USC Students for Justice in Palestine

history, analysis, news, and event updates on the struggle for justice in palestine

Free Gaza Aid Boat Attacked, Activists Kidnapped

Posted by uscsjp on June 30, 2009

From the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation:

“Today the Israeli navy attacked and kidnapped the passengers and crew of the Free Gaza boat, The Spirit of Humanity, including US Campaign Advisory Board member Huwaida Arraf.

The Free Gaza Movement, which has organized several humanitarian deliveries to the Port of Gaza via their fleet of Cypriot boats, had one ship, the Dignity, rammed by the Israeli navy in December.  Now, the Spirit of Humanity is being towed to Israel, where the crew and passengers expect to be handed over to the Israeli border patrol. Take action to have these humanitarian aid workers released.

The July 9th anniversaries are even more important in light of the capture of the Spirit of Humanity. The ICJ ruling makes clear that Palestinians do have rights to their land and to freedom from life in the sort of open-air prison that the Gaza strip has become.  While Free Gaza boats represent a form of direct engagement to support human rights in Palestinian territory, boycott and divestment act as the other side of the coin, nonviolently pressuring Israel to live up to its responsibilities under international law.

Take Action

Click here to send an email to the Israeli Prime Minister’s office, the Israeli Defense Ministry, the Israeli Ambassador to the United States, and your Members of Congress demanding that The Spirit of Humanity’s passengers and crew are released!

You can also use our website to find out how to get involved in July 9th activities in your area.  Click here to take action for boycott and divestment online.  Click here to learn more about how you can get the global boycott and divestment movement into the media.  Click here to find out about July 9th events in your area or click here to find out how to join the US Campaign at our two Washington, D.C. anniversary events…”

–US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, 30 June, 2009

Ezra Nawi, a Jewish Israeli, helped Palestinians set up an outpost adorned with the Palestinian colors, above, to protest an illegal Israeli settlement (source: NY Times)

Ezra Nawi, a Jewish Israeli, helped Palestinians set up an outpost adorned with the Palestinian colors, above, to protest an illegal Israeli settlement (source: NY Times)

From The New York Times:

Unlikely Ally for Residents of West Bank

“SAFA, West Bank — Ezra Nawi was in his element. Behind the wheel of his well-worn jeep one recent Saturday morning, working two cellphones in Arabic as he bounded through the terraced hills and hardscrabble villages near Hebron, he was greeted warmly by Palestinians near and far.

Watching him call for an ambulance for a resident and check on the progress of a Palestinian school being built without an Israeli permit, you might have thought him a clan chief. Then noticing the two Israeli Army jeeps trailing him, you might have pegged him as an Israeli occupation official handling Palestinian matters.

But Mr. Nawi is neither. It is perhaps best to think of him as the Robin Hood of the South Hebron hills, an Israeli Jew helping poor locals who love him, and thwarting settlers and soldiers who view him with contempt. Those army jeeps were not watching over him. They were stalking him.

Since the Israeli left lost so much popular appeal after the violent Palestinian uprising of 2000 and the Hamas electoral victory three years ago, its activists tend to be a rarefied bunch — professors of Latin or Sanskrit, and translators of medieval poetry. Mr. Nawi, however, is a plumber. And unlike the intellectuals of European origin with whom he spends most Saturdays, he is from an Iraqi Jewish family…”

–Ethan Bronner, The New York Times, 28 June, 2009


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