilla" activists from boarding flights in Europe on orders of Israeli authorities. ibnezra about 2 hours ago Despite the flowers to welcome tourists, the airport and the country was in a state of panic over a few EU tourists to the West Bank ibnezra about 2 hours ago It was also a unnerving how the police were questioning journalists. At a moments, notice it felt like you could be taken for "questions" ibnezra about 2 hours ago The airport was exhausting this afternoon. It was jarring to see an angry mob scream at nonviolent activists #airflotilla ibnezra about 3 hours ago Minute 140, Larry Deferner attempts to verbally defend the activists. He is subsequently detained by police @airflotilla http://j.mp/pp0OwL ibnezra about 3 hours ago Minute 1:16, someone tries to punch an activist in front of the police at the airport. http://j.mp/pp0OwL #airflotilla ibnezra about 3 hours ago Hey, Haaretz removed their incorrect headline about "free Gaza" signs. Good for them. #airflotilla ibnezra about 3 hours ago I have spoken with many of the activists on board the @airflotilla and they all express the same wish, to travel to the West Bank openly ibnezra about 3 hours ago Ynet's current headline is designed to instill one image in the minds of its readers, KAHAMAS #airflotilla ibnezra about 3 hours ago Ynet is leading with "Gaza fly-in gains momentum" I would like to see where these ppl stated they are traveling to Gaza #airflotilla ibnezra about 4 hours ago Activists carried "welcome to Palestine" signs as you can clearly see in the photos and videos of the event http://j.mp/qihOTF #airflotilla ibnezra about 4 hours ago Haaretz never ceases to amaze. I did not see a single "free gaza" in the airport yet this is what they report http://j.mp/qihOTF ibnezra about 4 hours ago My report from the airport is live on +972: Dozens deported from TLV airport, 5 Israeli activists arrested http://t.co/ilOEPvh ibnezra about 5 hours ago Despite the best efforts of Israel and its allies, some EU tourists have been allowed to visit the West Bank. #airflotilla ibnezra about 5 hours ago The Israeli activists which dangerously raised Palestinian flags at the airport are going to be released shortly #airflotilla ibnezra about 6 hours ago #airflotilla passengers SMSing to journalists that they are being moved to detention facilities and then most likely back to the EU. ibnezra about 6 hours ago .@georgehale is telling me that the #airflotilla is not about solidarity with the Palestinians it is just a pro-fatah charade
Uploaded by RussiaToday on Jul 8, 2011
RT crew filmed the arrest of pro-Gaza activists, who were detained for chanting "Free Palestine". Police in Israel detained several activists who arrived at Tel Aviv's international airport on Friday to show their support for activists arriving from abroad to take part in pro-Palestinian demonstrations.
The arrested protesters arrived in Tel Aviv from elsewhere in Israel. It comes as first Hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists are being blocked in their attempts to reach Gaza by air and defy Israeli policies. Many are being stopped at European airports, while two American campaigners have been deported upon arrival in Tel Aviv. The move comes a week after a flotilla of a dozen ships bound for Gaza were prevented from leaving port in Greece.