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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Sailing aid’s not enough; break blockade ─ REMEMBER Rafah

 Break through passivity ─ Remember PALESTINE

Excerpt, editing by 
Carolyn Bennett

No one wants dependency

The passivity of the world, the passivity of the European Union, Western world passivity and support for Israel are central to the problem.

The siege of Gaza and especially the maritime siege of Gaza is an abomination. It is illegal and should be stopped immediately — Dror Feiler

European activist Dror Feiler with the Freedom Flotilla Coalition was on the Freedom Flotilla 2010, the Freedom Flotilla 2011, on the French boat Dignity, which succeeded in breaking the siege, coming close to Gaza, and most recently “on the Estelle” Swedish mission to Gaza.

“What we were doing is trying to send the message of solidarity,” he said. “What we were trying to do is to tell the people of the world that —

[t]his is not the question of ethnicity,
[t]his is not the question of nationality,
[t]his is not the question of religion.
We are together with Muslim, Christian, Jews, and atheist on the mission for human rights and international law.

Woman and child in the rubble
“If a terrorist or extremist is to defend international law, human rights, Geneva Convention, then, okay, we are extremists ─ if this is extremism. But I do not think it is. I think this is mainstream international policy and Israel’s policies are the extreme.”

The flotilla missions, Dror Feiler said, put the focus back on the Gaza and Palestine problem.

We put the focus on the fact that people should not be silent when others are suffering injustice — even if they live in countries far away from one another.

We put international solidarity on the map again and we will continue.

But sailing alms ─ many boats carry varieties of “aid” from crayons for children to wheelchairs ─ do not reach the heart of the problem.

“No Palestinian I have met wants to be dependent on aid,”  journalist Hassan Ghani says. “That is not a long-term solution.”

“The primary objective of these flotillas is not about taking aid,” he says. 

The main objective of flotillas headed for Gaza is to break the siege so that Palestinians can trade with the world, access the international waters; and then, through commerce, lift themselves out of the [oppressive] situation.”

Import of flotilla missions

Though Palestinians are not yet at the point of starvation, Ghani says, they are “slowly being dragged to that point by the Israelis.

The Israeli siege is expanding. From their implementation on land, the Israelis are extending the siege to the sea — whether the Rafah border or the border with Israel — they are extending into the sea, where they have no legal right.

The young in rubble of Rafah
“Wave upon wave of boats” put the situation “back into the headlines and set precedent,” he says. Flotillas keep what is happening in Gaza — “the slow collective punishment of the Palestinian people” — on the news agenda.


Sources and notes

Press TV interviews with
Independent journalist and documentary maker Hassan Ghani
Co-founder of the Free Gaza Movement from Paris Greta Berlin
Representative of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition from Sweden Dror Feiler

“‘Flotilla message was Palestinians not alone,’” (Interview), November 3, 2012, http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/11/03/270286/flotilla-message-was-palestinians-not-alone/

“‘Flotillas after breaking Gaza siege not delivering aid,’” November 3, 2012, http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/11/03/270284/flotillas-after-breaking-gaza-siege-not-delivering-aid/

Britannica image

“Gaza Strip: Palestinians crossing the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt: Palestinians crossing the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt at Rafaḥ, southern Gaza Strip (Mohammed Saber—epa/Corbis)


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