Monday, 27 September 2010

Jewish aid ship sets out from Cyprus to break siege of Gaza

Thanks to Jews for Justice for Palestinians. An Israeli foreign ministry spokesperson has called this latest attempt to bust open the siege ''a provocative joke that isn't funny''. The boat has just left Cyprus so should be in Gazan territorial waters very soon.
A boat carrying aid for Gaza’s population and organized by Jewish groups worldwide has set sail from Cyprus today at 13:32 local time

The boat, Irene, is sailing under a British flag and is carrying nine passengers and crew, including Jews from the US, the UK, Germany and Israel as well as an Israeli journalist.

The boat’s cargo includes symbolic aid in the form of children’s toys and musical instruments, textbooks, fishing nets for Gaza’s fishing communities and prosthetic limbs for orthopaedic medical care in Gaza’s hospitals.

The receiving organization in Gaza is The Palestinian International Campaign to end the siege on Gaza, directed by Dr. Eyad Sarraj and Amjad Shawa, Director of PNGO

The boat will attempt to reach the coast of Gaza and unload its aid cargo in a nonviolent, symbolic act of solidarity and protest – and call for the siege to be lifted to enable free passage of goods and people to and from the Gaza Strip.

The boat will fly multicolored peace flags carrying the names of dozens of Jews who have expressed their support for this action, as a symbol of the widespread support for the boat by Jews worldwide.

Speaking from London, a member of the organizing group, Richard Kuper of Jews for Justice for Palestinians, said today that the Jewish Boat to Gaza is a symbolic act of protest against the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories and the siege of Gaza, and a message of solidarity to Palestinians and Israelis who seek peace and justice.

‘Israeli government policies are not supported by all Jews,’ said Kuper. ‘We call on all governments and people around the world to speak and act against the occupation and the siege.’

Regarding the threat of interception by the Israeli navy, Kuper said ‘This is a nonviolent action. We aim to reach Gaza, but our activists will not engage in any physical confrontation and will therefore not present the Israelis with any reason or excuse to use physical force or assault them.’

Passenger Reuven Moskovitz, 82, said that his life’s mission has been to turn foes into friends. “We are two peoples, but we have one future”, he said.

Israel says to hell with international opinion as illegal settlements continue to grow

Now there's a surprise - Israel ignores international opinion and abandons its fairly weak 'moratorium ' on settlement building on the West Bank. Abbas promised that any such resumption would signal the end of a peace process that hasn't actually started.

So why does Abbas have to go to the Arab League to work out what to do next? Already the Fatah-aligned al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade has made it clear that any continuation of talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority would be a disaster for the national struggle. Surely Abbas is aware that following his treacherous move to help the US and Israel and kick the Goldstone Report on Israel's Cast Lead massacres, he is in a dangerous credibility-deficit position.

As for Obama and the US, they seem only too happy to allow the settlers to continue their colonial. Claims to contrary are hollow - unless they are about to slap some serious sanctions on Israel and to shutdown arms sales. Not going to happen.

The settlers will only be driven out of the West Bank by struggle, in Palestine and internationally, not by millionaires talking and dining in Cairo or wherever.