Darlene Wallach was a determined and unwavering activist for Palestine (and for marginalized people around the world). She died this afternoon, July 12, 2017, after a two-year battle with cancer. She was an indomitable fighter for justice in Palestine, and she will be sorely missed by the Palestinians of Gaza and by those of us who knew her.
In August 2008, she was on our first boat to dock in Gaza, SS Liberty, where she handled most of the communications and was a crewmember. No task was too impossible for her, and she volunteered for anything that needed to be done. When we arrived on August 23, 2008, she was one of the most joyous of all of us. She stayed in Gaza for several months working with the fishermen there.
She was incredibly brave when she accompanied the fishermen out to fish, often risking her life to video the actions of the Israeli navy when they shot at the boats or poured freezing water on the men trying to earn a living. In November, 2008, she was kidnapped by the navy, along with two other International Solidarity activists as she was accompaning the fishermen. She was thrown into prison, then deported for being the acivist with a heart and a camera.
Here’s a link to a Democracy Now clip from 2008 where Darlene talks to Amy Goodman about her experience.
When she returned to the US with her twin sister, Donna, they embarked on a lengthy tour of the Bay area, speaking about their experiences during the five months they worked for the ISM, informing audiences with their stories and photos. In that presentation, they shocked us with the truth about the brutal way the people of Gaza are treated by the Israelis.
Audiences were stunned by the horror of the video that Darlene took of a Gaza fishing boat being attacked by a water cannon. She kept the camera rolling up on deck, although the continuous stream of water that was smashing the windows of the cabin could have killed her. Darlene was completely fearless, and her own safety took a back seat when it came to documenting (capturing) Israeli atrocities on video. It’s one of the most powerful videos anyone has ever seen.
Rest In Palestine, dear Darlene.