We had a great press conference today on the flotilla. It was organized by the Turkish BDS group. They were very happy about it because they had wanted to do something to support this year's flotilla, but when the Mavi Marmara pulled out, they didn't have have any role to play. Putting on this press conference gave them a way to be involved[...]
We urge all organizations in the Palestine solidarity and social justice movements to endorse the following statement condemning the so-called “Boycott Law” passed by the Israeli Knesset seeking to ban Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions.
On Monday, 11 July 2011, the Israeli Knesset passed new legislation outlawing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement; a non-partisan grassroots initiative that seeks to pressure Israel to comply with international law and recognize fundamental Palestinian rights.
Instead of high-fiving each other for their success in thwarting the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, Israeli officials should be throwing overboard the propaganda hacks who catapulted the flotilla into headline news for weeks and left Israel smelling like rotten fish.
Last year, when the Israeli military killed nine aboard the Turkish ship, the incident made waves around the world. But in previous years, the same international coalition had sent boats to Gaza five times, successfully reaching their destination with a symbolic shipment of humanitarian aid. No blood, no military interception, no story. That’s why the advice of many of Israel’s best buddies, including the lobby group AIPAC, was to just ignore the flotilla.
But no, the Israeli government refused to listen and instead announced with great bravado that it was prepared to stop the flotilla with lethal force—including snipers and attack dogs[...]
At 5:00 pm on June 28, 2011, CODEPINK kicked off a 24 hour/day vigil outside of the Greek embassy in Washington, D.C. Equipped with large protest signs, candles, and pink flowers, people gathered to show their support for the passengers of the US boat to Gaza, aptly named the Audacity of Hope. For days the Greek government has prevented these activists from leaving the Athens port and sailing to Gaza. Disseminating false claims that the Freedom Flotilla II is a provocative measure that effectively endangers Israeli security, the Israeli and US governments have pressured the Greek government to prevent all flotilla ships from sailing out of its ports[...]
Medea Benjamin Nine passengers on the U.S. Boat to Gaza began an open-ended fast in front of the U.S. Embassy on the evening of July 3, calling on the U.S. government to pressure Greece to release our Captain and ship. We staked out a little area across the street from the Embassy entrance, decorating it [...]
By Medea Benjamin
After being detained at sea and forced to return, the US Boat to Gaza was guided by the Greek Coast Guard into a military compound just outside Athens. The press left the ship, but the passengers remained on board and spent the night in the boat. The Greek government has fully cooperated with the Israelis in impeding our movement. The only help we've received from the Greek government are two port-o-potties they put outside our boat, knowing that our toilets are not working when we're not at sea.[...]