This article originally appeared in AlterNet.
For the past year, as activists prepared for the participation of an American boat in the flotilla seeking to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza, organizers tried to come up with a way to circumvent a major obstacle: the prohibition against “material support” for State Department-designated terrorist groups.
But now, as pressure intensifies on the countries from where boats will launch, the prohibition on material support remains a potent weapon the Obama administration wields to pressure American activists who plan to set sail to break Israel’s blockade.
American officials continue to repeatedly threaten to prosecute the U.S. activists involved with the flotilla. And, perhaps most importantly, it represents the latest action in the Obama administration’s crackdown on Palestine solidarity activists across the U.S—a crackdown that is a continuation of similar efforts made by the Bush administration in cases like the Holy Land 5.