HRC Published In The Suburban: Le Devoir Op-ed Authors Are “Dupes For Hamas”

On May 15, HRC Executive Director Mike Fegelman was published in The Suburban, writing about a group of six co-authors who took to the pages of Le Devoir to defend the ‘Freedom Flotilla’ and who took the opportunity to demonize Israel with fallacious accusations of war crimes and genocide in Gaza.

In the commentary, HRC rebuked their stated defense of the ‘Freedom Flotilla’, and rebutted their false allegations, stating that this flotilla, like its predecessor, is a cynical attempt to shield Hamas from blame and engage in anti-Israel propaganda.

Le Devoir op-ed authors are “dupes for Hamas”

Every single day, hundreds of trucks filled with humanitarian aid enter the Gaza Strip, loaded with food, medicine and medical equipment, water, shelter supplies, and more. In contrast to apocalyptic images presented by news media outlets, more food trucks are entering Gaza on a daily basis now than were entering before the October 7 terrorist attacks by Hamas.

Rather than acknowledge this reality, in an April 25 opinion column in Le Devoir entitled: “The mission of the Freedom Flotilla must be protected,” a group of six co-authors took the opportunity to demonize Israel with fallacious accusations.

In their column, the authors, made up of Nimâ Machouf, Gligor Delev, Jean Pierre Roy Valdebenito, Nadia Agamawy, Rifat Audeh et Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette, promoted the launch of a now delayed “freedom flotilla,” a group of ships scheduled to depart from Turkey in the coming days, which intends to smash through Israel’s maritime security blockade around Gaza, ostensibly for “humanitarian” reasons.

A previous iteration of a flotilla left Turkey for Gaza in 2010, filled with fanatical anti-Israel activists, and following a violent clash with Israeli troops, left a number of people dead.

The authors wrote that the need for another flotilla is self-evident given the alleged “war crimes” perpetrated by Israel, and the “perpetration of what the International Criminal Court suspects to be acts of genocide.”

The authors presumably are referring to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, and are grossly misrepresenting the court’s position on the matter, which in no way, shape or form has decided that Israel is guilty of such crimes.

In an April 25 interview on BBC News, Joan Donoghue, president of the ICJ when the court made its provisional measures, made clear that the court did not allege that Israel is plausibly guilty of genocide, despite anti-Israel activists widely making this dishonest claim.

In their column, the authors claimed the flotilla has three aims: to end Israel’s blockade on Gaza, to deliver humanitarian aid, and to “offer a glimmer of hope” to Palestinians, since Israel is not allowed to “restrict access” to humanitarian aid (which, in their minds, Israel apparently does), but there are multiple problems with these points.

Firstly, it is important to recall that Israel’s “blockade” on Gaza is partial, not full, given that Gaza borders Egypt, a sovereign country over which Israel exerts no control. Consequently, claiming that Israel is blocking access to Gaza is misleading at best, and dishonest at worst.

Secondly, the statement entirely ignores why Israel seeks to oversee what enters Gaza, namely because Hamas, the genocidal Islamic terrorist organization, has smuggled weapons into the coastal territory to use in its war against Israel.

Third, if the supporters of the flotilla were truly interested in sending aid to Gaza (rather than launching a PR stunt to demonize Israel), they could coordinate with Israel, which is sending hundreds of trucks into the enclave daily.

Fourth, and finally, Israel does not “restrict access” to humanitarian aid; in fact, Israel approves the overwhelming amount of aid that is requested to enter Gaza. However, once inside the territory, United Nations agencies such as the Hamas-connected UNRWA, have displayed gross incompetence at distributing aid to the civilian population.

The “freedom flotilla” is nothing more than a cynical attempt to play interference for Hamas by portraying Israel as the villain, and letting Hamas off the hook for launching the current war on October 7 with its terrorist attack on Israel, and its subsequent decision to perpetuate the war by refusing to release the Israeli hostages and surrender.

The April 25 column in Le Devoir by these six authors supporting the reckless and dangerous efforts of the “freedom flotilla” demonstrates no humanitarian concern, and have made themselves into dupes for Hamas.

Mike Fegelman is Executive Director of HonestReporting Canada, a non-profit organization ensuring fair and accurate Canadian media coverage of Israel.


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