Susan Mubarak, Dictator's wife, has graciously agreed to send 100 people, w/ supplies, from our group of 1400.The delegation will be under her auspices.
Code Pink/Free Gaza March has formally agreed to this "generous offer."
Their thinking, one supposes, for this process was not transparent, is that the aid that people brought (there are individuals here who have raised upwards of $15,000 in aid by themselves) will theoretically reach the stranded Palestinian people. This delivery, from the grassroots, should not be dismissed as symbolic. It is essential that this material aid land in the hands of the intended people. If it doesn't, it would have to be considered an act of piracy. We have seen President Obama deal, rather decisively, with pirates from Africa before. Though something tells me that, if anything, Obama is on the side of the pirates this time.
In addition to the aid getting across the border, 100 people from 20-30 countries accompanying around 50,000 Palestinians on their march from Rafah (in the south) to Erez Military Outpost in the north, is extremely important. The possibilities change with the presence of such an international contingent. The probability of violence from the Occupying Israeli Settler Armies diminishes (though doesn't disappear). The significance of this reduction cannot be understated.
Again, these two points should be seriously considered. But I can't help consider a few others, as well.
At 9:08pm I got a text that reads:
"100 ppl going to gaza wed. Need delegates from these countries now: belgium s. africa, netherlands, turkey, swiss, nz, slovenia, bulgaria, cameroon, indo, mex, romania, bosnia, spain, australia"
It so happens that I've become good friends with the Turkish/Bulgarian/Romanian delegation. So, I sent their names and phone number to the organizers. I got back reply:
"Turkey cant go because theyre not letting people from the middle east in"
What's that you say? There's an ethnic component to this "Chosen 100?" Is this how far we've fallen, to except a blatantly racist determination against "people from the middle east," who we all have come to support? Why would anyone, ever, agree to that?
It turns out that, some delegations are answering that question by denouncing the entire ordeal.
The South African delegation has categorically refused to offer a single delegate. "This is a sellout," one of the union workers told me. They know something of dealing with dictatorships and apartheid. There is so much to say here, but I haven't the time. I'll just reiterate that the products of the South African anti-apartheid Revolution are insulted by this "offer," and have flatly refused to participate. (There are, as far as I can tell, no South Africans in leadership positions in FGM.)
The French delegation of appx 300, also, have refused, out of hand.
The Italian delegation will not provide a delegate.
The call was to "Break the Siege of Gaza," and the majority of people who have come to attempt that feel that Ms Mubarak's "gift" is racist, elitist, and just plain stinks. For, it's aim is not to break the siege, but to mask the stench of this fetid dictator.
But everyone knows, you can't polish a turd.