The Crescent Report

May 28, 2010

Humanitarian Flotilla Approaches Gaza; Actions of Israeli Military Possible

Filed under: From the Desk of Imam Mahdi Bray — Imam Mahdi Bray @ 12:38 pm

Introduction

Drama continues between a human rights flotilla of distinguished human rights activists sailing with humanitarian supplies for Gaza and the Israeli government’s determination to interdict the ships and arrest those on board.  This is definitely a show down that will be viewed by the world. Check out the piece below.

Imam Mahdi Bray

Quote of the Day: “Oh! Deep in my heart I do believe we shall overcome some day.”

MAS Freedom Action Alert: Humanitarian Flotilla Approaches Gaza; Actions of Israeli Military Possible

As eight vessels, with hundreds of international activists aboard, approach the coast of Gaza, it is unclear what actions the Israeli military will take to possibly intercept the vessels and detain the persons on board. The ships are expected to arrive of the coast of Gaza on early Saturday morning, eastern U.S. time.

But regardless of the possibility of arrest and the confiscation of the ten tons of building materials and humanitarian supplies, the Gaza convoy-the largest attempt to date to end the economic blockade by Israel of some 1.4 million people in the territory-is sailing in open defiance of the Israeli embargo, with the support of numerous peace activists and political leaders throughout the world.

Among the persons with the flotilla is Mike Daly, a Senator from the Republic of Ireland, who is traveling to Gaza along with 35 other parliamentarians from the international community.   Another prominent Irish leader, Nobel Laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire, has publicly expressed her solidarity with the efforts to break the Gaza embargo.

Ms. Maguire, herself, accompanied an earlier humanitarian voyage to Gaza, which resulted in her ship being rammed by an Israeli vessel while in international waters. One of the members of that delegation was Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and the candidate for the 2008 presidency of the United States representing the Green Party.

Some Israeli officials, as reported on May 27th by the Wall Street Journal, are lamenting the fact that any Israeli interception of the flotilla would result in a “no win” situation for Israel.  Throughout the U.S. and in other countries, in fact, numerous demonstrations have been staged in support of the humanitarian convoy, with Muslims, Christians, Jews, and other people of faith and conscience calling on Israel to allow for the safe passage of the vessels.

MAS Freedom, in a letter to Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren, called on Israel to abide by the terms of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits an occupying or controlling foreign power from imposing collective punishment or the denial of food and medical necessities on people under occupation.

Take Action! MAS Freedom says: Let Gaza Live! We ask for your generous financial support to help us (1) widely distribute our online petition calling for an end to the blockade, (2) print and mail half a million post cards that call on President Obama to take critical action to persuade both Israel and Egypt to allow for the free transport of humanitarian supplies to Gaza, and (3) distribute lawn signs to houses of worship throughout the United States that say Let Gaza Live.

Your contributions will help change the political climate in the United States and contribute greatly to freedom and justice for the people of Gaza.

May 28th, 2010

His Excellency Ambassador Michael Oren
Embassy of the State of Israel
3514 International Drive, NW
Washington, DC 20005-3021

By facsimile: (202) 364-5560

Your Excellency:

As you are certainly aware, an international  flotilla of eight vessels is now in the Mediterranean Sea, en route to the territory of Gaza.  These vessels are carrying some tens tons of humanitarian supplies and building materials designated for use by the civilian population of Gaza.  The ships are accompanied by international citizens, including Irish Senator Mark Daly, and some 35 other parliamentarians. These vessels and those persons aboard them are unarmed, and they carry no items that in any way pose a security threat to Israel or to any Israeli citizens.

While numerous press reports indicate Israel’s intention to intercept the ships and imprison the persons who are accompanying the voyage, the Muslim American Society Freedom writes to you, as a representative of the Israeli government, to call upon your government to abide by the norms of international law and to allow for the safe passage of these vessels to Gaza, for the purpose of delivering this humanitarian cargo to people in desperate need of the basic necessities of life.

More specifically, we bring to your attention the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which compel Israel, as the state power that effectively controls access to Gaza, to allow for the transshipment of necessary items for food and health maintenance  (Articles 55 and 56), and to desist from actions that constitute the collective punishment of an occupied population (Article 33)

We firmly believe that it is in the best interest of your country, as well as the people of Gaza and the world, to allow the free passage of this flotilla to its intended destination.  Building materials and crayons for children are not weapons aimed at any population; they are among the many things denied to the human beings living in Gaza as a result of the economic embargo imposed on them by Israel.

If peace is to come to the people of Palestine and Israel-and we pray to our Creator that it will be so-it must not come at the price of the deliberate cruelty of deprivation and suffering imposed on innocent civilians.

Let Gaza Live!

Sincerely yours,

Imam Mahdi Bray
Executive Director, MAS Freedom

Ibrahim Abdil-Mu’id Ramey
Director, Human and Civil Rights Division
MAS Freedom

You can make a difference in the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.  Do your part to help end the Gaza embargo. Make your donations today to Let Gaza Live. Make you check payable to MAS Freedom Let Gaza Live, 1325 G Street NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20005 or call us at 888-627-8471.

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