ACTION ALERT: Protest Israeli Attack on Gaza Freedome Flotilla
June 1, 2010
United for Peace and Justice & The Palestinian Center for Rapprochement
Last night, the Israeli navy attacked humanitarian ships in international waters in the middle of the night. Reports indicate that 10-16 humanitarian activists were killed and 50-60 were injured. On board were 750 people from 40 different countries, including 35 international politicians. Please take action to demand that Israel accept responsibility and reveal the names of the dead and injured.
Protest Israeli Attack on
Gaza Freedome Flotilla
United for Peace and Justice
(May 31, 2010) -- Last night, the Israeli navy attacked humanitarian ships in international waters in the middle of the night. Reports indicate that 10-16 humanitarian activists were killed and 50-60 were injured.
The ships were seized by the Israeli navy and taken to Haifa to avoid press at Ashdod. UFPJ condemns the Israeli Government for their brutal attack on unarmed civilians. Protests have taken place across the world and a number of Governments are taking action.
The US arms Israel to the tune of billions of dollars a year and hence shares responsibility for this atrocity. How many more must die before the Obama Administration cuts off the aid we give to Israel each year?
On board were 750 people of conscience from 40 different countries, including 35 international politicians intent on breaking the Israeli-Egyptian blockade. We offer our sincerest condolences to family and friends who have lost loved ones in the attack. One of the boats was named after Rachel Corrie, to honor this strong young woman killed by the Israel Defense Forces in April 2003.
Demonstrations are being organized in Washington DC, New York, and Boston. Please join in where you can or organize your own. It is time to end the blockade of Gaza and the Israeli occupation of Palestine by ending US support for Israeli slaughter.
Contact the White House!
Call or email to demand an immediate cutoff of US aid to Israel.
Email the White House: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact.
Contact the US Mission to the United Nations
Demand that US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice vote to support a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel's action and initiating an investigation. 212-415-4062
The UN Special Rapporteur for the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Richard Falk, urged Monday the international community to bring to justice those responsible for the killing of some 16 unarmed peace activist, when Israeli armed commandos stormed a convoy of ships carrying aid to Gaza.
"Israel is guilty of shocking behavior by using deadly weapons against unarmed civilians on ships that were situated in the high seas where freedom of navigation exists, according to the law of the seas," Mr. Falk said. "It is essential that those Israelis responsible for this lawless and murderous behavior, including political leaders who issued the orders, be held criminally accountable for their wrongful acts."
By sailing directly to Gaza, outside of Israeli waters, with cargo banned illegally by Israel, such as the 10,000 tonnes of badly needed concrete, toys, workbooks, chocolate, pasta and substantial medical supplies, the flotilla is exercising international law and upholding article 33 of the Geneva Convention which clearly states that collective punishment is a crime against humanity.
The hardships of Israel's closure of Gaza have been well documented by all human rights groups operating, most recently by Amnesty International in their Annual Human Rights Report concluding that the siege has "deepened the ongoing humanitarian crisis. Mass unemployment, extreme poverty, food insecurity and food price rises caused by shortages left four out of five Gazans dependent on humanitarian aid. The scope of the blockade and statements made by Israeli officials about its purpose showed that it was being imposed as a form of collective punishment of Gazans, a flagrant violation of international law."
• For updates go to http://witnessgaza.com/ and http://www.freegaza.org/
UNITED FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE
PO Box 607; Times Square Station; New York, NY 10108. (212) 868-5545.
Call to Action
George N. Rishmawi / The Palestinian Center for Rapprochement between People
(May 31, 2010) -- Many of you have heard the terrible news of the Israeli attack against the Freedom Flotilla, which, so far, claimed the lives of 15 - 20 activists, who sailed to break the siege on Gaza, carrying medical and food supplies in addition to construction materials, to be delivered to the besieged 1.5 million people.
Following this severe attack, in which Israel confirms its disrespect to the world, international humanitarian law, and even to basic human rights, we call upon all of you to act to bring Israeli officials, including, the Israeli Prime Minister, Minister of Defence, and chiefs of the Israeli military, to justice.
There are two factors that would make Israel act in this way against those activists.
1- If the Flotilla arrives into Gaza and delivers the material, the siege is broken. (Something that Israel does not want to see happening)
2- Israel thinks it is above the law, and will get away with it.
Here comes your role, what do you want to do??
List of possible actions:
(1) First get the facts and then disseminate them.
(2) Contact local media. Write letters to editors (usually 100-150 words) and longer op-eds (usually 600-800 words) for local newspapers. But also write to news departments in both print, audio, and visual media about their coverage.
(3) Contact elected and other political leaders in your country to urge them to apply pressure to end the attacks. In the US, Contact the State Department at 202.647.5291, the White House 202-456-1111 and the Obama Transition Team 202-540-3000 (then press 2 to speak with a staff member).
(4) Organize and join demonstrations in front of Israeli and Egyptian embassies or when not doable in front of your parliament, office of elected officials, and any other visible place (and do media work for it).
(5) Hold a teach-in, seminar, public dialogue, documentary film viewing etc. this is straightforward: you need to decide venue, nature, if any speakers, and do some publicity (the internet helps).
(6) Pass out fliers with facts and figures about Palestine and Gaza in your community (make sure also to mention its relevance to the audience: e.g, US taxpayers paying for the carnage, increase in world instability and economic uncertainty).
(7) Put a Palestinian flag at your window.
(8) Wear a Palestinian head scarf (Koufiya)
(9) Wear Black arm bands (this helps start conversations with people).
(10) Send direct aid to Gaza through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). http://www.un.org/unrwa/
(11) Initiate boycotts, divestments and sanctions at all levels and including asking leaders to expel the Israeli ambassadors (an ambassador of an apartheid and rogue state). See Palestinian call http://tinyurl.com/94aafw
(12) Work towards bringing Israeli leaders before war crime courts (actions along those lines in courts have stopped Israeli leaders from traveling abroad to some countries like Britain where they may face charges).
(13) Calling upon all Israelis to demonstrate in front of their war ministry and to more directly challenge their government
(14) Do outreach: to neighbours and friends directly. Via Internet to a lot of others (you can join and post information to various listservs/groups).
(15) Start your own activist group or join other local groups (simple search in your city with the word Palestine could identify candidate groups that have previously worked on issues of Palestine). Many have also been successful in at bringing coalitions from different constituencies in their local areas to work together (human rights group, social and civil activists, religious activists, etc).
(16) Develop a campaign of sit-ins at government offices or other places where decision makers aggregate.
(17) Do a group fast for peace one day and hold it in a public place.
(18) Visit Palestine (e.g. with http://www.sirajcenter.org)
(19) Support human rights and other groups working on the ground in Palestine.
(20) Make large signs and display them at street corners and where ever people congregate.
(21) Contact local churches, mosques, synagogues, and other houses of worship and ask them to take a moral stand and act. Call on your mosque to dedicate this Friday for Gaza actions.
(22) Dedicate a certain time for activism for peace every day (1 hour) and think of more actions than what are listed above.
More actions can be done -- this is not all.
We have published these actions during the war on Gaza. It seems that these actions should be ongoing.
George N. Rishmawi is the director of The Palestinian Center for Rapprochement between People (PCR)
Phone: +972(0)2-277-2018 Fax: +972(0)2-277-4602
www.pcr.ps , www.imemc.org