Citizen Action Monitor

Defiant Free Gaza activists vow: “If governments won’t act, we will”

No 101 Posted by fw, January 2, 2011

If governments refuse to hold Israel accountable for its war crimes against a civilian population, we, in civil society, will continue to sail again and again until Israel’s brutal siege is over. We will return in the spring.” Greta Berlin, co-founder of the Free Gaza Movement.

The following 7-min clip is from the Vibeke Lokkeberg film, Tears of Gaza, which was shown at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, 2010. Read a review of this powerful documentary here: “Tears of Gaza”, a moving look at Palestinian plight.

Here are a few selected transcribed passages from the film clip —

Opening narration:

Some people wonder why we put ourselves on boats and sail across the Mediterranean to Gaza. We face one of the most vicious armies on the world, armed only with our determination. What draws us to the imprisoned people of Gaza? How can anyone face the eyes of these children and deny them their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?

As Huwaida Arraf, Chair, the Free Gaza Movement, explained at a press conference in Rome on December 13, 2010:

“My name is Huwaida Arraf. I represent the Free Gaza Movement, which started in the very small movement but was the organization that first sailed these two small fishing boats to Gaza two years ago. Very small. But it went to confront the Israeli navy and nobody thought we’d do it but we did. We became the first two boats to enter Gaza in over forty-one years. And now it has grown to this. Dozens of countries around the world, which shows what the power of a good idea, belief and determination can do. But Israel is desperately trying to stop us.”

If you missed it, two months ago the UN Human Rights Council investigated us and the Freedom Flotilla and the attack and found that Gaza is under blockade, and it’s illegal. People are suffering. Israel’s attack on us was illegal. They can probably . . . there’s enough evidence to find that they committed war crimes, and maybe even crimes against humanity. And they should be held accountable. But will they, in our courts? Will our politicians, our governments hold them accountable? As long as they don’t, we the people will. We will stand up and say that Israel needs to be stopped. We’ll stop them and we’ll hold them accountable for their crimes.”

Concluding narration:

“We won’t leave you alone and hopeless.

We wish you a future where your children can play without fear of bombs dropping on their heads and murdering their hopes. We wish you a future free of occupation.

On the second anniversary of Operation Cast Lead, when Israel massacred 1400 Palestinians in Gaza, we are saying to you that we will not forget you. We will return. We are coming back. And we promise you we will sail again in the spring. Not just once, but as many times as we can because if governments will not do what they are supposed to do, those of us in civil society will continue to try to break Israel’s horrible siege on all of you, and make sure that everybody knows that you are not forgotten. We will return in the spring.”


Donate: Canadian Boat to Gaza!

Read Wikipedia’s lengthy account of Israel’s vicious attack on the first Freedom Flotilla, accessible here: Gaza Flotilla Raid.

See a display of the national flags of the countries signed on to participate in Freedom Flotilla II.  Impressive!


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