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Paris, 30 November 2023

Each January, my Latin-American colleague and myself would attend the World Social Forum (WSF) in Porto Alegre, Brazil, to discover the forthcoming trends in antisemitism and hate against Israel.

In January 2010, the WSF was entering its 10th year of activity, with the focus subject “Challenges and Proposals for Another Possible World”, but the main theme was “Palestine” with the preparation of “Flotilla and Flytilla campaigns to Gaza”.

The discussion on the Flytilla (an “invasion” of pro-Palestinian militants through airlines) was a failure.

The one on a Flotilla campaign held a session to find an “appropriate and evocative” name, e.g. “D-Day”, referring to the WW2 Allied landing on the beaches of Normandy, or “Exodus 1947”, recalling the Jewish immigration of Holocaust survivors to then British Mandatory Palestine.

In both cases, the names were somehow wrong for Palestine. Finally, the “Gaza Freedom Flotilla” was chosen, allegedly to bring humanitarian aid to Gaza, with the Turkish “MV Mavi Marmara” as the lead ship.

At the time, IDF officials boarded the ship for inspection and were met with violence, assaulted by at least 40 militant crew members.

Last week, according to the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, the Flotilla organizers have again met in Turkey, claiming to put together another Flotilla “to break the Israeli blockade”, as an “act of civil disobedience” to “resist Israeli crimes”!

The Istanbul gathering launched an “International Campaign to Save Gaza”, by disrupting the naval supply towards Israel. The organizers claim ships were promised to them, from Russia and Spain. Norway also has a boat, named “Handala”, that is used as a propaganda tool touring European ports in Sweden, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, England, Scotland, Ireland and France.

This is the same procedure as in 2010. Apparently a “surfer” has asked to join the initiative, offering to bring his contacts with international organizations and his “several times in loading for the Gaza Strip”... that would seem to fit a figure currently being examined by the Wiesenthal Centre.

Our objective is to ensure that the IDF is well aware of a soon incoming Flotilla that may indeed be another instrument for Hamas’ genocidal intent.

Dr Shimon Samuels
Director for International Relations
Simon Wiesenthal Centre


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