Friday, October 3, 2014


It's not just
Cubans, Haitians
Taking to the boats


Americans, especially Floridians, are accustomed to seeing "boat people" arrive on the beaches, weary, malnourished, and dehydrated.

Some preferred to risk their lives rather than live in Cuba.

Others decided to chance the sea rather than live in the poverty of Haiti.

(Cubans, if they set foot on shore, get to stay; Haitians are returned.)

But Cubans and Haitians are not alone in taking to anything that floats. Palestinians, especially from Gaza, likewise are heading to sea to escape life at home.

The list of headlines grows longer:

  • Al-Monitor: Escaping Gaza, hundreds of Palestinians drown
    The Gaza-based human rights organization Al-Damir (meaning "conscience” in Arabic) has since Sept. 17 been gathering reports and testimonies about the deaths of hundreds of Palestinian refugees off the island of Malta.
  • YNet: Scores of Gazans die at sea in attempt to flee Gaza
    More and more Gazans are attempting to flee Gaza through Egypt into Europe – recent boat crash near Malta which saw over 500 people go missing or die highlights perils Palestinian face en route to new life in EU.
  • The Guardian: Devil and the deep blue sea: how Mediterranean migrant disaster unfolded
    Desperate migrants from Gaza and Syria tell how they put themselves at the mercy of people smugglers – and hundreds died at sea
  • HaAretz: Amnesty: 2,500 migrants have drowned in the Mediterranean this year
    Amnesty International calls on European countries to send boats to pick up migrants, including Palestinians from Gaza, rather than leave them to the mercy of smugglers.
  • CNN: 'Laughing' traffickers ram boat full migrants and kill 500, survivors say
    Witnesses say as many as 500 migrants died in the Mediterranean Sea when human traffickers intentionally sunk their boat, the International Organization for Migration said Tuesday.
    The survivors -- both Palestinian men from Gaza who were rescued separately after days in the water clinging to flotation aids -- said they had packed into a boat in Egypt's port of Damietta in Egypt and left on September 6. They estimated at least 400 men and women, in addition to as many as 100 children, were on board.
  • Jewish Press Palestinians and the “Death Boats” Scandal
    As the past few weeks have, shown, hundreds, if not thousands, of Palestinians would rather risk their lives at sea than live under Palestinian governments and leaders whose only goal is to enrich their bank accounts.
    They said that Hamas officials are providing the emigrants with forged visas and travel documents to enable them to enter Europe.
  • Reuters: As many as 700 migrants feared drowned in Mediterranean
    More than 700 people fleeing Africa and the Middle East may have drowned in shipwrecks in the Mediterranean over the last week, bringing the death toll this year to almost 3,000, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said on Monday.


IT'S NOT JUST the "Jewish" or "Israeli" press that reports on the escapees; the world's press also has taken note of the attempted exodus from Muslim misrule not only in Gaza, but Africa as well.

People don't take to the boats when they have freedom. People don't take to the boats when they have a decent economy.

In the case of Gaza and the Palestinian Authority (PA), it's the economy; in Gaza its aggravated by despotic government that executes its opponents and uses its people as human shields.

Unlike the PA where the rulers are known to siphon off donated money into their own foreign bank accounts, in Gaza Hamas' also diverts donations to building tunnels and buying rockets in an attempt to fulfill its charter to wipe Israel off the face of the map and then, like ISIS - or whatever its nom du jour - to create a worldwide caliphate.

What I fail to understand is why the people escaping Gaza and Africa don't pick closer destinations that can be reached by land of a short boat ride, say across the Suez canal.

But then again, I also fail to understand why a person escaping from Cuba or Haiti would want to make the trip to Florida when Mexico is closer and shares a language with Cuba, or, for the Haitians, why not Jamaica or the Turks & Caicos.

Around the Mediterranean

Crossing the Suez - Destination options

Caribbean Sea

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