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Saturday, May 12, 2012

“Right of Return Convoy” intends reaching Gaza Tuesday

Excerpt, editing by Carolyn Bennett

The flag of Palestine has become a leitmotif for humanitarians and for people around the world who care about justice. 

Now, there are attempts to reverse that development, to encourage people in the West, the Middle East and around the world to avert their eyes from Palestine.

So another Convoy takes sail

Flag of Palestine 
Palestinians protest

VIVA PALESTINA ARABIA follows the great siege-breaking efforts of Viva Palestina in Britain and of attempts to break the siege by sea and is scheduled to reach Gaza on May 15, Nakba Day on which Palestinians across the world commemorate the catastrophe that forced so many of them, now a majority, into exile.

WHY the right of return convoy?

More than three years since Israel’s ‘Operation Cast Lead’ that left more than 1,400 Palestinians dead in the Gaza Strip the siege remains.

The changes sweeping Egypt and the Middle East bring the promise of finally lifting that blockade and of further steps to relieve the suffering of the Palestinian people. But promise alone will not end the suffering now, nor address the reasons for it.

That is why Viva Palestina Arabia has organized an aid convoy to again break the siege on Gaza. It is looking to the future. That is why it will carry construction equipment to rebuild the schools, clinics, public buildings and homes that have been destroyed both by Israel’s attacks and by the effects of the ongoing siege.

Its purpose is also to highlight in each country it passes  … the reasons for the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and the wider suffering of the Palestinian people.

Peace talks are stalled, yet illegal Israeli settlement building in the West Bank continues, as does the driving out of non-Jewish inhabitants of Jerusalem.

Conditions for millions of Palestinian refugees in the camps in Palestine and neighboring countries remain appalling.

Flag of Palestine
VIVA PALESTINA ARABIA will be highlighting the rights of those refugees, enshrined in international law and in UN resolutions. They have an inalienable right to return to the homes from which they were driven.

With this convoy, VPA will be part of another international effort to focus on these vital questions.

Sources and notes

“Whereas the Western world regarded the creation of Israel in May 1948 as a triumph for humanity — the righting for Jews of the terrible wrong of the Holocaust—Israel’s Arab neighbors saw the event as a catastrophe.” [Richard B. Parker, Britannica]

“Last year saw international protests on Nakba Day which brought the fundamental reasons for the humanitarian crisis in Palestine and in the camps to world attention … This convoy [returns] to Palestine—the right of Palestinians to return and returning attention to this central issue by contributing to the construction, the rebuilding, of a Palestine for all Palestinians, with Jerusalem recognized as its capital.”

“Viva Palestina Arabia heads towards Palestine,” May 7, 2012, http://www.presstv.ir/Program/239971.html

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