Saturday, September 13, 2008

Breaking the Siege of Gaza

Of Pirates, Provocateurs and Peaceful Pests


"On August 22, two small boats left the port of Larnaca in Cyprus bound for Gaza, with 44 peace activists from around the world on board. The captains and crew were seasoned sailors. Few of the activists had sea legs prior to this voyage......

Another criterion for the success of nonviolent action is whether it troubles our consciences sufficiently to move us to action. That is the hope expressed by the anthropologist Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” These activists dared to believe their action would “create a free and regular channel between Gaza and the outside world.” That is a very a tall order. It is also the point where all of us come into the story. The “Free Gaza” sailors have done what they could. Now it is up to us to do what we can.

Each of us can become better informed about the current situation in Gaza. A good place to begin would be the open letter on Gaza written by Palestinian psychiatrist Eyad el-Sarraj ( Or we can join Jewish Voice for Peace in supporting the International Campaign to End the Siege of Gaza. Or we can demand of our leaders a saner, more sensible policy in the Middle East. A policy that refuses to countenance collective punishment of the entire population of Gaza for the violations of international law committed by a few. A policy that refuses to ignore the daily human needs of those who inhabit the most densely concentrated space on the planet."

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