Next Trip is Being Prepared
The Newsletter of the Free Gaza Movement 4/2009, Jan. 28
This issue of the Free Gaza Newsletter was simultaneously published in English, French, Arabic, German, Italian and Spanish. This is because we want to convey our message to as many people as we can: Free Gaza! Enough of the demonization of the Palestinians! Enough of killing human beings under the disgusting pretext of security! Enough of the double standard! The Free Gaza Movement takes a stand for the Human Rights and for occupied Palestine. While the last two voyages were brutally attacked by Israel, the next trips to Gaza are now being prepared, see the lead article. The Greek TV station "Mega Channel" produced a document on the latest Israeli assault against a Free Gaza boat, see http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=D2CD5AC4835B173F . Among other things, the video contains an animation of the military ships and the Free Gaza boat and, when you press the button on the bottom right of the video, there are English subtitles. This week's press photo (download at http://www.freegaza.org/uploads/media/greer_valley.jpg - (2338 x 1700 pixel, 200 dpi) is by Greer Valley and a contribution to the Free Gaza Art Festival: http://www.anis-online.de/2/freegaza/artfestival.htm . Also in this issue: First views of Attattra, how you can join the movement, love under the bombs, and the quote of the week.
"Where is Humanity? Free Gaza & Palestine" © Greer Valley
We Will Sail Again
After talking to our partners in Gaza, many of our donors and discussing the situation in Gaza, we are announcing our next trip to Gaza during the week of March 2, 2009. We hope to bring a cargo ship loaded with building supplies and medical equipment plus take a passenger boat as well. The organizers will be busy raising the funds to purchase both boats and are also going to put out a plea for building materials, especially cement, wood and PVC piping. Derek Graham, first mate on many of the trips stated, "We need to do more this time than just send in a symbolic delegation. We need to bring in practical supplies that can be used to rebuild the Gaza infrastructure that Israel has destroyed." Derek plans on taking the project ideas to Northern Ireland at the end of January to talk to Irish sympathizers and donors. "The Free Gaza Movement has always seen itself as a human rights organization, but we also recognize that we can bring in more than just observers. And that's why we are making sure we have the time and the money to carry as much as we can." said Huwaida Arraf, delegation leader on many of the trips. The Free Gaza boat, the 'Dignity', was rammed three times by the Israeli navy on December 30 while it was clearly in international waters. The movement organizers are pursuing legal actions against the government of Israel for piracy on the high seas as well as damages to the boat. Estimates range from 100 to 150 thousand euros and will take five months to repair. "Israel rammed us, hoping to sink us. There is no other way to look at it, and those of us on the boat clearly knew it was no accident. They didn't realize how sturdy the "Dignity" is and how courageous our captain, Denis Healy was." remarked Eliza Ernshire, one of the passengers on board the crippled boat. We now have the SPIRIT OF HUMANITY as one possibility to accompany the cargo boat, but we are also looking for a larger boat that can carry 50-75 people into Gaza. Several high-profile people have asked to go with us when the trip is ready, and we are currently collecting names if any of you have suggestions to pass on to us.
First views of Attattra, Northwestern Gaza
From the blog ingaza.wordpress.com: On January 18, the first day that Israel stopped most of the bombing all over Gaza (navy shelling continues to this moment), after learning that my friend's father was alive in eastern Jabaliya, I went on to Attatra, the northwest region, which had been cut off since Israeli troops invaded. As expected, the destruction was great, the death toll high and still unknown. People streamed in both directions: going to see how their homes had fared or leaving from the wreckage and bringing as many surviving possessions as possible. "This is our main road," Yusef said dryly, gesturing at the undulating pavement and sand that served the towns in this region. "There should be houses here. Now there is nothing," he added, seemingly more to himself than to me. - Read more at http://ingaza.wordpress.com/2009/01/22/1st-views-of-attattra-northwestern-gaza/
How You Can Join
We receive many emails from people who express their solidarity and who want to help and we are happy about every voice we hear. On the "Join In" page of our website you can find some suggestions for support, for example: watch out for trip announcements and inform your local media about them, link our logo on your website, engage in solidarity action or donate to keep the boats afloat. We will not rest until the unjust siege is gone. If you are an expert on Gaza info you may want to help us update the "Gaza Info" page of freegaza.org. You can join our Art Festival or our translator team. Groups can endorse Free Gaza via email. If you want to come aboard see the passengers application form online. Maybe you are a specialist in Gaza direct aid, then you can collect some good addresses for us to pass on. In our weekly newsletter we announce current tasks for volunteers.
Love under the bombs
By Vittorio Arrigoni in Gaza. Making love under the bombs. I remember a friend from Nablous once telling me how difficult it was during the occupation to make time to reserve a moment of intimacy with his wife. One evening, while they lay in a tender embrace, a bullet lodged itself into their headboard, inches away from their heads. Canoodling under the bombs these days in Gaza is out of the question, and the conjugal future of young Palestinian couples is shaping up to be quite a challenge. Many have lost their homes and are forced to live amassed in the UNRWA schools, or crammed with as many as twenty people inside a tiny apartment. "Tonight is Saturday and the young couples in Tel Aviv go out and have fun in the clubs or on the beach. Meanwhile, out here we can't even make love in our own beds", says Wissam, who got married in November. - Read more at http://www.freegaza.org/en/home/709-love-under-the-bombs
Quote of the Week
"In the name of the European Jews for a Just Peace in the Middle East I call out to the population in Gaza and in the other parts of occupied Palestine: you are not alone! Tens of thousands of Jews all over the world stand up against the State of Israel and declare: not in our name! Millions of people in the whole world are with you and will not be satisfied until there will be law and justice, freedom and self-determination for Palestine. (...) There must be consistent action against oppression, ostracism, apartheid and racism, against anti-Semitism and anti-Islamism. This is the only way to open a perspective. (...) The international community must get away from supporting the law of the powerful! It is the power of the law that has to be reconstituted!" - Professor Fanny-Michaela Reisin, EJJP Germany, from a speech on the Gaza rally on Jan. 17 in Berlin, tr. from German http://www.juedische-stimme.de
The Newsletter of the Free Gaza Movement and the relaunched website http://www.freegaza.org present news and background info on the nonviolent Free Gaza Movement and their action to break the siege of Gaza and Palestine. This issue was edited by Anis Hamadeh in Mainz, anis at anis-online.de. Translations: French (Philippe & Jacqueline), German (Anis), Arabic (Nadia, Dina, Ismail), Italian (Paola), Spanish (Bea); Subscription over the "Friends of Gaza" Newslist at https://lists.riseup.net/www/subscribe/gazafriends , contact to Free Gaza: friendsofgaza at gmail.com. Updated Free Gaza media clippings at http://www.freegaza.org/uploads/media/free_gaza_in_the_media.pdf . For general Palestine daily news visit http://www.theheadlines.org