Over the next few days, the media will dutifully repeat the lies of the organizers of the latest attempt to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza. They will tell you that the Mariam is just a ship full of simple women who want peace, who are bringing much-needed medications and humanitarian supplies from Lebanon to Gaza. They will call the women “activists” and repeat their insistence that they have no connection to Hezballah whatsoever.
They will be lying.
The man who is funding the boats, Yasser Kashlak, is actively anti-Israel and does not believe in a two-state solution. The woman leading the Mariam is the wife of one of Rafik Harriri’s assassins who has close ties to Hassan Nasrallah. Their ties to Hezballah are numerous. Hezballah refused to allow a Lebanese pop star to join the women’s boat, saying she was too immodest for their tastes. (Of course they are now denying that they refused her permission, saying it’s Israeli propaganda.)
Kashlak wrote the following to Nasrallah last year:
“In the name of the Palestinian peopleâ€¦ we stress that we are taking the path of resistance. Their campaigns will do no good, and history and geography will not lie. We ask Allah to extend your life and the lives of all who support Palestine and the noble resistance.”
And he said this:
Meanwhile, Yasser Kashlak, a Syrian businessman of Palestinian descent who heads the â€œFree Palestine Organizationâ€ and is funding this boat, as well as another that is to carry journalists and parliamentarians, said over the weekend on Hizbullahâ€™s al-Manar television station that he was more and more optimistic that one day these same boats would take â€œEuropeâ€™s refuse [the Jews] that came to my homeland back to their homelands.”
Such a peaceful man. He also said this:
â€œGilad Schalit should go back to Paris and those murderers go back to Poland, and after that we will chase them until the ends of the earth to bring them to justice for their acts of slaughter from Deir Yassin until today.â€ Kashlak, a fervent Hizbullah supporter, called Israel a â€œrabid dog sent to the region to frighten the Arabs. He said he had a message for Israelis: â€˜Get on the ships we are sending you and go back to your lands. Donâ€™t let the moderate Arab leaders delude you, [you] cannot make peace with us. Our children will return to Palestine, you have no reason for coexistence. Even if our leaders will sign a peace agreement, we will not sign.â€™â€
My prediction: This is what the world media will report when they mention Kashlak’s bonafides:
He said the boat carrying journalists and parliamentarians will carry 12 former American diplomats as well.
If you doubt me, take a look at this article in the Australian, which is one of the few outlets to carry quotes from the Mariam’s organizer. Compare and contrast it with the JPost article. I won’t call it a whitewash, but it doesn’t seem to have gone very deeply into the background of the organizer. The AP article? Well, there isn’t one yet. That one, I suspect, will be a whitewash. But make no mistake: Hezballah is behind the Lebanese flotilla.