CODEPINK's "Gaza Freedom" Mockery

If you've been following CODEPINK's so-called "Gaza Freedom March" on the blogosphere, then you probably know what it is against.

First and foremost, it is against the "siege of Gaza." We don't know whether it was similarly against the thousands of rockets that Hamas fired onto Israeli civilians that preceded this "siege," but we are left to assume CODEPINK's indifference -- because, as its most erstwhile participants have indicated, the "Freedom" marchers are overwhelmingly against Israel's very existence. So, no, the "Freedom" marchers don't support U.S.-led efforts at forging a two-state solution because -- surprise, surprise! -- they are also against U.S. foreign policy. Indeed, on Monday, the marchers protested in front of the American embassy in downtown Cairo. Of course, they are hardly the first people to protest against the U.S. in Egypt's capital -- but they are probably the first to spend over $1000 on plane tickets to do so.

And now that the Egyptian government is blocking CODEPINK from traveling to Gaza, guess what? They're against the Egyptian government, too. Of course, you never heard from CODEPINK when the Egyptian government was imprisoning opposition leaders, beating bloggers, or televising bigoted programming. That's because CODEPINK's leaders only get angry when autocracy impinges on them. (Check out CODEPINK founder Medea Benjamin's insane paean to Hugo Chavez!)

But now that these marchers have given Stephen Walt grist for another conspiracy theory (who do you think is preventing this story from making it into American papers? ... whoops), it's worth asking: what are they for? Is CODEPINK for Hamas using the tunnels that run from Gaza into Egypt for stockpiling anti-aircraft missiles and longer-range rockets, rather than importing food and medicinal supplies? Are its activists for Hamas being strengthened once Israel opens the borders? If this yields renewed Hamas attacks against Israel, will the activists finally be for Israel's self-defense? Will these "Freedom" marchers declare that they are for Gazans' freedom from Hamas' imposition of strict Islamist codes; or for a Gazan government that develops its economy, rather than its arsenal; or for a Palestinian government that -- if nothing else -- holds its "democratic" elections on time?

Naturally, these questions are entirely beside the point. That's because CODEPINK's goals have nothing to do with actual Palestinian freedom. Indeed, whether CODEPINK is disrupting a Senate hearing or demonstrating in Cairo, its purpose is the same: to vilify American foreign policy and, in this case, one of America's most important allies in the Middle East. If CODEPINK really sought to promote peace, then it would have marched in solidarity with the traumatized residents of Sderot a long, long time ago. If the "Freedom" marchers truly cared about the future of Gaza, they would have donated the thousands of dollars that they spent on plane tickets towards one of the many reputable charities that assist Palestinians. And if they had any interest in seeing progress in ending this decades-old conflict, then they would have gathered in favor of something, rather than in opposition to everything.

But they didn't. So they're now wandering aimlessly around Cairo; complaining to their allies over e-mail; wearing pink; and looking ridiculous.