I’ve been doing some research on foreign press coverage of Gamal Abdel Nasser’s trip to Damascus in 1958 and the declaration of the United Arab Republic. It was his first visit to Syria, and before his arrival the Syrians already declared him their new president. I looked in the archives of Time Magazine, which is available and free, including covers, back in the days when Time was, if not more serious, at least better to look at. The catalog of their covers of Nasser:
I’m trying to think back on where our Mediterranean voyage went horribly wrong. Was it the heavy sea and wind that pitched our sailboat up and down like a rubber duck in a jacuzzi? The fact that the Israeli navy was probably jamming the communications of the peace boats we were trying to rendezvous with on the high seas? Or was it that our sly skipper Shmuel was in cahoots with the Israeli authorities and was cheerily trying to sabotage our mission?
The plan seemed perfectly do-able: a small group of journalists would charter a boat and set a course northeast from the port of Ashdod so that we would meet up with two vessels loaded with peace activists who were trying to break Israel’s sea blockade on Gaza. We would witness what happened when the two ships tried to break into Israel’s military exclusion zone around Gaza.