The concerns about the Rafah border are justified and will be a subject of another post. What I want to focus is on is the subject of this article. After the Mavi Marmara incident last year, I find myself puzzled as to the need for continued flotillas after the Rafah border opens. Indeed, I have previously stated that I was surprised that the "Gaza flotillas" never attempted to send aid through Egypt instead of intentionally creating confrontations against Israel in order to bring international disdain on Israel.
Now, if the Rafah border is open, functionally lifting Gaza's siege, what is the continued justification for such flotillas? Indeed, I would be utterly shocked if the Rafah border opening had any affect on the "peace activists" who try to confront the Israelis. Indeed, if the flotilla participants were interested in providing humanitarian aid, they always could have sent it through Israel or at least through the Egyptians. And of course, the token humanitarian efforts of the flotillas are minuscule compared to the substantial resources that Israel pours into Gaza (electricity and food being primary forms of aid).
If the flotillas continue after May 28, it will only prove what has always been true: the aid flotillas have always been about provoking Israel's military to try to harm its international reputation. The disciple of the IDF has generally prevented significant casualties even when the "peace activists" have attacked Israel's soldiers. Indeed, the flotillas are similar to the civilian border breaches on May 15 of this year, which are explicit violations of Israel's sovereignty and are primarily designed to see how far they can push the Israelis. Morocco has substantially restricted third party access to Western Sahara much how Sri Lanka's military prevented any attempts to arm or aid the Tamil Tigers and Indonesia restricted access to East Timor from 1975 to 2002.
Unlike the Polisario Front, the Tamil Tigers and the East Timorese independence movement, the Palestinians seek not only to liberate their own land but also to destroy Israel. Therefore, anyone giving aid to the Hamas government must be seen as actively aiding in Hamas and Fatah's mission to destroy Israel as a Jewish state. In the wake of the Rafah crossing opening, it is no longer possible to argue that Gaza is cut off from another nation through which goods can flow. Any such aid flotilla that sails into Israel's territorial waters must now be definitively viewed as an attack on Israel's sovereignty and an attempt to arm a "government" that seeks to make war with Israel. After May 28, why else would they possibly be sailing if not as an act of war and provocation?