Can Israel’s blockade on Gaza be broken by a couple of boats filled with activists?

I am very interested in the voyage this weekend of the “Free Gaza” and the “Liberty” boats from Cyprus to Gaza.  The passengers are determined to break the Israeli seige of Gaza.  The include an 81 year old nun, an 83 year old Holocaust survivor, and the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s sister-in-law.

A group of activists including Tony Blair’s sister-in-law Lauren Booth plans to break Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip by sailing into the Palestinian territory.

Some 46 campaigners, among them several Britons, a Holocaust survivor and an 81-year-old retired Catholic nun from the US, will make the 241-mile crossing from Cyprus in two wooden vessels at the end of the week, carrying medical supplies. The journey takes about 20 hours.

The California-based Free Gaza movement wants to open unrestricted international access to Gaza while delivering a “symbolic” shipment of 200 hearing aids and batteries for a society for deaf children and other supplies such as painkillers. Organisers say they will not pass through Israeli waters and have therefore not notified Israeli authorities of their plans.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/aug/05/israelandthepalestinians.middleeast

“We want to bring it to the world’s attention that Gaza is virtually an outdoor concentration camp,” Greta Berlin, a spokeswoman for the U.S.-based Free Gaza Movement, told AFP.

She said the group hopes that the boats, due to sail in early August, will draw attention to the plight of 1.5 million Palestinians suffering chronic shortages of many essentials from fuel to food since an Israeli crackdown.“It’s a small flotilla for justice,” she said. “We expect Israel to honor its commitment that Gaza is no longer occupied. We are going to challenge the siege of Gaza.” 

http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2008/08/01/54079.html

That’s a great point.  If Israel is truly no longer the occupier, then it should have no objection to the entry of these boats into Gaza.

The voyage has also attracted the likes of the following Jewish professor:

Like many Israelis in the summer months, Prof. Jeff Halper departed for Cyprus last week from Ben-Gurion International Airport. However, Halper, a veteran left-wing activist from Jerusalem, will not be returning by plane. This weekend, he and 40 other human rights activists will sail for the Gaza Strip, with the goal of breaking the siege Israel has imposed there. 

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1009414.html

God bless the courageous passengers of these two boats.  May their journey be a success.

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2 Responses to “Can Israel’s blockade on Gaza be broken by a couple of boats filled with activists?”


  1. 1 Tom Yerian January 16, 2009 at 1:14 am

    Its thinking like yours that really help keep this conflict going. The Hamas knowingly hide among the civilians. The civilians know it and are complicit with it!They know Hamas fires rockets and do nothing about. They allow themselves to be oppressed, there by inviting all that is happening to them.I have no pity other than for their children,they put their children in danger, and now they are paying for it. The people can stop this by uprising against the Hamas and either kill them or kick them out of Gaza; they do not!!So little babies and children for the ignorance of their adult population and that satanic religion of ISLAM…Thank you

  2. 2 theradicalmormon January 16, 2009 at 3:33 am

    Tom,
    I’ve answered these sorts of arguements over and over again. The Palestinians voted for Hamas to come to power in 2006, not because they want their children to be in danger… but because their children were already in constant danger from the Israeli occupation forces. Hamas was a better choice than the corrupt Fatah at the time. Hamas had a unilateral ceasefire going for a while. Then, there was another ceasefire signed this last June. Had Israel not broken that ceasefire in numerous ways, Hamas wouldn’t have started bombing again. Israel is the greatest purveyors of violence in the middle-east. Hamas resists the cruel oppression of their people in the only way they can but it is not Hamas that needs to be discussed. It is Isreal’s zionist murders. It is the support that the US gives to Israel that allows the violence to continue and allows the innocents to be killed. We must withdraw support from Israel.


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