I was once asked who it was I envied. I finally have the answer: the sailors aboard the two fishing boats turned icons for freedom and liberty. These two boats, named Free Gaza and Liberty, will hopefully land on the shores of the Gaza Strip Saturday, daytime. Their purpose? They propose to end the now year-long blockade on Gaza Israel has implemented by entering with supplies they have bought the people of Gaza, including hearing aids for the children who have lost their hearing due to Israeli bombing.
Whether or not they are given permission to land is a completely different story. Israel has issued statements that while it respects the intentions of the sailors, it perceives this as support for a terrorist group and is prepared to use force to stop them from reaching the Gaza harbor.
What strikes me as odd though is that I initially seen the footage on the arabic Al-Jazeera, but when I got home and googled it for news results none of the major stations had any news!! Not CNN, not Fox, not BBC. Nothing, zip, nada. I finally got a break with a Chinese newspaper which gave me the downlow. Further googling with the names of the people involved got me a website and (yay!) a Flickr with photo updates of the two ships!! And please, please read the following article by Yvonne Ridley, one of the activists aboard the boats. A small excerpt from her article:
“When the Holocaust was happening a lot of people around the world knew that atrocity against the Jewish people was taking place and yet they did nothing to stop the genocide. I was not around then, but even today there are those who still feel guilty because they sat back and did nothing.
“Well I am damned if I am going to sit back and do nothing as the slow genocide of Palestinians takes place in the world’s largest open air concentration camp known as Gaza.
“I do not wield the power or influence of Tony Blair or any of the Quartet leaders. I do not have the power to order the Israeli soldiers to carry out the jack-boot policies of the Zionist State they serve without question.
“But I do have a voice and with every breath I will shout out loud about the injustices against the Palestinians and in particular the people of Gaza. One day we will all be held to account over the biggest crime against humanity of the 21st century.
“My only defence will be “I did what I could’.
So who is that I am so in complete awe of? Whose shoes would I absolutely die to be in right now? These people with purpose, determination, and most importantly: action!
May God bless them. Ameen
– give me liberty or give me death