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