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Friday, June 24, 2011

U.S. Government tries to stop “Hope” to Gaza

Edited by Carolyn Bennett

Fifty unarmed Americans (authors, builders, firefighters, lawyers, social workers, retirees, Holocaust survivors, former government employees and more) will set sail from the eastern Mediterranean the last week of this month. Their U.S. flagged ship is “The Audacity of Hope,” part of an international flotilla to occupied Gaza.


Thirty-six passengers, four crew, ten members of the press will carry thousands of letters of support and friendship from people across the United States to women, children and men of Gaza. The boat carries to Gaza no weapons, no goods of any kind; its mission serves no agenda of any political leadership, government or group; but engages solely in nonviolent action supporting the Palestinian people and their human rights.

Obstruction attempt

This past Wednesday, the U.S. State Department opposed the mission, issuing a ‘travel advisory’ against Americans’ participation in the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, noting that previous attempts to enter Gaza by sea ‘have been stopped by Israeli naval vessels and resulted in injury, death, arrest, and deportation of U.S. citizens.’

A passenger on the U.S. Audacity of Hope, University of Southern California linguistics professor Hagit Borer, said, “The U.S. State Department apparently takes the view that Israel’s anticipated violence against unarmed protesters is an immutable act of nature." This is a remarkable attitude to take in light of the fact that the U.S. government "provides the Israeli government with billions of dollars in military aid and routinely uses its UN Security Council veto to protect the Israeli government from censure in connection with its [Israel's] occupation policies.”

U.S. peace activists preparing to set sail on the U.S. Boat to Gaza today “expressed profound disappointment over the statement issued by the U.S. State Department. Instead of calling on the Israeli government to let a flotilla of unarmed civilians sail to Gaza, the United States government is pressuring its own citizens to refrain from legal acts.”

The passengers of The Audacity of Hope, http://ustogaza.org/latest/letter-to-obam/
“Support the Safe Passage of the U.S. Humanitarian Aid ‘Audacity Hope’ Boat to Gaza    Letter to President Obama, State Department Officials Have an Obligation to Speak Out Against Israeli Threats to Attack U.S. Boat to Gaza”
Athens: Felice Gelman, 30-694-266-0406;
New York: Donna Nevel, 917-570-4371
Twitter @USBoatToGaza


Bennett's books available in New York State independent bookstores: Lift Bridge Bookshop: www.liftbridgebooks.com [Brockport, NY]; Sundance Books: http://www.sundancebooks.com/main.html [Geneseo, NY]; The Book Den, Ltd.: BookDenLtd@frontiernet.net [Danville, NY]; Talking Leaves Books-Elmwood: talking.leaves.elmwood@gmail.com [Buffalo, NY]; Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza: http://www.bhny.com/ [Albany, NY]; Mood Makers Books: www.moodmakersbooks.com [City of Rochester, NY]; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center: www.enlightenthedog.org/ [Buffalo, NY]; Burlingham Books – ‘Your Local Chapter’: http://burlinghambooks.com/ [Perry, NY 14530]; The Bookworm: http://www.eabookworm.com/ [East Aurora, NY]; LONGS’ Cards and Books: http://longscardsandbooks.com/ [Penn Yan, NY]

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