10 Year Anniversary of the Mavi Marmara Attack

May 23: Award-winning film The Truth: Lost at Sea, followed by a discussion with film-maker and Mavi Marmara survivor Rifat Audeh and other Freedom Flotilla participants. Hosted by Canadian Boat to Gaza. In 2010, the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, a convoy of six boats carrying humanitarian aid, attempted to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza. After refusing Israel’s demand to turn away, the flotilla continued on course through international waters, and the Israeli Occupation Forces launched a night-raid attacking the boats. On one of the boats, the Mavi Marmara, the Israeli ‘soldiers’ shot and killed nine human rights activists and a tenth later died of his injuries. The film details what happened that night, unravelling how the story was spun by the media.  (10h00 Pacific North America, 12h00 Central, 13h00 EDT, 18h00 British Summer Time, 19h00 CEST, 20h00 Palestine). Please register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_I6isloJTQkiZWNDPkdpCGQ

May 28: Legal actions against Israel originating from the Gaza Freedom Flotillas, hosted by South Africa’s Palestine Solidarity Alliance.

May 30: 10 year anniversary of the documentary film: Israeli Attack on the Mavi Marmara.  Discussion with filmmaker Iara Lee, shipmates and author Dr. Norman Finkelstein. (10h00 PDT in west coast North America, 12h00 Central, 13h00 EDT, 18h00 British Summer Time, 19h00 CEST, 20h00 Palestine). Please register here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_pa1a2KfLTlSZDz0w0peqWQ See also: https://culturesofresistancefilms.com/10th-anniversary-of-the-israeli-attack-on-the-mavi-marmara-gaza-freedom-flotilla-newsletter-invite

May 30: Event hosted by 48 Palestine, from two locations. 16h-18h, Palestine Time. Details to follow.

May 31: Events in Istanbul, Turkey to commemorate the 10 deaths by Israeli commandos on the Mavi Marmara ship hosted by Humanitarian Relief Foundation IHH. Read and share more background information on the Mavi Marmara from IHH.

May 31: Award-winning film The Truth: Lost at Sea, followed by a discussion with film-maker and Mavi Marmara survivor Rifat Audeh and other Freedom Flotilla participants (see description above).
Screening with discussion for Pacific partners and allies 16h AEST (NSW/Vic); 18h NZST (Aotearoa) ; 9h00 Palestine; May 30 at 23h PDT (west coast of North America). Please register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_J8gNesjRSV2GDwElBgm3XA

May 31: Evening Concert in Norway hosted by Ship to Gaza Norway.

May 31: Event in Sweden hosted by Ship to Gaza Sweden.

In May 2020, the Freedom Flotilla Coalition is sponsoring a series of webinars to commemorate those killed on the 2010 Gaza Freedom Flotilla and the thousands of Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel that have been killed by the Israeli military and the inhumane policies of the Israeli government. May 31, 2020 is the 10th anniversary of the deadly Israel military attack on six civilian boats that were sailing to bring international attention to the plight of the 2 million Palestinians living under a brutal and illegal Israeli land, sea and air blockade of Gaza. Israeli commandos murdered ten and wounded fifty unarmed civilians on the Mavi Marmara ship and beat up passengers on the other five boats.

“For The Children Of Gaza” Campaign 2020

International solidarity activists have sailed 18 voyages with over 30 boats to break the illegal Israeli naval blockade of Gaza. The next flotilla, coordinated by the Freedom Flotilla Coalition, has been postponed due to the COVID-19 health pandemic.

For previous Freedom Flotilla information webinars this year, see here.

COVID-19 IN PALESTINE: Please consider donating to one of the urgent response appeals for healthcare in Palestine, either through UNRWA: https://donate.unrwa.org/covid-19/~my-donation, or through Medical Aid to Palestinians https://www.map.org.uk/donate/donation-details/224, or the Middle East Children’s Alliance: https://www.mecaforpeace.org/

Part 1 of Boats To Gaza Webinar Series: The 2008 Free Gaza Movement

Join us on Saturday, May 9, (10 am North American West Coast, 12h00pm Central, 13h00 Eastern, 18h00 England, 19h00 France and 20h00 Greece/Gaza).  The idea of sailing to break the Israeli naval blockade began in 2008 with a group called Free Gaza Movement. Their story of the challenges of actually getting boats into Gaza, the first boats in 41 years to arrive in the Gaza City port, the only port Palestine has, is remarkable.

We will hear from the founding members of the Free Gaza Movement, Greta Berlin, Paul Larudee, Mary Hughes-Thompson, Vangelis Pissias, and Musheir El Farra about the challenges of fundraising and organizing the first two boats to reach the shores of Gaza and see photos of the outpouring of goodwill from Gazans as the boats arrived in Gaza in 2008. We will show the trailer of a new movie “Rock the Boat” of the 2008 flotilla by directed by Kathy Sheetz.

Please register to receive the link for the seminar and read more about the webinar panelists.

https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_1-qpTaVwQSO4K6EBbfjJfw?fbclid=IwAR3zwkT6zuLR3ZT_BFd0hfAcfQ4knq0MROHjump8LU1m0bXrWcfyOZ_VTEk

This is a part of a webinar series that the Gaza freedom Flotilla coalition is sponsoring to bring International attention to the plight of Palestinians from the brutality of the Israeli government and military with the land sea and air blockade of Gaza and the theft of Palestinian lands.

Recommended Covid-19 Actions For Gaza

With the Coronavirus pandemic, U.S. Boat to Gaza is recommending our friends help out the people of Gaza since they not only face the virus like the rest of us; they also face it under a blockade and occupation.  Here are things you can do:

Thank you.

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.”

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.

U.S. Events for the 2020 Gaza Freedom Flotilla

 

Join Norwegian Herman Reksten as he shares his experiences as captain of the fishing vessHermanel Al-Awda (The Return) which was intercepted and boarded in international waters and taken to Israel on July 29, 2018.  He is touring the United States:

  • Houston, Texas: Feb. 4, 7pm
    • Live Oak Friends Meeting • 1318 W. 26th Street Houston, TX  77008
  • Dallas, Texas: Feb. 6: 6:00 pm reception & refreshments • 7:00 pm program
    • Park Plaza Tower • 13111 N Central Expy
      (NW quadrant, LBJ & Central)
      Dallas, TX 75243
      Video of the event
  • Austin, Texas: Feb. 11: 6:30 pm reception & refreshments • 7:00 pm program
    • Friends Meeting of Austin • 3701 E. Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
      Austin, TX  78721
      Sponsored by JVP, ICPR among others

Join Col. Ann Wright as she tours the United States Fundraising for the 2020 Freedom Flotilla:

Freedom Flotilla 2020: For the Children of Gaza

#GazaKids #FreedomFlotilla #EndGazaBlockade

After joining other civil society organizations in The Hague on Friday November 29 calling on the International Criminal Court to take action and prosecute Israeli crimes against Palestinians, the Freedom Flotilla Coalition met in Rotterdam this weekend to plan our May 2020 sailing towards Gaza with these important goals:

  • To challenge and end the illegal and inhuman Israeli blockade of Gaza

  • To restore the Rights of children and youth in Gaza, for life, security and freedom of movement.

For more than five years the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has been warning the world that Gaza will become uninhabitable by 2020 if the blockade does not end. Basic human rights of Palestinians in Gaza are violated daily by the Israeli-imposed blockade, including the right to adequate housing, the right to education, the right to healthcare, the right to clean water and food, and in particular the right to freedom of movement.

Civil society organizations from around the world have combined to challenge the blockade since 2008, when Free Gaza boats managed to arrive in Gaza and leave again peacefully. In all, more than 35 boats have sailed to challenge the blockade in all. Since 2010 we have sailed as the Freedom Flotilla Coalition: international civil society organizations united for human rights and dedicated to challenging the blockade of Gaza through nonviolent direct action. May 2020 will mark 10 years since the attack by Israeli forces on boats including the Mavi Marmara, where they killed 10 people and seriously wounded 56 others.

“The children of Gaza deserve the same rights as children in every other country of the world,” comments Ann Wright of the US Boat to Gaza. “They are more than a million, more than half of the population of Gaza, and they are being deprived of the right to a just future because of the illegal blockade and ongoing military attacks on occupied Gaza by Israel, with the complicity of our governments.”

The Freedom Flotilla Coalition calls on people of conscience from around the world to support our May 2020 mission for the children of Gaza.

December 1, 2019. Rotterdam.

For further background information, see: jfp.freedomflotilla.org

For media comment, contact our campaign spokespeople:
jfp.freedomflotilla.org/media-room-2
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Freedom Flotilla Coalition members also held protests in front of the International Criminal Court to highlight the case in front of the court about the killing of civilians by the Israeli military in international waters in 2010.  At that time the Israeli military boarded the Mavi Marmara and other ships in the flotilla and commandeered them to Israel.  They also killed and wounded passengers.