Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Jewish Organizations to co-Sponsor Jewish Boat to Gaza

Jewish Organizations to co-Sponsor
Jewish Boat to Gaza

American Jews for a Just Peace – Press Release – 16 June


AJJP to Co-Sponsor Jewish Boat to Gaza

The movement to break the blockade of Gaza is “unstoppable and
unsinkable” said Naomi Klein, member of the Advisory Board of the Free
Gaza Movement, in a powerful statement at a demonstration in Toronto on
May 31.

Building on the momentum and global outrage over the Israeli attack
on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, an international coalition of Jewish
organizations working for justice in Palestine will sponsor a Jewish
Boat to Gaza this summer, with AJJP as its U.S. coordinator.

AJJP joins the “Jüdische Stimme” (‘Jewish Voice’ for a Just Peace in
the Near East and Jews for Justice For Palestinians (UK) in sending
the boat as a call to the leaders of the world to help Israel find her
way to reason, to a sense of humanity and a life without fear.

The participants on the boat will be chosen by its European
organizers. In coordination with the medical, educational and mental
health services in Gaza, the boat will take school bags and books,
donated by German schoolchildren; musical instruments and art materials
to support the Gaza Community Mental Health Program; nets and tackle
for fishermen; and essential medicines and small medical equipment for
the civilian population under siege. Absolutely no weapons will be on
board, and all participants will be trained in the principles of


The principles of the mission are as follows:

  1. To protest against and challenge the blockade of Gaza, on the basis
    that it constitutes an illegal, collective punishment of the whole
    population. The blockade is a grossly immoral act subjecting the people
    to subsistence living by denying them basic medical services;
    reconstruction materials for homes, sewage and fresh water systems; and
    the ability and right to fish in their own territorial waters. As a
    result, a horrendous public health crisis and mental health catastrophe
    is taking place.

  2. To protest against Israel’s continuing occupation and settlement of
    Palestinian land, and the Israeli government’s self-evident intention
    of annexing much of that land.

  3. To make clear that the current policies of Israel are not
    representative of all Jews and that there are thousands of us who wish
    to say “‘Not in our name.” We uphold the proud Jewish tradition of
    justice to champion the rights of the downtrodden and to oppose
    prejudice and racism in all forms. We believe in the teachings of Rabbi
    Hillel: “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor.
    That is the whole Torah.” And we remember the work of Rene Cassin, a
    French Jew who shortly after the Holocaust, drafted the text which
    became the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, which Israel is
    now guilty of grossly violating.

  4. The current policies towards Gaza are counterproductive. They fuel
    the anger of Palestinians, their leaders and supporters throughout the
    Arab and wider world and perpetuate the cycle of violence, generating
    an aggressive response to Israel which the blockade is intended to
    counter. We also believe that Israel’s policies are destructive of the
    soul of its own people and sow fear and hatred; a people that oppresses
    another can never itself be free.

  5. The aid goods which we will carry on our small boat are necessarily
    symbolic: we will have small pieces of medical equipment like blood
    pressure monitors, insulated cool boxes for medicines, antibiotics,
    sterile needles and dressings at the request of medical authorities. We
    will be taking school books and equipment donated by German
    schoolchildren for the children of Gaza; art materials and musical
    instruments for the young to support the Gaza Community Mental Health
    Program; and fishing nets and fishing tackle for the fishermen of Gaza.

  6. The strategy is as follows: if, as we expect, the Israeli naval
    forces intercept us on our way from international waters into the
    territorial waters of Gaza, we will tell them that if they insist on
    searching our cargo in order to allow us to continue they may do so
    under our inspection, and that, on finding no weapons or goods which
    constitute a threat, they will afford us safe passage to Gaza.If they
    refuse these conditions, we will state that we do not believe Israel has
    the right to blockade Gaza. If they command us to divert to Ashdod,
    we will do so peacefully and on the basis they have offered to
    previous aid boats, namely to witness their inspection of the cargo and
    accompany the cargo into Gaza.

  7. We, above all, should have a deep understanding of and reject the
    oppression of others.

How you can support the mission

The organizers have asked for the following support from Jews and
friends around the world:

  1. Sign the petition to President Obama asking
    him to ensure safe passage for the Jewish Boat to Gaza.

  2. Spread the word to your friends, allies and supporters to draw
    attention to the campaign.

  3. Donate
    to the Jewish Boat to Gaza.

The moral imperative to end the siege of Gaza is absolute. When
governments fail to act, ordinary people must organize to intervene.

Also: German Jews ‘inundated’ with requests to join new Gaza
aid flotilla

The complete IOA
coverage of the Gaza


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