JERUSALEM, April 12, 2012 (WAFA) – An Israeli peace group Thursday called on the Israeli government not to stop international activists who plan to fly into Tel Aviv airport next week to demonstrate their support for the Palestinians.
Under the slogan, “Welcome to Palestine,” some 1000 activists are planning to fly into Israel starting Sunday in order to demonstrate their support for the Palestinian people and to show that Israel does not allow free access and movement for the Palestinian people under its occupation.
Gush Shalom, the Israeli peace bloc, called in a letter to Israeli Minister of Public Security Yitzhak Aharonovitch to cancel plans for flooding Tel Aviv airport with a massive police force in preparation for the arrival of the international activists.
“More than a 1000 international activists are due to arrive, among them aged persons, parents with their children and handicapped people in wheelchairs. They have no intention of carrying out any provocation, and there is no need to mobilize massive police forces. All that is needed is to say the word ‘welcome’ and perhaps also give a flower,” said the group.
“It is sad to note, Mr. Minister, that you – as well as the commanders of the police force for which you bear responsibility – have learned nothing from the events of the previous fly-in,” said the letter.
Gush Shalom insisted that the group, which is going to declare openly and explicitly that they are coming to visit the West Bank at the invitation of various Palestinian civil society organizations and to participate in laying the foundations of a new elementary school in Bethlehem, to plant fruit trees, rehabilitate wells at villages in the area, and inaugurate a museum, have “no intention of causing any incident at the airport.”
It said “the mighty police mobilization is completely unnecessary and a total waste of the taxpayers’ money,” adding that “all that is needed is instruct the passport control officials to answer each and every one of the visitors with the word ‘Welcome.’ At a small fraction of the cost of the planned police operation, it would be possible to give each of the visitors a pretty flower on behalf of the State of Israel.”