On July 23, 2018, the Freedom Flotilla, comprising three boats, set sail from Italy with the aim of “end[ing] the siege” of Gaza and “demand[ing] an end to our governments’ complicity with Israel’s war crimes and violation of human rights.”

The Freedom Flotilla partners with the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), identified by Fatah as an official PFLPaffiliate” and by USAID as the “agricultural arm” of the PFLP, a terrorist organization designated as such by the USEUCanada, and Israel. According to academic scholar Glenn E. Robinson, UAWC was founded in 1986 by “agronomists loosely affiliated with the PFLP.” According to the Israeli NGO Shurat HaDin, UAWC “was established by the PFLP; is controlled by senior PFLP operatives; makes its assets available to the PFLP; and acts in coordination with and to advance the interests of the PFLP (including active involvement in PFLP political activity).”

Many of the passengers aboard the flotilla have connections to highly biased and politicized NGOs active in the Arab-Israeli conflict, including Medical Aid for Palestinians, Israel Social TV, Christian Peacemaker Teams, Health Work Committees, and CODEPINK.

Members of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition

  • Members of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition include IHH (Turkey), Platform of French NGOs for Palestine, and MYCARE.
    • IHH is a member of the Union of the Good, an umbrella of 50+ Islamic organizations, which was designated by the US government as “an organization created by Hamas leadership to transfer funds to the terrorist organization.”
    • The Platform of French NGOs for Palestine coordinates the “Made in Illegality” campaign in France, which calls upon France to end its economic relations with Israeli settlements. The campaign’s demands include banning French import of all “settlement products,” discouraging French companies “from investing in settlements,” and preparing information for travelers “to ensure that they avoid supporting companies and tourist sites that are located in the settlements.”
    • MYCARE, a Malaysian organization, has “direct connections” with Hamas. In April 2018, Fadi Mohammad al-Batsh, a Hamas activist was an “expert in the construction of rockets,” was murdered in Malaysia while working for MYCARE. MYCARE has denied the allegations saying that “Fadi was a man who loved peace… why would he take the risk of putting himself, his family and other Palestinians here in Malaysia at risk by getting involved in arms manufacturing, as proposed (by foreign media)?”

NGO Participants:

  1. Swee Chai Ang (Medical Aid for Palestinians)
  • NGO Monitor researchers discovered that Swee Ang, Founder and Honorary Patron of MAP, promoted a video made by American white supremacist David Duke.1 The video is described on Duke’s YouTube page as “reveal[ing] how the Zionist Matrix of Power controls Media, Politics and Banking and how each Part of this Tribalist matrix supports and protects each other!”
  • Swee Ang was one of the main authors of the “Open Letter for the People of Gaza,” published in The Lancet medical journal (July 23, 2014), which accused Israel of “war crimes” and  carrying out a propaganda campaign that “justifies the creation of an emergency to masquerade a massacre.” The letter made numerous unsubstantiated allegations, including accusing Israel of utilizing illegal weaponry to deliberately kill civilians and engaging in a “military onslaught on civilians in Gaza under the guise of punishing terrorists.” The letter also denies Israel’s right to self-defense and fails to mention Hamas rocket fire and terror tunnels from Gaza into Israeli territory.
  1. Yudit Ilani (Israel Social TV)
  • Ilani has expressed her support for the “return of the refugees and the model of a state of all its citizens, even if it means that there will be a Jewish minority in the country.”
  • On March 21, 2016, Yudit Ilani was a speaker at a panel titled “The Return of Palestinian Refugees in the local Civil Society Discourse” at Zochrot’s “Third International Conference on the Return of Palestinian Refugees.”
  • Ilani also participated in a flotilla to Gaza in 2016, keeping a travelogue, describing how the situation in Gaza is “not ‘close to disastrous’ but already beyond the horrific.”
  1. Laura Roger
  1. Sarah Katz
  • Katz is a member of Union Juive Française pour la Paix (UJFP).
    • UJFP supports BDS campaigns against Israel, despite the fact that such boycotts are illegal under French law.
    • UJFP was a signatory to a 2017 statement calling for “the suspension of the EU’s Association Agreement with Israel” and on the international community “to cease all complicity with continued settlement activity and the myriad of ways that Israel violates international law.” The statement condemns the 1947 UN partition plan, claiming it “resulted in the 1948 Nakba, the demolition of more than 530 Palestinian villages and the expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians from their homeland, and is thus a process of ethnic cleansing”; and claims that European countries “made Palestine carry the consequences of the monstrous genocide of the European Jews by the Nazis; and subsequently they did nothing to require that Israel respect UN resolutions.”
  • In March 2017, Katz, alongside UJFP member Pierre Stambul, presented their book “chroniques de Gaza, mai/ juin 2016” (chronicles of Gaza, May/ June 2016), based on their trip to Gaza in 2016, to “describe the cage of Gaza using pictures.” In the description of the event, Gaza is characterized as “a cage buckled on the floor…Gaza is a laboratory where every two-three years the Israeli occupant experiments the most sophisticated weapons against a disarmed population.” Terrorism and other violence emanating from Gaza are erased: “Gaza is regularly defamed as terrorists, fundamentalists. Defamed by those who have committed numerous war crimes and crimes against humanity. Yet, in Gaza, they resist peacefully… they discuss politics in the wider diversity.”
  • In May-June 2016, Katz travelled to Gaza and met with officials and members of the PFLP terrorist group and the Union of Agricultural Work Committee (UAWC), an official PFLP affiliate.
  • Katz has also volunteered with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM).
  1. Yonatan Shapira
  • Shapira founded the organization Combatants for Peace.
    • While claiming to “allow each side to understand the other’s narrative,” Combatants for Peace activities reflect a strong affiliation with the Palestinian agenda and narrative, placing most of the blame for the conflict on “the occupation.”
  • Shapira has referred to the Israeli army as a “terrorist organization,” as well as accusing Israel of engaging in “land grabs” and “massacres.”
  • Shapira is also a member of Boycott from Within, a group of Israeli citizens who support the Palestinian call for BDS.
  • In a July 2018 interview with The Real News Network, Shapira stated that “it’s just important to remember that Israel claims to be a democracy. It is not. It’s, it’s an apartheid. It’s led by a group of fascist Jewish supremacy people, and prime minister, and ministers. But if you’re a Zionist Jew, you can feel great democracy. If you are not a Zionist, and if you’re not a Jew, you’re living in apartheid.”
  1. Charlie Andreasson
  1. Lisa Fithian
  • Fithian has “spent several weeks in Palestine, working with the International Solidarity Movement acting as a human shield for Palestinians in Jenin and Nablus and to prevent the demolition of homes.”
  1. Robert Naiman
  1. Barbara Briggs – Letson
  1. Ann Wright
  1. Awni Farhat
  1. Oldoz Javidi
  • A candidate for the National Parliament in Sweden, Javidi has accused Israel of turning Gaza into the “world’s biggest open air jail.”
  • In July 2018, in an interview with Feministiskt Perspektiv, a Swedish magazine, Javidi suggested that Israeli Jews should move to the United States. According to Javidi, “Israel’s best friend is the United States, another infernal regime with vastly large land areas. So why not invite their friends over and make room for them? They seem to do well in each other’s company. Then the Palestinians can live in peace and rebuild the land that once was theirs.”
  • In April 2018, during the violence on the Gaza border, Javidi accused Israel of “cold-blooded assassination,” “deliberately murderous action,” and of being “brainwashed killing machines.” Javidi ignored the violent nature of the protests, which included Molotov cocktails, arson, and attempts to breach the border fence with Israel