July 01, 2009

Action NOW: Israel attacks Free Gaza boat

By now, many readers will be aware that Israel has attacked the Free Gaza boat, boarding it (apparently in international waters), imprisoning its 21 crew members, and stealing the supplies – building material, olive trees, toys etc, that they were trying to bring to Gaza. More information here.

It’s a matter of urgency to get active on this, writing and emailing local politicians, press and governments, and holding demonstrations. There’s some suggestions here (here in Dublin we’re holding a protest this afternoon). The reason for the urgency is less to ensure the release of the 21 crew members since they will, according to Israeli press reports (if they can be believed), be released eventually, even while 1,500,000 Gazans remain in prison.

But if we fail to mobilize for this now, the Free Gaza movement – one of the most powerful ways foreign activists can expose Israeli occupation and help Palestinians – will be destroyed by Israel. Israel’s siege of Gaza will be tightened and yet another avenue for hope and effective solidarity will be shut down. Only a wave of foreign condemnation will make sure that Israel doesn’t do this again, and hopefully force Israel to release the much-needed supplies as well as the crew.

For those dealing with media, the Israeli line is here – these are Hamas supporters, Israel supports aid going through, and this aid will go through ‘subject to authorization’. They are all lies. The captured crew members are solidarity and peace activists including a Nobel Peace Laureate (from Ireland), Israel will not let aid go through, and as the cargo was selected since it is stuff that Israel does not allow through – toys are luxuries, building materials are banned, and as for trees! –Israel will probably let it rot or steal it.

Time to get active.


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