No 372 Posted by fw, 2011
The following is a slightly modified version of a December 15, 2011 email from the Canadian Boat to Gaza Steering Committee.
On November 4th, Israel again used disproportional force to defend its illegal blockade of Gaza. A naval armada of over 20 vessels, including 3 war ships, water cannon boats and swarms of commando-laden zodiacs attacked and captured the Tahrir and the Saoirse 48 nautical miles from the coast of Gaza. News of the attack, complete with eye-witness video, was quickly picked up by all major news channels, including CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera and others. 27 delegates, journalists and captains from the two boats were kidnapped and illegally detained in Israel, some for as long as six days.
Despite the capture of the boats, our work was a great success:
- The Palestinians of Gaza got the message loud and clear: you are not forgotten and will never be
- Israel and its allies (including the Canadian government) got the message as well: No matter what you do, no matter how unlawfully you operate, the conscientious people of the world – and we are the majority – will not let you practice oppression, apartheid, occupation, injustice and state piracy unchecked
- The myth of Israel’s intelligence superiority was shattered — civil society activists using standard communication methods managed to keep their plans secret and surprised Israel when they declared themselves, at the time they chose, that they are in international waters on their way to Gaza
- The situation in Gaza and the inhumane and illegal actions of Israel were again front-line in the media all over the world raising awareness and gathering support for the just Palestinian cause.
Israel commandeered the Tahrir and the Saoirse, and took them by force to Israel, along with everything on-board, including the medical supplies intended for the suffering people of Gaza. At this time, Israel is still holding other boats from Freedom Flotilla 1 and previous missions. As we work with our flotilla partners to retrieve our boats, we are also working in Canada to mobilize a public campaign against Israel’s illegal attack on the Tahrir in international waters, the abduction and imprisonment of the delegates on board and theft of the boat, the humanitarian supplies it was carrying and the personal and other belongings that were also taken.
All this belongs to all of you, to every person and every group who contributed even a dollar to this campaign and even those who supported it in any way even if they did not contribute financially. We will work together to reclaim our property and right this crime which Israel has committed against the Palestinians of Gaza and against international law.
Finally, we are continuing our work with our international Freedom Flotilla and Freedom Waves partners to prepare new missions towards Gaza by sea, as well as supporting all initiatives to end the blockade and support the Palestinian people and their rights in Gaza and elsewhere.
Financially: $15,000 on hand
At the end of September 2011 we had $63,000 in hand (see message we sent you on October 6th, partially quoted below, in which we detailed our financial situation and progress at that point). Since July, in order to maintain the secrecy of our plans, we refrained from launching a concerted fundraising campaign. Despite this, we received another $13,000 in contributions from supporters.
The breakdown of our expenses between the last report and Nov. 30, 2011 was:
Boat expenses (preparation, modifications and port): $15,200
Local (Canada) events, media releases, etc.: $5,900
Trip expenses (food, fuel, captain and crew): $19,200
Communication (additional equipment, airtime and satellite connections, etc.): $10,500
Delegates training and legal support while jailed: $5,700
Logistics, travel and administrative: $4,500
These expenses amount to $61,000 thus we have $15,000 currently in hand ($63K opening balance + $13K contributions – $61K expenses = $15K).
Canadian Boat to Gaza Steering Committee
Please watch for upcoming announcements of upcoming Canadian Boat to Gaza events in communities across the country and help spread the word about our campaign