News Release

Gaza Flotilla Under Threat


KATHY KELLY, kathy at
Coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, Kelly just wrote the piece “Staying Human: Preparing to Sail to Gaza,” which states: “Last week, newly-arrived in Athens as part of the U.S. Boat to Gaza project, our team of activists gathered for nonviolence training. We are here to sail to Gaza, in defiance of an Israeli naval blockade, in our ship, ‘The Audacity of Hope.’ Our team, and nine other ships’ crews from countries around the world, want Israel to end its lethal blockade of Gaza by letting our crews through to shore to meet with Gazans. The U.S. ship will bring over 3,000 letters of support to a population suffering its fifth continuous decade of de facto occupation, now in the form of a military blockade controlling Gaza’s sea and sky, punctuated by frequent deadly military incursions, that has starved Gaza’s economy and people to the exact level of cruelty considered acceptable to the domestic population of our own United States, Israel’s staunchest ally. …

“Israel Defense Forces are reportedly training for a fierce assault intended to ‘secure’ each boat in the flotilla, the ‘Freedom Flotilla 2.’ As passengers specifically on the U.S. boat, we may be spared the most violent responses, although Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has not ruled out such violent responses and has preemptively certified any response we may ‘provoke’ (in sailing from international waters to a coastline that is not part of Israel) is an expression of Israel’s ‘right to defend themselves.’ Israel says it is prepared for a number of scenarios, ranging ‘from no violence’ (which it knows full well to expect) to “extreme violence.” We are preparing ourselves not to panic, and to practice disciplined nonviolence whatever scenario Israel decides to enact.”

AMJAD SHAWA, pngo at
Coordinator of PNGO, the Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations Network, Shawa said today: “We had a demonstration of several hundred people in front of the UN headquarters here, civil society groups in Gaza calling for the protection of the flotilla and action for an immediate end of the siege and suffering of people in Gaza.”

Among the U.S. flotilla participants currently in Greece:

ROBERT NAIMAN, via Kate Gould, kate at,
HUWAIDA ARRAF, (in Athens) huwaida.arraf at,
Arraf is Chair of the Free Gaza Movement and member of the Freedom Flotilla Steering Committee.

Felice Gelman, rosahill at

In New York: Donna Nevel, denevel at

Naiman, policy director of Just Foreign Policy, recently wrote the piece “Kucinich: Ensure Safety of U.S. Citizens on The Audacity of Hope.”

McGovern, who was a CIA analyst for 27 years, just wrote the article “Spirits of Justice Going to Gaza.”

He is featured in a piece by The Real News.

For updates:!/usboattogaza

Also, see: Glenn Greenwald’s “U.S., Israel Escalate Threats Against Flotilla, Including U.S. Citizens.”