SOME, perhaps all of the prisoners of the boat with survival supplies: The Spirit of Humanity and been released. Thank you all who put pressure to bear on their relief by your letters, petitions and prayers!
I also found the following articles this morning, July 7, 2009
Letter From USA In Spirit With Humanity By Eileen Fleming here
Eileen says: The altruistic, courageous, righteously angry, FreeGaza21 inspired me to re-read "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" a scalding critique of American Christianity that Reverend Martin Luther King addressed to his "Dear Fellow Clergymen" who had abandoned him. I have taken a few liberties with King's masterpiece by adding and negating some words to address the ongoing turmoil in Israel Palestine in light of the FreeGaza21
Israel Calls On Jewish Fanatics To ‘Save’ Galilee
By Jonathan Cook (who's one of my favorite writers on Palestine/Israel: here
He says: Israel’s housing minister called for strict segregation between the country’s Jewish and Arab populations last week as he unveiled plans to move large numbers of fundamentalist religious Jews to Israel’s north to prevent what he described as an “Arab takeover” of the region
Why Jerusalem? Israel’s Hidden Agenda By Dan Lieberman here Dan says: So, if Israel is destroying Jerusalem’s heritage and subjugating its spiritual meaning, why does Israel want to unify Jerusalem?
Critiquing Netanyahu's Speech By Saree Makdisi here
Makdisi says: What Netanyahu was saying to any Palestinians foolish enough to accept his terms is that if they want to stick a flag in their archipelago of little impoverished islands of territory and call it a state, they can go right ahead
Added report on the great need in Gaza (This volunteer humanitarian crew aren't "making it up!")
Palestinians in Gaza barely surviving: International Red Cross Report (end of June)
And don't fail to see that Amnesty also has quite a report challenging Israel with human rights amends to make!
Re: The International Action Center's Letter demanding the release of the SPIRIT OF HUMANITY, Cynthia McKinney and the 21 Human Rights workers and an end to the siege of Gaza
Friends of Justice,
You can take quick action to sign a drafted letter to President Obama, Vice President Biden, Secretary of State Clinton, Congressional leaders, the U.N. Secretary General, Security Council and member states, the Israeli President, Prime Minister and Cabinet, the International Red Cross and members of the world media saying RELEASE GAZA AID SHIP SPIRIT OF HUMANITY AND END SIEGE OF GAZA NOW!
Here is the link:
The IAC letter is rather long - edited by a friend. (You can easily modify the offered letter which often gets more attention than a copy multiplied - if you have time..)
The International Action Center (IAC), founded by Ramsey Clark in 1992, is committed to the building broad-based grassroots coalitions to oppose to U.S. wars abroad while fighting against racism and economic exploitation of workers here at home. [http://www.iacenter.org/ ]
Peggy (an online peace & justice friend)
To: President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Vice President Joe Biden, Congressional leaders, U.N. General Assembly President d'Escoto-Brockmann, U.N. Secretary General Ban, members of the U.N. Security Council, U.N. member states, and the President, Prime Minister, Cabinet and Opposition leader of Israel
cc: Major media representatives, International Red Cross
RELEASE THE SPIRIT OF HUMANITY AND ALL ITS PASSENGERS IMMEDIATELY AND
ALLOW ITS HUMANITARIAN MISSION TO GAZA TO PROCEED!
END THE SIEGE OF GAZA NOW!
I am outraged at the actions of the Israeli military in attacking and boarding the Free Gaza Movement boat, the SPIRIT OF HUMANITY, abducting 21 human rights workers from 11 countries, including Nobel laureate Mairead Maguire and former U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, dragging passengers and crew forcibly into Israel. I am further outraged that Israel has confiscated tons of medicine from the ship as well as toys and olive trees.
I demand the release of the SPIRIT OF HUMANITY and all of the human rights workers and crew immediately and insist they be allowed to proceed with the mission to take humanitarian aid to Gaza.
I urge the Obama Administration take immediate action to protest the violation of international law and to work to obtain the release of the ship and those abducted. In addition, I urge the Obama Administration to demand the access to Gaza of humanitarian aid and missions like that of the Spirit of Humanity and the upcoming humanitarian aid mission Viva Palestina headed by British MP George Galloway and Vietnam War veteran Ron Kovic. The Viva Palestina mission is scheduled to leave New York City on July 4, bound for Gaza.
Finally, I call on the Obama Administration take action to end immediately the brutal siege, blockade, and occupation of Gaza.
Find out more on this current event here and in the comments:
"I have just come from Jabalia, and I have no words. I do however have pictures. These came from the Azbet area, and cover a space that would take 15 minutes at a brisk walk. But the devestation stretches as far as the eye can see. The estimate is 6-8000 houses in Gaza damaged, and 5000 completely destroyed."This set of photos was taken by the 'talestotell' blogger, who was in Gaza throughout the Israeli invasion and remains there recording the experiences of palestinians in Gaza: those who survived and those who did not survive the Israeli invasion of Gaza.
Find More Photos here and here
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
"ALL WE WANT IS TO REACH GAZA. WE DO NOT SEEK A CONFRONTATION."
Activists aboard Gaza justice boat demand they be allowed to visit their friends & family in besieged Gaza, and deliver their cargo of medical supplies, children's toys, and reconstruction kits. They invite the world to join them.
(At Sea, 60km off the coast of the Gaza Strip) - Human Rights activists aboard the Free Gaza ship, the SPIRIT OF HUMANITY, today demanded that the Israeli Navy immediately stop threatening them.
"This aid is desperately needed by the people of Gaza," said Mairead Maguire, winner of the Noble Peace Prize and Pacem in Terris Award for her work in Northern Ireland.
(Be sure to read more about her because this one lady is such an inspiration!)
"President Obama has called upon the Palestinians to abandon violence but Israel is denying them the right to non-violently resist the siege of Gaza."
The unarmed justice ship departed Larnaca Port in Cyprus at 7:30am Monday with its crew of 21 human rights activists, humanitarian workers and journalists from 11 different countries, including Nobel laureate Mairead Maguire and former U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. The boat, a converted ferry, hopes to arrive in Gaza Tuesday afternoon, following a grueling 30 hour sea voyage.
At 1:30am, Israeli warships surrounded the small civilian boat and threatened to open fire if they did not turn around. When the activists refused to be intimidated, Israeli Occupation Forces began jamming their instrumentation, blocking their GPS, radar, and navigation systems. This jamming was in direct violation of international maritime law, threatening the welfare and safety of the civilian ship.
Responding to this intimidation, Congresswoman McKinney declared, "I am extremely angry. We demand that the Israeli government call off their attack dogs. We are unarmed civilians aboard an unarmed boat delivering medical and reconstruction aid to other human beings in Gaza. Why in God's name would Israel want to attack us?"
Huwaida Arraf, Chairperson of the Free Gaza movement and delegation co-coordinator for this voyage, said, "All we want is to reach Gaza. We want to visit our friends and deliver our cargo of medical supplies, children's toys, and reconstruction materials. Our ship was searched and received security clearance from the Port Authorities in Cyprus before we departed."
Arraf continued, "We do not seek a confrontation. We have traveled from Cypriot waters to international waters and will enter Gazan waters. We've never gone anywhere near Israel. Israel's closure of Gaza is an act of collective punishment and a blatant violation of international law. We call upon our governments to take action to uphold their obligations under the Fourth Geneva Conventions. If they won't or until they do, we will act. We will come to Gaza again and again until this brutal siege is broken. We invite the good people of the world to join us."
Free Gaza boats are the first international ships in 41 years to sail to the Gaza Strip. Since August 2008, the Free Gaza Movement has organized 8 sea missions, successfully arriving to Gaza on 5 separate occasions. One two earlier occasions, Israeli Occupation Forces used violence to stop the ships, physically ramming and almost sinking the DIGNITY boat in December 2008, and threatening to fire on and kill unarmed passengers in January 2008. The fate of this, the eighth mission to Gaza, is still uncertain.
For more information, please contact:
Greta Berlin (English/French) or Caoimhe Butterly (English/Arabic/Spanish) at 00357 99 081 767 / firstname.lastname@example.org
WHAT YOU CAN DO!
CALL or FAX Major Liebovitz from the Israeli Navy at:
Tel + 972 5 781 86248 or +972 3737 7777 or +972 3737 6242
Fax +972 3737 6123 or +972 3737 7175
CALL Mark Regev in the Prime Minister's office at:
Tel +972 2670 5354 or +972 5 0620 3264
CALL Shlomo Dror in the Ministry of Defence at:
Tel +972 3697 5339 or +972 50629 8148
Free Gaza Movement
357 99 081 767
OR GO here
Sent by Darrell and Sue Yeaney
Working for Peace, Justice and the Truth spoken in Love.