Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim
A Ramadan Appeal for all People of Conscience in the World
Support Justice in Palestine this Ramadan
Give To FreeGaza.org
Your Lord is He Who speeds the ships for you in the sea that you may seek of His grace; surely He is ever Merciful to you (Qur'an 17:66)
Those who give to charity night and day, secretly and publicly, receive their recompense from their Lord; they will have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve (Qur'an 2:274)
Dear Friends of Palestine,
Inshallah, this appeal finds you and your families in the very best of circumstances. Sadly, not all of our brothers and sisters in the world share this good fortune. The Palestinian people continue to live under a cruel occupation regime, subjected to merciless Israeli policies designed to ethnically cleanse Palestine of her people. The situation is especially dire in Gaza, where Israel has imposed a brutal siege that is denying 1.5 million Palestinians basic food, medicine, and the freedoms that we take for granted.
More than simple charity, the Palestinian people need our solidarity and political action. They need us to challenge the policies that leave them in need of humanitarian aid. This Ramadan make zakat and fitra to the Free Gaza Movement to purchase cargo and passenger ships in order to break the Israeli siege of Gaza. Please organize at least one Iftar dinner for Free Gaza, and please give generously.
Over the last year, the Free Gaza Movement has challenged Israel’s illegal siege on the Gaza Strip by organizing eight sea missions to Gaza. In spite of Israel’s naval blockade we successfully arrived in Gaza Port on five separate occasions, bringing in dozens of journalists, human rights workers, parliamentarians and other concerned people. We took out dozens of Palestinian students and medical patients, and helped to reunite families separated by the siege. Ours remain the only ships to sail to Gaza in over forty‐two years.
It’s not enough.
The sacrifices of the Palestinian people for the last 61 years must not be forgotten. Israel's 22‐day assault on the Gaza Strip last December & January killed over 1400 Palestinians and destroyed thousands of homes, schools, mosques and hospitals, leaving thousands of Gaza’s Palestinians living in rubble. Maintaining the Gaza siege after these attacks and denying Palestinians the right to rebuild their lives is part of a continuing Israeli campaign against all of Palestine.
On 30 June 2009 Israel hijacked our boat, the Spirit of Humanity, as it was on its way to Gaza, arresting the 21 human rights volunteers on board. However, we are not backing down. We will never back down. Now, more than ever, it’s critical to continue these missions and demonstrate the power of the international civilian community to stand up to cruelty, human rights abuses, and oppression. We have reformulated our strategy. We are now organizing to return in bigger numbers and with bigger force. Your support is essential to the success of the next sea challenge to Israel’s brutal blockade.
FIVE WAYS YOU CAN HELP BREAK THE SIEGE OF GAZA
The landing of two wooden boats carrying human rights activists in Gaza is an important symbolic victory ... Above all, what is being tested is whether the imaginative engagement of dedicated private citizens can influence the struggle of a beleaguered people for basic human rights, and whether their courage and commitment can awaken the conscience of humanity to an unfolding tragedy. (Richard Falk, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the OPT)
- DONATE. You have donated generously to us in the past. We need you to do it again. Donate in support of civil resistance and people to people solidarity. Please consider making a donation of $500 (€500 or £500) and asking 9 friends to do the same. Go to: www.FreeGaza.org/Donate.
Please do it now.
- FUNDRAISE. Plan a fundraiser in your home or community. Hold an Iftar dinner for Free Gaza this Ramadan. A dinner, Ramadan’s Sweet Bazaar, or other event could be a great way to get your friends and family more involved in our efforts, while contributing to our goal of confronting the Israeli siege until it collapses.
- EDUCATE. We have volunteers in various countries that might be available to come speak at your school, university or other venue about their experiences in Gaza, the horrifying effects of Israel’s illegal blockade, and what the Free Gaza Movement is doing to break the siege. Consider hosting an event or a speaking tour for the Free Gaza Movement. For help in doing this, please contact us firstname.lastname@example.org
- OUTREACH. We would like to get celebrities, dignitaries, and community leaders to join our next mission in order to draw more attention to the dire situation in Gaza and the need for immediate action. If you have contact to a public personality, please ask them to lend their voice and presence to this nonviolent action in defense of human rights. If someone is not able to physically be on our boat, ask him or her for a statement or letter of endorsement.
- VOLUNTEER FOR ACTION. We need volunteers to help us with research, writing, local outreach & organizing in your community, website maintenance, graphic design, and much much more. If you are interested in volunteering with the Free Gaza Movement, please contact us at email@example.com.
We are asking for your zakat and fitra this Ramadan, but not as simple charity ‐ we're asking for zakat as political action. Palestine does not need charity. Palestine is not a poor country, and Palestinians are not a poor people. They are being forced into poverty.
The people of Gaza are being collectively punished by Israel for the “crime” of being Palestinian. This is unacceptable. We believe that it’s our collective responsibility and take direct action to end this unjust siege, and we are asking for your help and participation. Thank you for your consideration. Ramadan Mubarak! Ramadan Kareem!
Peace be with all our sisters and brothers in the world.
And why should ye not fight in the cause of God and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated (and oppressed)?—men, women, and children, whose cry is: ‘Our Lord! Rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from Thee one who will protect; and raise for us from Thee one who will help!' (Qur’an 4:75)