Month: March 2020

2020 News Coverage of Freedom Flotilla

Below are selected examples of coverage of the 2020 Gaza Freedom Flotilla:

News on Covid-19 in the Occupied Territories from The Lancet

Palestine and COVID-19–Two powerful new articles from “The Lancet” medical journal:

– March 26 from The Lancet, Structural violence in the era of a new pandemic: The case of Gaza

This is an excellent and extensive study on the health of the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank by the world respected medical journal “The Lancet.”

“This is the first of five reports about the health status and health services in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territory—the West Bank (including Palestinian Arab East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip. We emphasize the complexity of factors that contribute to Palestinian health and health-system problems: ongoing colonization—ie,

    • continued Israeli land confiscation;
    • building of Israeli settlements on Palestinian land;
    • fragmentation of communities and land;
    • acute and constant insecurities;
    • routine violations of human rights by Israeli military forces;
    • poor governance and mismanagement in the Palestinian National Authority;
    • and dependence on international aid for resources.

These and other factors have distorted and fragmented the Palestinian health system and adversely affected population health.”

March 26 from The Lancet, Tracking COVID-19 Responsibly

Johns Hopkins University suddenly has removed the Occupied Palestinian Territories from their disease tracking system apparently merging it wth Israel in cooperation with the US Department of State–making it very difficult to track COVID-19.

“The removal of the oPt from their tracking system (CSSE dashboard) goes against global scientific cooperation and solidarity, resulting in discrepancies with official data recorded by the Palestinian and Israeli Health Ministries. Consistency with international law and the need for impartial data on the spread of COVID-19 requires databases to list the oPt separately, as reflected in WHO practice. Instead, removing the oPt and merging it with Israel undermines the credibility of the CSSE dashboard. All the more concerning is the dashboard’s use of US State Department country designations,5 which have legitimised the acquisition of territory by force6 and undermined Palestinian identity and rights in Jerusalem.7

It is regrettable that Johns Hopkins University, an institution with historic ties to the slave trade,8 should continue its colonial violence against the indigenous Palestinian people by removing Palestine from the world map. In the same way that Johns Hopkins University has started acknowledging the indigenous Piscataway people, the traditional owners of the lands upon which the university is built,9 Johns Hopkins University must also recognize symbolic violence10 and ensure that it does not contribute to the erasure of indigenous peoples across the globe.”

2020 Flotilla Delayed




                      

In light of global health restrictions on travel and public gatherings, the Freedom Flotilla Coalition is delaying our planned departure for Gaza. We had initially planned to visit several southern European ports in April and May, and head for Gaza at the end of May, to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the Israeli attack on the Mavi Marmara and other Freedom Flotilla vessels in 2010, that killed 10 peace activists. We will stand with our IHH partners as they commemorate those deaths and press for justice at the International Criminal Court .
With the help of supporters like you, we recently purchased a boat for this year’s voyage. Visit our updated website for updates about this boat and our preparations over the coming months. We will decide when our next voyage will begin based on ongoing reviews of public health conditions worldwide and in the ports we are planning to visit.
While the COVID-19 pandemic creates challenges worldwide, it is especially dangerous in Gaza, where conditions are immeasurably more difficult because of the illegal Israeli blockade; Palestinians there are particularly vulnerable now that the first COVID-19 cases have arrived .
 
The crowded conditions in Gaza, with a stretched healthcare system and extremely limited access to outside medical aid, means that we must keep the Palestinian people of Gaza in mind as we adapt to new realities worldwide.

We join organizations like the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights in Gaza in calling on the international community and the World Health Organization to pressure Israeli authorities to allow entry of medical supplies and equipment necessary for coronavirus testing and treatment.
 
During this exceptionally dangerous period for Palestinians in Gaza, we urge you to support organizations providing on-the-ground services there, such as UNWRA, Rebuilding Alliance, and Middle East Children’s Alliance.

For more information on the situation in Gaza, see this webinar on COVID-19 from CODEPINK and this interview with Dr. Mona El-Farra, health chair of the Palestine Red Crescent Society in Gaza.

 

In solidarity,

Follow our campaigns: 
Twitter @GazaFFlotilla
Instagram: gazafreedomflotilla
 

 


2020 Freedom Flotilla Delayed and Gaza Fights For Freedom



                      


 
Dear supporters & friends,

Please join The Canadian Boat to Gaza campaign for a film webinar for the screening of Gaza Fights for Freedom, a film by US journalist Abby Martin. 

This screening is presented and co-hosted by The Social Justice Event Collective, Canadian Boat to Gaza, Independent Jewish Voices-London, Ontario and People for Peace- London, Ontario. 

The screening was to be held during Israeli Apartheid Week on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, calling on progressive movements, groups and organizations fighting all forms of racism, racial discrimination, marginalization and oppression to join forces in advocating for Palestinian rights in the context of global struggles against racial oppression. 

When public venues were closed due to Covid19 measures, we postponed that event, now to be held through a Zoom online webinar on Saturday, March 28th, 2020 at 1:00 PM Eastern Time. Please register in advance for this webinar by clicking hereAfter registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the screening and webinar. 

Film-maker Abby Martin will join us after the screening to discuss the making of her documentary, including a questions and answers period. Filmed during the height of the Great March Of Return protests, it features riveting exclusive footage of demonstrations. The documentary tells the story of Gaza past and present, showing rare archival footage that explains the history never acknowledged by mass media. You hear from victims of the ongoing massacre, including journalists, medics and the family of internationally acclaimed paramedic, Razan al-Najjar. At its core, ‘Gaza Fights For Freedom’ is a thorough indictment of the Israeli military for war crimes, and a stunning cinematic portrayal of Palestinians’ heroic resistance.

 

We will also be joined for part of the discussion by a Palestinian participant from one our partner organizations in Gaza We Are Not Numbers, a group of aspiring and inspiring young journalists telling their stories of daily life in the Gaza Strip.
Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to view a film, interact with the film-maker and more! Please register by clicking here.
   
If you wish to donate to UNWRA’s Covid-19 urgent response appeal for healthcare in Palestine, see here: 
In Solidarity,


Follow our campaigns: 
Twitter @GazaFFlotilla
Instagram: gazafreedomflotilla

 


The 2020 Freedom Flotilla will sail against the Blockade of Gaza later than planned

In light of global health restrictions on travel and public gatherings, the Freedom Flotilla Coalition has decided to delay our planned departure towards Gaza. We had initially planned to visit several southern European ports in April and May of this year, and head for Gaza at the end of May, to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the Israeli attack on the Mavi Marmara and other Freedom Flotilla vessels in 2010, that killed 10 peace activists. We will of course stand with our IHH partners as they commemorate those deaths and press for justice at the International Criminal Court.

With the help of supporters like you, we recently purchased a boat for this year’s voyage. We will still need more donations to help equip this boat with vital safety, communications and other materials, as well as to buy fuel and other supplies for our next challenge to the inhuman and illegal blockade of Gaza. Visit our updated website for updates about this boat and our preparations over the coming months. We will decide when our next voyage will begin based on ongoing reviews of public health conditions worldwide and in the ports we are planning to visit.

The Covid-19 pandemic has created new challenges for our Coalition members in each of our countries, especially as our grassroots civil society organizations depend on public support. We also know that conditions in Gaza are immeasurably more difficult, and that Palestinians there are particularly vulnerable now that the first Covid-19 cases have arrived there. The crowded conditions in Gaza, with a healthcare system which is already stretched, and extremely limited access to outside medical aid, all mean that we must keep the Palestinian people of Gaza in mind as we adapt to new realities worldwide.

We join organizations like the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights in Gaza in calling on the international community and the World Health Organization to pressure Israeli authorities to allow entry of medical supplies and equipment necessary for Corona virus medical examination. While access to international medical aid will be vital to surviving the current crisis, we know that the only lasting peaceful solution for Gaza will be a permanent end to the 13 year blockade, with full freedom of movement for all Palestinians.

Ultimately, we must hold our governments responsible: their political complicity allows Israel to maintain the blockade of Gaza and prevent Palestinian refugees from exercising their right of return to their homeland. Your ongoing support is greatly appreciated: please do what you can to stay healthy and engaged with solidarity campaigns. Together we can help end the blockade.

In solidarity,

The Freedom Flotilla Coalition

U.S. Boats To Gaza Efforts During The Corona Virus Epidemic

As the world faces the Covid-19 epidemic our hearts go out to the people of Gaza where the virus has now appeared.  Gaza is an even more dangerous place for the Corona virus outbreak with a health care system that is hampered by the illegal blockade, with a population forced to live in close quarters due to restricted movement and being denied their right to return home, and the water being unfit for consumption.  In solidarity with the people of Gaza, we are organizing events:

And please remember to donate to the various organizations that are helping Gaza through the Corona crisis and in the long term including the UN Works and Relief Agency, Rebuilding Alliance, and Middle East Children’s Alliance.