In 2010, Israeli forces stormed the Mavi Marmara which was trying to bring needed medical supplies to blockaded Gaza. Nine people were killed (a tenth died later) and dozens were wounded. The boat was seized. But Israel got a lot of bad publicity. This September, another boat with a female crew and passenger complement, will try again. Read more.
Gaza has been under Israeli military blockade for more than ten years. Israel has almost completely stopped the flow of goods and people into and out of Gaza. As a consequence, as Bernie Sanders recently pointed out to Hilary Clinton in their recent CNN debate, the unemployment rate in Gaza is over 40%.
The blockade has received widespread international condemnation. But in the face of Israeli military power, backed up by the diplomatic and economic protection of the USA, little seems to be done about it.
Israel would like the issue to go away. But a group called the Freedom Flotilla Coalition has been keeping the international spotlight on the inhumane and illegal blockade of Gaza.
Canadians have been deeply involved in this. Kevin Neish of Victoria was aboard the Mavi Marmara when it was attacked by Israeli forces in 2010. In 2011, several Canadians were involved n the Canadian Boat, the Tahrir ,when it was seized by the Israeli navy in international waters. The participants were “merely” tasered and severely beaten by Israeli authorities. Canadians aboard the Marianne met a similar fate at the hands of Israeli forces in 2015. And Canadians helped sponsor Gaza’s Ark, a boat which was to break the blockade by sailing out from Gaza. In 2014, Israel bombed Gaza’s Ark while it was in port.
This September yet another attempt will be made to breach the Israeli blockade – this time by an international group of courageous and determined women. Delegations of women from seven different countries, including Canada, will be involved.
Here is an interview with Wendy Goldsmith of the “Women’s Boat to Gaza”. (Apologies for the quality of the audio on my end, but Wendy’s message comes through very clearly.)
More information on the Women’s Boat to Gaza, including how to get involved or make a financial contribution is available on the Canada Boat Gaza website.
Comments? Is the WBG likely to get through to Gaza this time? Want to share any ideas on how to maximise the impact of the WBG in Canada? Agree or disagree. Any thoughtful and respectful comments welcome