FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE and ACTION ALERT

30 June 2009

ISRAEL ATTACKS JUSTICE BOAT; KIDNAPS HUMAN RIGHTS WORKERS; CONFISCATES MEDICINE, TOYS AND OLIVE TREES

(http://www.paltelegraph.com/palestine/gaza-strip/1228-israel-attacks-peace-actvists-and-humantarians-on-board-of-justice-boat-near-gaza)

For more information contact (in Cyprus):
Greta Berlin (English)
tel: +357 99 081 767 / friends@freegaza.org

Caoimhe Butterly (Arabic/English/Spanish):
tel: +357 99 077 820 / sahara78@hotmail.co.uk
http://www.FreeGaza.org

and in England:

Hilary Smith
tel: +447818040982

[23 miles off the coast of Gaza, 15:30pm] – Today Israeli Occupation Forces attacked and boarded the Free Gaza Movement boat, the SPIRIT OF HUMANITY, abducting 21 human rights workers from 11 countries, including Noble laureate Mairead Maguire and former U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (see below for a complete list of passengers). The passengers and crew are being forcibly dragged toward Israel.

There are six British citizens on board the boat, including the captain, Dennis Healey.

“This is an outrageous violation of international law against us. Our boat was not in Israeli waters, and we were on a human rights mission to the Gaza Strip,” said Cynthia McKinney, a former U.S. Congresswoman and presidential candidate. “President Obama just told Israel to let in humanitarian and reconstruction supplies, and that’s exactly what we tried to do. We’re asking the international community to demand our release so we can resume our journey.”

According to an International Committee of the Red Cross report released yesterday, the Palestinians living in Gaza are “trapped in despair.” Thousands of Gazans whose homes were destroyed earlier during Israel’s December/January massacre are still without shelter despite pledges of almost $4.5 billion in aid, because Israel refuses to allow cement and other building material into the Gaza Strip. The report also notes that hospitals are struggling to meet the needs of their patients due to Israel’s disruption of medical supplies.

“The aid we were carrying is a symbol of hope for the people of Gaza, hope that the sea route would open for them, and they would be able to transport their own materials to begin to reconstruct the schools, hospitals and thousands of homes destroyed during the onslaught of “Cast Lead”. Our mission is a gesture to the people of Gaza that we stand by them and that they are not alone” said fellow passenger Mairead Maguire, winner of a Noble Peace Prize for her work in Northern Ireland.

Just before being kidnapped by Israel, Huwaida Arraf, Free Gaza Movement chairperson and delegation co-coordinator on this voyage, stated that: “No one could possibly believe that our small boat constitutes any sort of threat to Israel. We carry medical and reconstruction supplies, and children’s toys. Our passengers include a Nobel peace prize laureate and a former U.S. congressperson. Our boat was searched and received a security clearance by Cypriot Port Authorities before we departed, and at no time did we ever approach Israeli waters.”

Arraf continued, “Israel’s deliberate and premeditated attack on our unarmed boat is a clear violation of international law and we demand our immediate and unconditional release.”

###

WHAT YOU CAN DO!

CONTACT the International Committee of the Red Cross to ask for their assistance in establishing the wellbeing of the kidnapped human rights workers and help in securing their immediate release!

Red Cross Israel
tel: +972 3524 5286
fax: +972 3527 0370
tel_aviv.tel@icrc.org

Red Cross Switzerland:
tel: +41 22 730 3443
fax: +41 22 734 8280

Red Cross USA:
tel: +1 212 599 6021
fax: +1 212 599 6009

###

Kidnapped Passengers from the Spirit of Humanity include:

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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This is being circulated around the web and came into my inbox. We need to be vocal we need to be visible we need to use logical rhetoric. I am reposting their email that calls all of us to action. View their work so far and see how you can help!

 

Thanks.

S.

 

Dear friends,


We are a group of Arab women from Jordan who have come together in
response to the vicious attacks by Israel on Gaza. Our aim is to spread awareness across the globe on the atrocities and encourage all responsible citizens to act in the name of humanity. Help us give voice to those who have been silenced by doing the following: 

 1. Visit our YouTube links and rate us positively!

We need your views so we can become the first Arab youtube clip to get onto the most viewed page
The YouTube clips address the following:
On the Humanitarian Situation

On Israel’s Violations of Humanitarian Law
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxZoiYvNuqw&NR=1

On the Media Spin
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-8GqHL2J-I&feature=related

Our Call to Action
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAonLJHEuak

 

2. Forward this message to all your friends and encourage them to do the same! Make sure everyone you know watches these videos!

 3. Join our Facebook group and share our videos with your friends!

4.  Add our links on your website and/or blogs.

5.  View our Call to Action episode on You Tube on the 30th of January 2009 so that we may reach our goal of becoming the most viewed clip on YouTube so as to give the crisis in Gaza the exposure it desperately needs.

 

We need your support! Please help us! For more information, please
email at
voicesforpalestine@gmail.com

In solidarity,
Voices for Palestine
www.voicesforpalestine.com

 

This video was forwarded to me and though we think of Egypt right now as complacent in it stand against what is happening in Gaza, this video shows Egyptian actors coming together to rally the Egyptian street against complacency.

 

Watch till the end. http://vimeo.com/2885082

If media isn’t your thing then you can still donate time and money to the 7iber campaign. Volunteers are needed to sort through donations and money is needed for medical supplies. The details are here:

http://www.7iber.com/blog/2009/01/10/new-7iber-campaigns-how-to-help-gaza/

http://www.black-iris.com/2009/01/10/how-to-help-gaza-now/

Make a difference and help get aid to Gaza!

EMERGENCY PROTEST AGAINST MASSACRES IN GAZA!

TIME: MONDAY 29th, 4PM

LET US SHOW OUR OUTRAGE TOGETHER!

PLEASE TELL YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY

LOCATION: SHARE3 AL-THAQAFA, SHMESANI

(This protest has been approved by the Governor of Amman and is organised by concerned Jordanian citizens).

Contact:

Mary (079 55 22 702) (English/French)
Ruba (079 55 07 479) (Arabic)
Mohammad (079 9207 056 (Arabic/Spanish)

Note: We will be gathering at the Radisson SAS hotel at 11am tomorrow (Monday) to prepare posters and banners. We need help. Please join us. Please call numbers above for information.

اعتصام إحتجاجاً على المجازر في غزة

الوقت: غداً الإثنين 29/12 الساعة الرابعة مساءاً

المكان: شارع الثقافة – الشميساني

لنظهر غضبنا معا!

من فضلكم أخبروا أصدقائكم وأقاربكم

(يلاقي هذا الإحتجاج موافقة من محافظة عمان وينظم من قبل مواطنين أردنيين مهتمين)

للاتصال

ماري 0795522702 انجليزي/فرنسي
ربا 0795507479 عربي
محمد 0799207056 عربي/إسباني

ملاحظة: سنتجمع في فندق الراديسون ساس غداً (الإثنين) الساعة 11 صباحاً لتجهيز اليافطات. نحتاج للمساعدة. نرجوا أن تنضموا إلينا. للمزيد من المعلومات يرجى الاتصال في الأرقام أعلاه.

 

I feel impotent. I feel angry and frustrated. Gaza is being leveled people are being exterminated like they are vermin, rodents to be snuffed out easily and quickly. And we watch doing nothing. You can go out and demonstrate in front of government offices, embassies, unions. You can donate time, money, resources and blood. You can send thoughts, prayers and all of that. But it is all futile; The killing will not stop.

Aid is all good and necessary to support the Palestinians. The opening of borders for humanitarian cases is also good. Solidarity is good. Our anger and frustration is all good. But to me it is all a farce. All of this should never have to happen! There should be freedom of movement. There should be food, water, medicine, electricity and dignity. And there is no way we can give any of that to the people in Gaza.

Nothing justifies the killing of humans in this way. This genocide, this cleansing is an extermination of a peoples unwanted by the Israelis. It is horrific and the international community condemns these acts with one hand and with the other continues to support Israel with justifications, sympathy, money, and weapons.

I feel impotent because whatever I do here may help the situation but will not stop it and that is what needs to happen. I have been racking my brains since I heard and my anger and frustration levels have just been escalating. If I demonstrate will politicians or diplomats here be able to pressure Israel into stopping? If I donate blood will it erase the trauma and the pain inflicted in the psyches of the wounded and the maimed? If I send aid in any form or shape or size will it bring back the dead?

Who can make this stop? How can we make it stop? I am at a loss! As an individual sitting here in the comfort of my home, in the warmth of my office, behind a screen what can I do? Singularly or collectively not just to help ease the suffering but to stop this atrocity WHAT CAN I DO?

I just recieved a link to a quest on Questler that has infurated me! I am not sure where to start on this. Check it here:

http://questler.com/explore/quest/view/739