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IHH and Hamas: Yildirim in Gaza

People planning to support or join the next convoy to Gaza with Turkish charity IHH and Viva Palestina, which is expected in September, should have no illusions whatsoever about what they are doing. Once again, it will not be an act of solidarity with Palestinians, but a demonstration of loyalty and support for the terrorists who have oppressed and immiserated Gaza: Hamas.

Take IHH’s representative in Gaza’s word for it. Last week he said “We only work through Hamas”. What about terrorism? Look, he said, at Israel and the UN (yes, the UN).

That was hardly the first open declaration of support. In February 2009 Bülent Yildirim, the president of IHH, made his allegiance to Hamas plain in a visit to Gaza. If you want a glimpse into his mentality, do watch this video of him bellowing at a Hamas rally marking the “victory” in the Gaza war.

The language is blunt. Does he have a problem with the current Israeli government? No, he has it in for Jews. As for Hamas, they are no terrorists:

Three to four years ago, some claimed that Hamas was a terrorist organization. When the Jews would kill our women and children, they would say: ‘Muhammad died and left only daughters.’ We are here, in Turkey, in Egypt, Syria, and everywhere, and our daughters and our boys can also defeat you.

Yildirim wants to join the fight:

Oh people of Paradise, let me tell you: You are not alone, we love you a lot.

I wish we could take you away from here to Istanbul, and bring Istanbul here to be hit by the bombs instead of you

Don’t get in his way. Revolution will be the price if you do:

From here, I call upon all the leaders of the Islamic world, and upon all the peoples… Anyone who does not stand alongside Palestine – his throne will be toppled.

Turkish prime minister Erdoğan, the Gilad Atzmon fan who also says Hamas are not terrorists and likes to lecture Jews in the name of God, is the model:

All the peoples of the Islamic world demand their leaders to be like Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Death is to be embraced:

Raise your fists to the skies and repeat after me: What can the enemy do to me? I carry Paradise in my heart. If they deport me – it would be a trip. If they imprison me – I will be able to spend some time alone. If they kill me – that is martyrdom for the sake of Allah. Allah Akbar.

Almost a year later Yildirim returned to Gaza with IHH and Viva Palestina to donate (pdf) another convoy’s goods to Hamas and pose proudly with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.



Yildirim hands the keys to a convoy vehicle to Ahmad al Kurd, a senior Hamas leader and a key player in its “charity” operations, in January 2010.


Yildirim with Haniyeh, January 2010

Now churches and Quaker meeting halls in Britain are busy hosting the people who will fund and participate in the next convoy, as they have in the past. This is one of the ugliest elements of the whole story. How can Christians and pacifists open their premises to Hamas supporters, not for talking them down but for rallying?

We all know the UK refuses to enforce its own prohibition of funding Hamas.

Individuals can and should do better. If you want to help Palestinians, the very last thing you should do is support violent fundamentalists.

In fact, you should take them to task, and not be like the credulous German leftists profiled in this news clip. They fell for the “humanitarian” talk of the IHH convoy. The clip neatly shows them up for their foolish decision.

Think of pragmatism alone if the political issues don’t sway you. The latest IHH escapade was an enormous waste of money and an operational farce:

- The ships were purchased, since no shipowner was foolhardy enough to charter vessels to a bunch of Hamas supporters determined to have a fight with the IDF. IHH spent €1.65 million on the Mavi Marmara and the Gazze. It has not said how much it paid for its third ship, the Defne-Y. The Free Gaza Movement was granted over €300,000 for purchasing ships by the Perdana Global Peace Organisation, the outfit of depraved antisemite Mahathir Mohamad.

- Crews, fuel, repairs, port fees, cargo handling charges, and legal services had to be paid for.

- “Activists” had to pay their way to Turkey, Greece and Ireland to board the ships.

- All in all, the convoy’s costs ran into the millions of euros, according to the Free Gaza Movement.

- According to Israel, the operation was poorly handled, from unprofessional cargo loading to the provision of expired medicines.

- Three of the ships, including the Mavi Marmara, carried no aid cargoes at all.

- In a fit of pique, Hamas has refused to accept the goods unloaded in Ashdod.

Aid professionals using established channels and dedicated assets would have done much more for Palestinians with the money thrown into a vanity cruise for Hamas supporters.

Then again, I suppose the hardcore nutters really are in it for “bang for buck”.