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Free Gaza 2009

Visit our Gaza Freedom Flotilla page for news and facts on the 2010 May/June Gaza Freedom Flotilla.

How we can help Gaza

Seven basic ways:

  1. Educate people. Eye witness testimonies are available on the blogs of our two friends currently in Gaza:

    You can also see videos and other Gaza-related links on our Eye Witness Gaza page.

  2. Join a protest.
  3. Contact your representatives. Numbers to call for Marin residents:
    • Lynn Woolsey: (415) 507-9554 and (202) 225-5161
    • Diane Feinstein: (202) 224-3841, fax (202) 228-3954
    • Barbara Boxer: (202) 224-3553 , fax (202) 224-0454
  4. Contact the media, either with your own article, or to correct their bias in reporting.
  5. Contact the Israeli consulate near you:
    Consulate General of Israel in San Francisco,
    456 Montgomery Street, Suite 2100
    San Francisco, CA 94104
    Phone: (415) 844-7500
    Fax: (415) 844-7555
    Email: sf@israeliconsulate.org
  6. Sign a petition. Many are currently circulating on the Internet.
  7. Donate money to any of the big organizations such as Free Gaza, MECA, and the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.

A comprehensive list is given on the US Campaign web site on how we can help Gaza. Click here.

If you want even more suggestions on how to help, see this comprehensive list of 25 things you can do to help the people of Gaza.

A First Hand Account of Piracy in the Mediterranean

Monday July 13th 2009

(Click here for a permalink.)

A member of 14 Friends of Palestine was one of the twenty one internationals abducted from International waters by the Israeli navy. Here is her account.

On boarding the boat soldiers roughed up the young men a bit. Any young man they immediately grabbed and wrestled them down and handcuffed their hands. A young soldier took the wheel from our expert captain and drove the Spirit of Humanity recklessly toward Ashdod, speeding the converted ferry boat and crashing carelessly up and down into waves. He ignored crew members who warned it could sink or roll over due to its shallow keel or flat bottom. One soldier grabbed Mairead Maguire (the Nobel Peace Prize winner from Ireland) and shoved her face down on the floor. He and another soldier took both her and Huwaida into the galley where there was no secure footing given the reckless driver, forced them down on the floor in handcuffs, plates crashing down around them on the floor, one soldier standing over them with a gun. Mairead got so violently ill, dehydrated from vomiting, that when we got to port she had to have an IV. This was due to the soldiers' needlessly rough driving and cruel detention in the cramped galley with its slippery floor. When everyone was taken from the boat, we saw some great big machine pick up the boat and shake it violently. I don't know why, but I guess it was just to break it. We will probably never see it again. People ask why we would risk the wrath of the Israeli navy. But don't they wonder why civilians feel obliged to join others from nations all around the world to get on a little unarmed boat with humanitarian supplies for people being illegally punished for electing a party Israeli leaders dislike? Why aren't governments of Europe and the United States sailing humanitarian aid to Gaza? It seems our governments are better at talk than action. The important point to keep in mind is, if we had all been Palestinians, they would have been far rougher with us.

Piracy in the Mediterranean

Tuesday June 30th 2009

The Israeli navy has committed an act of piracy by seizing the Spirit of Humanity in international waters. The passenger boat was carrying humanitarian aid from Cyprus to Gaza, with 21 unarmed civilians from 11 different countries on board. One of these is a member of 14 Friends of Palestine.
They have all been kidnapped, and taken to Israel against their will.
Israel, the fourth largest military power in the world, with its huge stash of nuclear weapons, evidently feels threatened by the 21 internationals who were taking coloring books and crayons to the children of Gaza, as well as other humanitarian supplies. President Obama told Israel to let humanitarian and reconstruction supplies in to Gaza, and the 21 civilians on board were following this recommendation. Four of them are from the United States; one, Cynthia McKinney, is a former Congresswoman and Presidential candidate.

We are wondering whom the Israeli government intends to kidnap next; perhaps it should be President Obama, for making the suggestion to take in humanitarian supplies to Gaza in the first place. 


For up-to-date details, please go to the Free Gaza Website:
http://www.freegaza.org/

Kidnapping American citizens is a strange way to thank us for the 3 billion dollars we send Israel each year from our taxes. Perhaps it is time for America to stop sending aid to Israel, and instead spend it on our health care and education.

Free Gaza Alert!

June 25, 2009

In a few hours, the Free Gaza Movement will be sailing two boats from Cyprus to Gaza. A member of 14 Friends of Palestine will be on board. They will be taking humanitarian supplies to Gaza including coloring books and crayons for the children. Israel has threatened to attack them if they leave the port in Cyprus.

Please contact President Obama and your Congressional Representatives to pressure Israel to allow the Free Gaza boats safe passage and not to attack them.

President Obama - 1 202 456 1111 

US State Department - 1 202 647 4000

Congressional numbers to call for Marin residents:

  • Lynn Woolsey - (415) 507-9554 and (202) 225-5161
  • Diane Feinstein - (202) 224-3841, fax (202) 228-3954
  • Barbara Boxer - (202) 224-3553 , fax (202) 224-0454

Contact the Israeli consulate near you:

Consulate General of Israel in San Francisco, 
456 Montgomery Street, Suite 2100
San Francisco, CA 94104
Phone: (415) 844-7500
Fax: (415) 844-7555
Email: sf@israeliconsulate.org

Free Gaza Boats arrive!

August 23rd, 2008

THEY'VE DONE IT!!!!! The SS Free Gaza and the SS Liberty have arrived safe and sound in Gaza City after braving high seas (9-ft. waves and seasickness) and electronic sabotage (almost all communication down). Tumultuous ecstatic reception in Gaza. Musheir El Farra's father-in-law among the crowd waiting at the beach. The flotilla of Gazan fishing boats were turned back to Gaza, and the press boat had to turn back to Cyprus because of high seas and electronic sabotage, but the SS Free Gaza and the SS Liberty are now docked at Gaza City! Congratulations to everyone!

For updates, please visit the Free Gaza Movement web site Also, click here to see more news and links. There is also a picture slideshow here and more pictures here.

 

A big thank you to everyone who joined our demonstration and vigil in support of the Free Gaza Movement on Thursday August 21st 2008 in San Francisco. Click here for photos. We were very encouraged that no less than 29 people came at such short notice. The whole thing was put together in three days flat! Thank you also to Alison Weir of If Americans Knew for her expert guidance and advice throughout. One of our members came home from Cyprus a few days ago, where he had been offering support to the Free Gaza activists, who requested that he organize some kind of demonstration here in the SF Bay Area. It was an exercise in Rapid Organization, as it had to be done before their scheduled departure from Cyprus on Friday. The result was remarkably successful, with over 800 flyers distributed to passers by outside Senator Feinstein's SF office. Thank you everyone for your support. Further information on the Free Gaza boat trip from Cyprus to Gaza, attempting to break the Israeli siege of Gaza, can be found on their web site: www.freegaza.org

Activists from all over the world sailed to Gaza, including five of our friends, Lauren Booth (the sister-in-law of Tony Blair), and Hedy Epstein, a survivor of the Nazi Holocaust.

This from Lauren Booth sailing on the Free Gaza (15th August):

Today I was going to write about about practical developments, here in the waters of the Greek islands. Of setting sail again, of bumpy seas and equally churning stomachs. However, the subject of today's bulletin is psychological terrorism. Over the the past 72 hours almost a dozen aggressive messages have been received by members of the groups both on board the ships and in Cyprus. In Nicosia, where twenty human rights campaigners including Hedy Epstein await to board the Freegaza and the Liberty, anonymous callers have been making threats to the general well being of all concerned.

Some of these texts, calls and answer messages focus on the ships being 'blown up' or 'destroyed, killing all on board.' Unnerving enough. But today I can reveal even more pernicious acts of psychological violence on those both reporting and supporting this effort to ease the blockade of Gaza by Israel.

Since Monday, some campaigners, (who I will not name here for obvious reasons), have received phone calls made to their mobiles. More disturbingly, in an increasing number of cases - to family members.

Now, it is my turn. Yesterday afternoon, on the 14th of August 2008, an anonymous young man called my home in France as my daughters played hide and seek in the garden. This stranger spoke to my husband, warning him that 'your wife is in great danger. These ships will be blown up.' My husband asked how it was this person had obtained our private home number. No response was forthcoming, but the illicit threats carried on.

Who is behind these phone calls? Who benefits by upsetting the families of those onboard the Freegaza and the Liberty? Who would wish to unsettle journalists aboard as unarmed ships set sail towards the waters around Gaza and almost certain interception by Israeli forces?

The answer is clear.

©2008-2017 14 Friends Of Palestine