What better way to start a voyage than a round of rousing pro-terrorist and antisemitic chanting?
Intifada, intifada, intifada!
Khaybar, Khaybar, oh Jews! The army of Mohammed will return!
Mohammed crushed the Jews of Khaybar, killed their leaders, took the widowed wife of one leader as his own, and degraded the survivors of the battle. Today the Khaybar chant is for hateful extremists, such as this baying mob in Luton.
Well, this was the scene on Saturday in Istanbul as the main ship in Turkish charity IHH’s latest convoy left port for Gaza.
The beneficiary of the aid and any political boosts will almost certainly be Hamas, just as it was (pdf) in January after the last IHH and Viva Palestina convoy worked its angry way from London to Gaza, that time by land. Viva Palestina, a registered British charity, is George Galloway’s own Hamas support group.
Hamas is eager to welcome the convoy. Earlier this month, two Hamas members were received by Mohammed Kaya, IHH’s representative in Gaza:
We in Hamas Movement follow up all the help and efforts extended by the Turkish humanitarian foundations, and we are eagerly waiting for the arrival of the convoy, which is the biggest of its kind since the Israeli embargo was imposed on the Gaza people…and we are also determined like you to break the siege with all means”, underlined Shehab during the meeting.
In April, an IHH convoy fundraiser in Ankara was addressed by Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal via video link:
A screening of a video recording of Khaled Mashal’s address to the guests of the event followed Yildirim’s talk. Mashal, the leader of Hamas, said “Turkey is doing what is expected of her by sending us humanitarian aid by the sea. We are expecting the same from all Muslim countries.”
In fact, the convoys are so important to Hamas that its Gaza leader Ismail Haniyeh welcomes them when they arrive. Here he is with Bülent Yildirim, the president of IHH, in January.
On that occasion Haniyeh hailed IHH:
IHH President Bülent Yıldırım offered help and stood beside our side during the war. This is an example of Islamic fraternity, an indication that we are all parts of the same umma. Muslims are like walls reinforcing each other. Welcome. Gaza is proud of you. I pray to Allah that we will pray together in al-Quds freely one day.
Turning back to the ceremony on Saturday in Istanbul, Yildirim struck a nasty note of his own with some Israelis-are-Nazis abuse.
Also likening Israel’s treatment of Palestinians to the Hitler’s Holocaust, Yildirim said “Hitler set up prison camps in Europe. Now, Zionism is setting up a prison camp in Palestine”
Raed Salah, the second man from the right in the picture below, perched in the front row for the event, must have thoroughly enjoyed himself. He is the militant leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel. In 2007, he had this to say in a speech during a day of mayhem at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem:
It is now the duty of every Arab and Muslim to launch an intifada from one end to another to save Jerusalem and the al-Aqsa Mosque.
We are not the ones who allowed ourselves to eat a meal based on bread and cheese soaked in children’s blood.
Who would want to join such an event from Britain? The man in the light grey suit who is fourth from the left in the front row in the picture. He’s in the video too, with Salah. It’s Mohammed Sawalha, a fugitive West Bank Hamas commander. He is now a resident of London and leads the British Muslim Initiative.
And Zaher Birawi too. He’s the man to Sawalha’s right in the picture. Birawi is a trustee of the Palestinian Return Centre, a pro-Hamas lobby group based in London. He is a spokesman for the convoy.
Oh, and Kevin Ovenden, George Galloway’s former parliamentary aide and a trustee of Viva Palestina.
A delegation from the British organization Viva Palestina under the leadership of its executive director Kevin Ovenden arrived in Istanbul to participate in the international sea convoy to break the siege on the Gaza strip, in collaboration with a number of institutions from all over the world.
Kevin Ovenden, centre, with Yildirim of IHH during the last convoy
Plus Ismail Patel, the head of Friends of al Aqsa, a Leicester-based group dedicated to hatred of Israel. Patel is a keen supporter of Hamas and a publisher of the work of disgusting antisemites.
Viva Palestina and others have raised funds in the UK for the convoy. It is illegal to fund Hamas, but never mind, the Charity Commission will not stop you and the nice people at Co-operative Bank or HSBC will help you move the money around.
Now that the convoy has sailed, donors and campaigners can sit back and be proud of doing their bit for Hamas.
As for the Israeli navy, it knows what kind of people are coming its way. Here they are battling with the Egyptian police in the port of El Arish during the last convoy. It was a mindless and needless conflict, engineered by IHH and Viva Palestina.
We may be in for another one, this time at sea.