With news that two ships have finally left Cyprus headed to Gaza to break the international blockade of the Palestinian territory, it’s probably unlikely that the Israelis will allow them access. If nothing else, this proves that Gaza is still an occupied territory, despite the rhetoric from the Jewish state and its courtiers the world over. The BBC writes:
The two vessels – named Liberty and Free Gaza – are carrying 200 hearing aids for children and 5,000 balloons.
“No matter what happens we have already achieved our goal by proving that ordinary citizens with ordinary means can mobilise a defence of human rights for Palestinians,” organiser Paul Larudee told the AFP news agency.
“We want people to see the Palestinian problem as one of human rights, not feeding them rice,” he added.
The activists include Lauren Booth, sister-in-law of former British PM Tony Blair, who is now an international Middle East peace envoy. Also on board is left-wing Greek MP Tasos Kourakis.
The only Israeli Jew on-board is Jeff Halper, founder of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions. He told Democracy Now! yesterday:
I’m the only Israeli Jew onboard this mission… So I think it’s very important that there be an Israeli presence, because, after all, we’re the occupying power, and we have to take responsibility. And so, in a sense, symbolically, my presence here is a taking of responsibility by Israelis for the occupation and for the siege and the oppression for which we put the Palestinians under…
I think this is a common theme between Jews and Israeli Jews, and that is that we have to begin to take responsibility. We can’t always present ourselves as the victims. We’re not the weak party. And we have to take responsibility for what we’re doing. And that’s, I think, our central message to our own people.