Monday, June 29, 2009

GAZA: Updated July 7/ACTION Update: "All We Want is to Reach Gaza"

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
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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)
here

And don't fail to see that Amnesty also has quite a report challenging Israel with human rights amends to make!
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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:
here

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.

Sincerely,
===================
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.
See talestotelldotwordpressdotcom

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 / friends@freegaza.org
here

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
mark.regev@it.pmo.gov.il

CALL Shlomo Dror in the Ministry of Defence at:
Tel +972 3697 5339 or +972 50629 8148
mediasar@mod.gov.il
---
Free Gaza Movement
357 99 081 767
www.freegaza.org
www.flickr.com/photos/29205195@N02/

OR GO here
--
Sent by Darrell and Sue Yeaney
Working for Peace, Justice and the Truth spoken in Love.

4 comments:

Connie L. Nash said...

From a Religious Group which speaks out often on Gaza and the rights of Palestinians:

We have just learned that a few hours ago, Israel illegally, in international waters, seized the 'Spirit of Humanity,' a boat carrying a cargo of humanitarian aid. The boat is being forcibly towed to an Israeli port.

Also seized with the boat are 21 human rights workers from 11 countries, including Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Maguire and former U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. The boat holds medicine, toys, and other much needed humanitarian relief for the Palestinians living in Gaza under siege. Its cargo was searched and it received a security clearance by Cypriot Port Authorities before departure.

Call your Congressperson and your Senators today. Ask them to call the Israeli Embassy and to call the U.S. State Department demanding that the boat and its occupants be released, together with their humanitarian cargo, and that they be allowed to dock in Gaza.

Ask them what crime is being committed by giving the people in Gaza medicines, toys, and pencils?

From Jewish Voice for Peace

Connie L. Nash said...

PROTEST & PETITION (adapted)

NYC
July 1 until 6 pm
at the Israeli Mission, 43rd St. & 2nd Avenue

L. A.
July 1 until 7 pm
at the Israeli Consulate, 6380 Wilshire Blvd

Israeli Occupation Forces have attacked and boarded the Free Gaza Movement boat, the SPIRIT OF HUMANITY, abducting 21 human rights workers from 11 countries.

Here's how you can help besides protest:

1) Sign Petition - http://www.iacenter.org/palestine/gazashippetition

2) Get the word out

3) Support Aid Caravans to Gaza! Viva Palestina, will be leaving the U.S. on July 4th headed by British MP George Galloway and Vietnam War veteran Ron Kovic and hundreds from the United States.

4) Call the media:

The New York Times 212-556-5272; Los Angeles Times 800-252-9141; Boston Herald 617-426-3000; Chicago Tribune 800-874-2863; and please call your local newspaper, radio station, or television news program.

5) Donate to help with organizing expenses. The International Action Center is working with allies in the Arab and Muslim communities and others...Please consider making a donation online ...http://iacenter.org/donate/
=======
If wished contact independently: FAX/Call/Email: 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

ASK for release for the following human rights workers and crew NOW:

Khalad Abdelkader, Bahrain
Khalad is an engineer representing the Islamic Charitable Association of Bahrain.

Othman Abufalah, Jordan
Othman is a world-renowned journalist with al-Jazeera TV.

Khaled Al-Shenoo, Bahrain
Khaled is a lecturer with the University of Bahrain.

Mansour Al-Abi, Yemen
Mansour is a cameraman with Al-Jazeera TV.

Fatima Al-Attawi, Bahrain
Fatima is a relief worker and community activist from Bahrain.

Juhaina Alqaed, Bahrain
Juhaina is a journalist & human rights activist.

Huwaida Arraf, US
Huwaida is the Chair of the Free Gaza Movement and delegation co-coordinator for this voyage.

Ishmahil Blagrove, UK
Ishmahil is a Jamaican-born journalist, documentary film maker and founder of the Rice & Peas film production company. His documentaries focus on international struggles for social justice.

Kaltham Ghloom, Bahrain
Kaltham is a community activist.

Derek Graham, Ireland
Derek Graham is an electrician, Free Gaza organizer, and first mate aboard the Spirit of Humanity.

Alex Harrison, UK
Alex is a solidarity worker from Britain. She is traveling to Gaza to do long-term human rights monitoring.

Denis Healey, UK
Denis is Captain of the Spirit of Humanity. This will be his fifth voyage to Gaza.

Fathi Jaouadi, UK
Fathi is a British journalist, Free Gaza organizer, and delegation co-coordinator for this voyage.

Mairead Maguire, Ireland
Mairead is a Nobel laureate and renowned peace activist.

Lubna Masarwa, Palestine/Israel
Lubna is a Palestinian human rights activist and Free Gaza organizer.

Theresa McDermott, Scotland
Theresa is a solidarity worker from Scotland. She is traveling to Gaza to do long-term human rights monitoring.

Cynthia McKinney, US
Cynthia McKinney is an outspoken advocate for human rights and social justice issues, as well as a=2 0former U.S. congressperson and presidential candidate.

Adnan Mormesh, UK
Adnan is a solidarity worker from Britain. He is traveling to Gaza to do long-term human rights monitoring.

Adam Qvist, Denmark
Adam is a solidarity worker from Denmark. He is traveling to Gaza to do human rights monitoring.

Adam Shapiro, US
Adam is an American documentary film maker and human rights activist.

Kathy Sheetz, US
Kathy is a nurse and film maker, traveling to Gaza to do human rights monitoring.

Connie L. Nash said...

July 14 UPDATES MANY in Gaza and other Palestinians continuing to suffer tremendously!

http://www.imemc.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=13246&Itemid=1

Connie L. Nash said...

See San Francisco Bay Review for a report of Cynthia McKinney's amazing trip and now her Triumph Tour!

Also, perhaps you will be "guided" here to see the following and will take to heart to need to support this self-giving effort to help the people of Gaza...

Mahathir Muhammad in Support of Gaza
(Palestine Telegraph)
GAZA, Aug. 13 - Money has to be raised as soon as possible to purchase a cargo boat to transport construction materials and humanitarian aid to Gaza. "There is definitely an urgency in raising funds for the purchase of the vessel because with winter approaching, the people of Palestine will be affected," former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said when launching the Gaza Fund at the Perdana Leadership Foundation in Putrajaya yesterday.

Among those present at the launch were his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, Free Gaza Movement chairman Huwaida Arraf and a Yayasan Salam trustee, Datuk Ahmad A. Talib.

Many private companies and individuals presented their donations to Dr Mahathir at the launch. The Malay Mail, represented by Johan Fernandez, handed over RM10,000.

Dr Mahathir also announced that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, who is patron of the Palestinian Humanitarian Fund, would donate RM1.5 million to the Gaza Fund.

Yesterday's donations from individuals and private companies came to RM 100,000. The money is needed to buy a vessel that is expected to cost RM3.5 million.

"Apart from that, we will also need to buy supplies, construction materials and other essential items to help Gazans rebuild their cities," Dr Mahathir said.

Huwaida, who will be leading the next mission to Gaza in October, said: "We have to carry out the mission in early October, before winter. We hope that people around the world will stand with the Palestinians.

"We are concerned about the human rights of the Palestinian people. We need to supply the materials to allow them to rebuild their lives."

Dr Mahathir welcomed Malaysians to volunteer and join the effort as the Free Gaza Movement needed as many participants as possible.

"Of course, there are limitations in terms of the capacity on board the boat. "We want to carry building materials as we need to rebuild houses, because they (Palestinians) are now living in tents and when winter comes, it will be terrible for the old, sick and children. Many of them may die because of the winter," he added.

Mmail.com

Source: The Palestine Telegraph, check more information in this link:

http://www.paltelegraph.com/