Home > Hasbara > Haifa Mayor wants to turn Mavi Marmara into “floating hotel” so it can become a “symbol of reconciliation and hope”

Haifa Mayor wants to turn Mavi Marmara into “floating hotel” so it can become a “symbol of reconciliation and hope”

Cruiseship Marmara

Mayor of Haifa Yonah Yahav has a creative idea: to turn the Turkish ship into a floating hotel

Amir Buhbut, Maariv, July 8 2010 [Hebrew original here and at bottom of post]

While Turkey is demanding Israel apologize over the flotilla to Gaza, the mayor of Haifa has an interesting idea: in a letter to the defense minister he asks to turn the Turkish ship Marmara into a floating hotel opposite the shore of Haifa.

After the 13 Israeli commandos took control of the ship and killed nine extremist activists who had tried to kill the soldiers, the ship was brought to Haifa. Since then defense officials are waiting for a decision by the political echelon about the future of the ship.

The Israeli government has not yet decided what to do with the ship, which is presently docking in Haifa under guard, but Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav showed creativity and did not wait for a decision by the political echelon. He recently sent a letter to the defense ministry calling on Defense Minister Ehud Barak to confiscate the Turkish ship and turn it into a tourist attraction.

“If Israel decides to confiscate the Turkish ship, I ask for it to be given to the city of Haifa to turn it into a floating hotel opposite the city’s shore,” Mayor Yahav wrote in his letter.

Yahav added, “I feel that Haifa, a symbol of coexistence and cooperation between all religions, would be the appropriate home for this ship, which will turn into an international symbol of reconciliation and hope.”

Categories: Hasbara
  1. Fnord
    July 9, 2010 at 16:15

    Insane. It will be seen as an insult to Turkey, and the Grey Wolves will volunteer to sink it.

  2. Greta Berlin, Co founder The Free Gaza Movement
    July 9, 2010 at 23:15

    Why not? Israel has stolen most everything else that has belonged to the Palestinians or supporters of the Palestinians. Stealing the Mavi Marmara is just another instance of Israeli thievery. Add it to the land, the water, the natural gas, the trees, the crops, falafal and hummus. What chutzpah

    • Fergie
      July 16, 2010 at 19:00

      how did the arabs come by it?

  3. Kafka
    July 10, 2010 at 06:37

    I really hope this is some huge inside joke because that is so stupidly offensive…

  4. Yael Kahn
    July 11, 2010 at 17:41

    Agree with Greta Berlin.
    Also, a typical Israeli speak: the interpretation of “reconciliation” – dancing on the graves.
    For sure it is not a joke. This is how most Israelis think. They can’t even see anything wrong with such macabre proposal.
    They turned a mass grave of hundreds of people from Lebanon [by Gesher Bnot Yaakov, kidnapped after the 1982 invasion] to a national park. I estimate that most picnic woods were planted on destroyed Palestinian villages and towns, so why change now???
    I would like to make a correction. The Hebrew text was incorrectly translated to: “13 Israeli commandos”. In fact, 13 is the name of the attacking navy force, not the number of attackers, which as we know were hundreds.

  5. Fergie
    July 16, 2010 at 19:00

    Sell the ship to recoup some of the cost of the IDF operation

  6. Eva Feld
    November 21, 2010 at 20:14


    Attention The Honorable Mayor of the City of Haifa:

    On October 15, 2010 the Jerusalem Post ran an article about me, Eva Feld, written by Gil Zohar about my coming for the first time to the State of Israel after a 62 year hiatus. At the time I was quoted “that Israel is a grown up and sophisticated country.”

    These words were spoken before I had a chance to visit the places of my mission: My grandmother’s grave site, the Detention Camp of Atlit, Merkaz HaCarmel and the Hadar. I lived on Merkas HaCarmel and attended the Reali School in the Wadi. The address was #2 Sea Road. I spent my youth on the Hadar not only as a student but also as a volunteer at the Magen David Adom where I experienced the senseless refinery massacre and assorted exchanges of fire fallouts.

    My grandmother’s grave site was more than just pristine. Its beauty glowing with dignity overwhelmed every fiber of my existence. It was an overwhelming event. Thank you Hevra Kadisha your work is beyond my treasury of words

    On to Atlit were bitter and sweet memories reside. Where the ugly and the monotony of barracks, sand up to the mid-calves was made attractive by the personnel that ran the hospital section. Tall Cypress of Lebanon trees adorned the southern perimeter. We did not have life or death dramas but we had births. What a beautiful and appropriate event to happen that Succoth night. I begged to watch the birth I was all of seventeen. The attending physician, a Hungarian refugee gave permission because he had a special liking for me. I lasted until the head appeared when my head began to spin and then ground under my feet slipped away. I don’t remember who was taken out of the delivery room first me or the baby. The baby a boy, and his name was Eliyahoo he was my special baby for the duration and should be well into his senior years by now.

    I had every reason to look forward to Atlit. I showed the cashier the Magen David Adom card which was all that was required to gain entrance to the hospital. While the cashier fussed with my request to be admitted at no charge I asked where Atlit was. I was shocked beyond words when she pointed out the shaded treed area with carefully maintained paths. The disinfection barrack was there and the basin where people could wash their hands. Otherwise the place had the aura of a well maintained primitive resort place.

    On to the Hadar which was beyond recognition. At first glace it looked like a misplaced shouk with neglected overgrown and unkempt streets and sidewalks. I requested my guide to drive me to Nordeau Street. The sign was torn half way down the pole, this street of broad steps and on each side fine shops and cafes was a dangerous walking area for man or beast. Excessive foliage and bulked out trees quenched my curiosity for anything else. Our car stopped at a tiny convenience market which boasted in big Hebrew letters, “Big Market.”

    Fifteen years ago I received a photograph of my former residence of #2 Sea Road on the Merkaz HaCarmel and I was anxious to see the proud and beautiful building again. In reality the building looked abandoned and neglected. A mysterious business is being conducted from under black plastic bags. My guide forbade me from going down the stairs which lead into the garden for fear of danger. The proud balconies look hazardous with rusted underpinnings – these same balconies with views not only out to the Mediterranean but also deep into the Galill with a First Century Roman fortress still standing. Happily I saw the flower shop there and after that it was nothing but daunting sadness. The supports where the shutters used to be are visible. The windows are covered with cheap card board painted black and white. The guide asked, “What happens if I open the front door?” “You will encounter the stairway.” I answered. He opened the door and immediately shut it there was dirt and feces on the stairs.

    There were buildings I recognized across the street the big yellow one and the corner white building is still selling candies and ice cream. The Reali Mechinot are shrouded in a tunnel of overgrown unkempt trees I was beyond shame to admit that I wore the proud uniform with “Ha-tz’nea Lechet”. The Merkaz I loved so much was nothing more than an overlooked third world place of refuge. What was the jewel of central Carmel has become a crumbled chunk of coal.

    Israel has grown up and became a sophisticated country at the cost of an abandoned precious past, a glowing with pride the City of Haifa now left behind as an abandoned has been.

    Should you plan to print this, kindly send me a tear sheet.

    801 words

  1. July 9, 2010 at 21:28
  2. July 9, 2010 at 21:56
  3. July 11, 2010 at 09:52
  4. July 11, 2010 at 11:17
  5. July 23, 2010 at 20:18

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