Ikhwanweb :: The Muslim Brotherhood Official English Website

Tue109 2018

Last update19:14 PM GMT

Back to Homepage
Font Size : 12 point 14 point 16 point 18 point
Free Gaza Mission Vows Escalation of Struggle Against Israel
Free Gaza Mission Vows Escalation of Struggle Against Israel
We Americans are all Palestinians. From the two small boats that landed on August 23, 2008, we grew to six ships in the last flotilla that saw nine of our brothers murdered, and will have nine to twelve ships in the flotilla this Fall as we go back to Gaza.
Monday, August 30,2010 15:32
We Americans are all Palestinians. From the two small boats that landed on August 23, 2008, we grew to six ships in the last flotilla that saw nine of our brothers murdered, and will have nine to twelve ships in the flotilla this Fall as we go back to Gaza. To borrow from Dr. King who gave a beautiful anthem for justice in Washington D.C. that lives on today, the Free Gaza movement  knows that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. Let us see the day when we can say: “Free at last! free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!” -

The international effort to break the illegal Israeli siege of Gaza, shine light on the apartheid system in the occupied territories continues, and gain independence as free men and women will not fail.

Even in the face of mass murder, piracy and assassination, the Free Gaza mission will not back down as a new flotilla prepares for the next freedom voyage to Gaza in which human rights workers will risk their lives for freedom and justice.

Only two-years-old, the Free Gaza mission has changed the world. To the imprisoned, the oppressed, and the murdered in the occupied territories, we say: You are not forgotten. Your suffering will end.

The backlash against us in lies and smears, and the propaganda campaign by Israel has been extraordinary even by the standards of the pariah state.

But as human rights worker, Ken O’Keefe, writes in these pages:

I will not abandon my brothers and sisters who resist war and occupation. By being labeled a ‘terrorist’ myself, I join you, falsely accused and persecuted, the Arabs, the Muslims, Nelson Mandela, the African National Congress, the Founding Fathers of America, the eco-warriors, the people of conscience past and present. And so be it, I am a terrorist in the eyes of the American and Canadian Government who puts me on their so-called ‘terror watch list.’

Veterans Today calls on all American veterans, supporters and advocates to resist Israel’s clear and present danger to the national security of America and the safety of the civilized world. Israel must be stopped, it must be stopped now.

Even as the farce of next week’s direct peace talks are played out, the serious work for justice goes on.

For updates on the forthcoming human rights mission, see Veterans Today,  Witness Gaza, the Free Gaza Mission, Cultures of Resistance and Al Jazeera.

From the Free Gaza team:

Two years ago today, 44 people from 17 countries were on the Mediterranian heading toward Gaza. We were in two dilapidated fishing boats, the seas were rough, most of us were seasick, and all of us were worried that Israeli military warships would prevent us from getting into the illegally blockaded port of Gaza.

Israel had blocked our communications equipment; our two captains, long-time seafarers were working off compass and pieces of paper. At 3:00 pm, we saw the shores of Gaza, and no Israeli war ship was there to prevent us from sailing in to the raucus shouts, applause and joy of 20,000 imprisoned Palestinians waiting on shore, covering every inch of standable ground.

Except for a few media outlets in the Middle East, our historic trip was ignored. But we had outsmarted the Israeli military machine that had threatened us with bodily harm, cut off our communications equipment and finally, humphed off to ignore us. They had spent millions of dollars trying to stop us. We had spent $300,000 for the boats, captains, crew and fuel, plus a lot of energy and determination. Israel thought we were a bunch of activists who would go away after the first trip.

They were wrong.

We succesfully went in four more times, taking in another 100+ witnesses, European members of Parliament, charity workers from the Gulf, doctors, activists who stayed to work in Gaza, and Palestinians who just wanted to go home and visit. We brought out 38 Palestinians, including students who had visas to attend universities, yet Israel would not allow them to leave.

Although our accomplishments were small, sailing in with no Israeli attempts to stop us set a precedent. They knew the blockade was illegal. They hoped we would go away.

Today, on the second anniversary of that historic voyage, we are still sailing. As one of our activists said after the Freedom Flotilla was attacked, “We have suddenly become sexy. Everyone wants to go with us. We have requests from media around the world asking us to please save them a seat. Even in the U.S., the media wants to come.” It is tragic that 9 men lost their lives to put the blockade of Gaza on the map and equally tragic that thousands of Palestinians have lost their lives with no reaction from the international community.

We have grown from the five of us who began this initiative to hundreds around the world, from the occupied West Bank to occupied New York to India to Australia. From the two small boats that landed on August 23, 2008, we grew to six ships in the last flotilla, and will have nine to twelve in the flotilla this fall. There are boat initiatives in the U.S., the UK, Belgium, Holland, Australia, Canada and Ireland.

Although many in the Western media have tried to spin the story that the Freedom Flotilla was a Turkish effort, it was not. It was an international one. Of the 650 passengers on board, half were Turkish and the rest came from around the world.The Free Gaza movement spearheaded the flotilla, collected the coalition members and helped them find boats to sail. We were the ones with the experience. Now six members of the coalition have the same experience and are eager to sail again.

Although the supplies on the cargo ships were supplies that Israel has forbidden to the people of Gaza, our primary objective has always been to break Israel’s illegal siege on 1.5 million Palestinians, denying them the right to trade, movement and freedom.

We have accomplished only part of what we set out to do…put the imprisonment of Palestinians of Gaza on the front page. But that is not close to being enough.

For those who say we have no right to challenge Israel, we say we do. If governments refuse to act, we, as citizens of the world, will sail. If Israel says they have the right to stop us, we say they do not. We sail from international waters into the waters of Gaza and never come near Israel. If Israel says it has the right to inspect our cargo, we say the cargo is inspected by certified inspectors at the point of embarcation and does not need further inspection. If Israel says the Palestinians have no right to rebuild their society after Israel bombed it to dust, we say they have every right to rebulid. And international law is on our side, not on the side of the occupier.

If Israel says they have the right to attack us in international waters, citing “security issues”, we say, along with an increasing number of Israelis as well as political analysts worldwide, “It is the violence of the occupation that continues to destroy the hope of any security for Israelis and Palestinians. The upholding of international law is the only way to security and peace for any of us.”

So, happy birthday, Free Gaza. We have much more to do. In partnership with the Palestinians, human rights groups and supporters throughout the world, may we continue to sail.We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support, donations and advocacy.


tags: Free Gaza / Israeli Siege / Flotilla / Human Rights Workers / Occupied Territories
Posted in Palestine  
Add Comment Send to Friend Print
Related Articles
Free Gaza: First Murder, Then Theft And Lies From The World's Most Moral Army
Announcement: Global Day to break the Israeli siege
Freedom Flotilla aid ships challenge Israeli siege and head for Gaza
Ging champions breaking Israeli siege on Gaza via sea route
Abu Zayd: Israeli siege takes Gaza back to the Middle Ages
European campaign: Israel threats were the reason for delaying Free Gaza boats
Free Gaza intends to launch its eighth sea trip to help Gaza people
Gaylard: The Israeli siege thwarts UN efforts to help Gazans
Rossi: The Israeli siege is the most hideous crime in human history
British students occupy campus buildings in protest at Israeli siege
Fourth free Gaza sea voyage sets sail from Cyprus
Gaza Boats: The SS Free Gaza & SS Liberty are on their Way to Gaza!
Is Gaza under occupation or not? Free Gaza boats about to find out more
EQA: The Israeli siege destroyed Gaza’s natural resources
Israeli siege on Gaza reaps more lives of sick Palestinians
Popular conference deplores UN failure to condemn Israeli siege on Gaza
Haneyya urges France to play a role in ending and Israeli siege and aggression