Terrorism Information Center: Iran Participates In PR For IHH,
Turkey Sponsored Gaza Flotilla
Israel News Agency
Israel ---- June 12, 2011 .... As the International Red Cross
declares that there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza, the true
motives for a "Freedom Flotilla" to Gaza now emerge.
Iran, which has declared war on Israel and Western democracy,
is taking Islamic Jihad to new depths of propaganda that has not
been seen since the days of the Nazis.
to the The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center
in Israel a delegation from Iran participated in events held by
the IHH in Istanbul on the anniversary of the Marmara Gaza flotilla,
focused on fostering the myth of the Marmara shaheeds.
The Iran delegation raised the flags of Iran and Hezbollah, and
held meetings with IHH activists and Islamic terror elements affiliated
part of the public relations media campaign intended to build
support for the upcoming free Gaza flotilla, the IHH and its allies
from Turkey and elsewhere held a week of events in Turkey on the
anniversary of the Mavi Marmara incident. Those invited included
delegations and activists from all over the world involved in
or sympathizing with the flotilla's so-called Gaza campaign. They
took advantage of their stay in Istanbul to participate in the
propaganda activities and hold meetings with IHH activists.
is becoming very transparent is that the so-called Freedom Flotilla
to Gaza is not about land but rather about Islamic Jihad or holy
war against Jews and Christians.
note was an Iran delegation whose members took advantage of their
stay in Istanbul to show support for the flotillas campaign, emphasizing
Hezbollahs place among the organizations fighting to "wipe
Israel off the map" and holding meetings with the IHH and
its Islamist allies. The delegation, headed by Ayatollah Seyyed
Ghaemmaghami, was involved in an attempt to contribute to the
mythic narrative around those killed on board the Mavi Marmara,
using the image of an Iran youngster who had sacrificed himself
in the war against Iraq. The foreign visitors included guests
from Israel, such as Sheikh Raed Salah, the leader of the northern
branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel (who had taken part in
the Mavi Marmara flotilla) and Muhammad Zaidan, head of the High
Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel.
worries many Western terrorism and security analysts, is that
while Iran, Syria and Turkey coordinate PR efforts to discredit
Israel and distract the global media from government sponsored
murders taking place in the streets of Iran, Syria and Libya
by activists demanding democracy, US President Barack Obama
is calling upon Israel to withdraw to indefensible 1967 borders.
Obama's irresponsible actions can only feed an inciteful and
violent campaign by Iran, Syria and Turkey resulting in a
One of the
main events that took place in Istanbul was a mass procession
held on the night of May 30-31, attended by tens of thousands
of Turks and foreign delegations, including the one from Iran.
The procession moved along Istiklal Avenue to Taksim Square in
downtown Istanbul. The mass rally held there included speeches
by IHH leader Bülent Yildirim and representatives of the
foreign guests. The procession participants carried posters with
photographs of the nine Mavi Marmara shaheeds and chanted slogans
against Israel and for Islamic solidarity, such as Wait,
Palestine, Mavi Marmara is coming, or Islamic solidarity
is standing against the Zionist blockade.
One of the
foreign delegations that took part in the procession along Istiklal
Avenue was a delegation from Iran, headed by Ayatollah Seyyed
Ghaemmaghami, which had come to Istanbul to participate in the
IHH campaign. The ten-member delegation was given a welcome by
IHH activists at the Istanbul airport, where they raised a large
poster with photographs of the nine people killed on board the
Mavi Marmara. During its stay in Turkey, the Iranian delegation
visited the IHH headquarters in Istanbul and met with the organizations
activists. It also met with the families of the Mavi Marmara victims.
delegation was headed by Ayatollah Ghaemmaghami, an Iranian cleric
and a head of an association dedicated to the commemoration of
an Iranian youngster named Hossein Fahmideh, who became an icon
after blowing up an Iraqi tank in a suicide attack during the
Iran-Iraq War. The aim was to draw a parallel between the Iranian
myth surrounding Fahmideh and the myth of the Mavi Marmara shaheeds,
which the IHH is busily spreading among the Turkish public as
part of its anti-Israeli PR effort.
Prior to the
departure of the delegation, the Iranian association launched
a blog and a Facebook page calling for interested people to take
part in the Iran delegation to Turkey, under the slogan We
shall meet with the Marmara Shaheeds. There is a possibility
(based on publications in Iranian blogs) that the Fahmideh commemorative
association works under the auspices of Irans Martyrs Foundation,
established to assist the families of those killed and wounded
in the Iran-Iraq War.
procession which passed through Istiklal Avenue on the night of
May 30, members of the Iranian delegation carried Iranian flags
and a poster that drew a parallel between the Iranian shaheed
and the youngest of the Mavi Marmara shaheeds. The poster featured
the flags of Iran and Turkey and the photographs of the two martyrs:
the 19-year-old Furqan Dogan, killed on board the Mavi Marmara,1
and the 14-year-old Mohammad Fahmideh, the Iranian boy killed
in the Iran-Iraq War. The caption on the poster read We
shall meet with the Marmara Shaheeds.
carried by the delegation members featured the Hezbollah logo
and the photograph of Hassan Nasrallah, as well as a citation
(in Turkish) from a speech given by Nasrallah As far as
the Islamic nation is concerned, defeatism is over. Israel is
weaker than spider webs (www.velfecr.com, June 1, 2011).
One of those
who welcomed this delegation of terror organizations was a journalist
named Nureddin Sirin, known for his anti-Israeli, anti-Semitic
and anti-Western views, and affiliated with the IHH. On Nakba
Day, Nureddin Sirin headed a group of Turkish Islamist activists
that went to Jordan, some of whom, in our assessment, were IHH
activists. The group was confronted by Jordanian security forces
and some of its members were injured.
also headed a delegation of activists who had taken part in the
Mavi Marmara flotilla. The delegation was invited by Irans
President Ahmadinejad to attend the anniversary of the Islamic
revolution in February 2011.
The Meir Amit
Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center states that Iran
is actively involved in attempts to delegitimize Israel and shows
solidarity with the flotillas and convoys campaigns. However,
it takes pains to avoid directly and openly taking part in the
campaigns. One of the reasons is that the organizations and networks
promoting the delegitimization campaigns in Western countries
are concerned over the possibility that Irans direct involvement
may put them at odds, politically and PR-wise, with the governments
and public opinion of their respective countries. On the other
hand, the IHH, with its radical Islamic orientation, has no qualms
about having contacts with like-minded elements in Iran which,
in our understanding, work with the full knowledge and blessing
of the Iranian regime.
from Iran found on "peaceful" ships bound for Gaza.
of Irans sympathy for the IHH can be found in an August
2010 interview given by Yazdan Karimi, an Iranian researcher referred
to as expert on Palestine affairs, to Fars News Agency,
which represents the conservative bloc and is closely affiliated
with Ahmadinejad. Following on the heels of a multi week visit
to Turkey, the interview dwelt at length on the IHH and its background,
and included a biased, distorted account of the fighting on board
the Mavi Marmara.3 In the interview, the Iran expert stressed
Khomeinis influence on the methods employed by the IHH,
and concluded by saying that the members of IHH believe in Khomeinis
famous saying: If every Muslim pours out one bucket of water,
Israel will be swept away in the resulting flood. According
to the Iranian expert, this quote could be seen in the hall where,
in late July 2010, a memorial service was held for the shaheeds
of the Mavi Marmara.
illustration of Irans support for the flotillas and convoys
campaigns and an example of the Iran regimes attempt to
use it for the promotion of anti-Israel and anti-American propaganda
was the Asian convoy affair which took place in December
2010. The passage of the convoy, which had departed from India
and was crossing Iran on its way to the Gaza Strip, was used by
the Iran regime for an anti-Israeli and anti-Western propaganda
campaign. The convoy, which arrived in Iran on December 7, 2010,
was given a welcome by the president of Iran and other top officials.
The issue of the so-called humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip
(the stated purpose of the convoy) was neglected during the ceremonies,
with the emphasis placed instead on discrediting Israel and praising
the Iranian regime.
A US Justice
Department document shows that Fenton Communications, a left wing
US public relations firm, has been working for "Al Fakhoora,"
a Qatar based pro-Palestinian initiative that participated in
the illegal flotilla from Turkey to Gaza and urged action against
the group's director, Al Fakhoora has "launched an advocacy
campaign to file legal charges against Israel and change the public
perception in the West about its actions."
is supported by the office of Her Highness Sheikha Mozah bint
Nasser Al Missned, the second wife of the emir of Qatar. According
to a document filed by Fenton under the Foreign Agents Registration
Act of 1938, Her Highness' office agreed to pay Fenton approximately
$240,000 for communications services rendered from March 1 - Aug.
distributed materials through Al Fakhoora's Web site, which includes
a Facebook page and a "Flotilla Action Alert" urging
activists to oppose Israel's security blockade on Hamas controlled
Gaza bound convoys a security risk and has implemented an internationally
legal maritime blockade on Gaza because of Hamas' continuing efforts
to smuggle rockets from Iran and other weaponry since the Iran-backed
group overthrew the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority in a bloody
coup there in June 2007. Historically, ships bound for Gaza have
carried tons of weapons among their cargo.
many Western terrorism and security analysts, is that while Iran,
Syria and Turkey coordinate PR efforts to discredit Israel and
distract the global media from government sponsored murders taking
place in the streets of Iran, Syria and Libya by activists demanding
democracy, US President Barack Obama is calling upon Israel to
withdraw to indefensible 1967 borders. Obama's irresponsible actions
can only feed an inciteful and violent campaign by Iran, Syria
and Turkey resulting in a regional war.
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