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Freedom Waves: Another Challenge To The Israeli Naval Blockade Of Gaza And The U.S. Congress [View All]

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Purveyor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-15-11 06:37 PM
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Freedom Waves: Another Challenge To The Israeli Naval Blockade Of Gaza And The U.S. Congress
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by Kit Kittredge / November 14th, 2011

Why I wanted to Challenge the Israeli Naval Blockade of Gaza

In the overland five trips I have made to Gaza since March, 2009, I have seen the disastrous effect of the brutal Israeli land and sea blockade has had on the Palestinian people. I have seen the terrible level of destruction that the 2008-2009 Israeli attack wrecked on Gaza, in which 1,400 Palestinians were killed in the 22 day attack, 5,000 were wounded and 50,000 were made homeless. I was on the Gaza Freedom March in 2009 and I was a passenger on the US Boat to Gaza, the Audacity of Hope that was forbidden from sailing June, 2011 by the Greek government on behalf of the Israeli government.

As one of two American citizens on the Gaza Freedom Waves, I represented hundreds of thousands of Americans who are challenging Israeli and US policies concerning Palestine. We are using a variety of methods to let Israeli government officials know that international citizen activists are not going to stop challenging their policies. Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions programs, international citizens who attempt to protect Palestinians as they farm, fish and go to school, students confronting Israeli officials as they speak around the world and flotillas and waves of boats are part of the international effort. I am very proud to be a part of this movement.

Passenger on the Tahrir

Passengers on the Canadian Boat to Gaza, the Tahrir, left Turkey in good spirits Wednesday, November 2, 2011 despite having its passenger list whittled down by the Turkish Port Authorities who allowed only 12 out of 35 passengers who had travelled to Turkey to get on the boat. The Turks cited regulations that decreed that only 12 persons could be on a boat rated as a pleasure craft to depart Turkey for international waters, no matter that the vessel was rated for 50+ passengers. My fellow Americans Medea Benjamin, Robert Neiman, Paki Wieland, Tighe Barry and David Schermerhorn became our ground crew in Turkey when the passenger reduction was forced on us. On the day we left the Turkish port of Fetiyah, they rented a third boat to attempt to transfer in international waters the 23 passengers who had not been allowed onto the boats in port.

Working with our sister ship, the Saoirse, from Ireland, we hit the high seas full throttle headed to Gaza continuing the previous flotillas efforts to end Israels illegal, immoral naval blockade of Gaza, which, in combination with Israels land blockade, has made the 1.6 million people of Gaza, prisoners in a tiny land that is roughly 25 miles long and five miles wide.

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