The Crescent Report

June 2, 2010

MAS Freedom Convenes Press Conference of National Leaders Condemning Gaza Embargo and Israeli Attack on Humanitarian Flotilla

Filed under: From the Desk of Imam Mahdi Bray — Imam Mahdi Bray @ 5:24 pm

Piracy & the Murder on the High Sea

We will never forget the victim of the Freedom Flotilla to Gaza nor will we rest until the embargo of Gaza is lifted.  People of conscience are on the move.  “Let Gaza Live”!  End the Embargo Now!  Check out the activities below.  Imam Mahdi Bray

Quote of the Day:

“Your violence does not weaken our resolve

Truth crush to the earth still rises

And no power on Earth can stop

A people determined to be free.

Let Gaza Live and end the embargo now!”

MAS Freedom Convenes Press Conference of National Leaders Condemning Gaza Embargo and Israeli Attack on Humanitarian Flotilla

In a clear and unequivocal response to the May 31st Israeli attack on the humanitarian relief cargo, religious leaders, international activists, and human rights activists gathered for a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. to voice their unanimous call for the United States government to vigorously respond to the Israeli armed attack on the international crew

of ships, which included a former U.S. ambassador to Iran, a former Pentagon official and retired U.S. Army Major, and more than 35 parliamentarians from Ireland.

But more, these activists and leaders at the press event called on the United States to vigorously condemn the Israeli armed attack, and to pressure both Israel and Egypt to open the borders to Gaza for the unimpeded flow of humanitarian aid to the 1.5 million Palestinian residents of the territory.

Following opening remarks from moderator Imam Mahdi Bray, who outlined the overall message of the press conference and the actions for Gaza that will be undertaken during this special week of action, prayer, and reflection, Ibrahim Ramey of MAS Freedom expressed condolences to the families of those who were injured and killed in the Israeli attack, and then explained the action strategy of the MAS Freedom Let Gaza Live campaign.  This campaign will distribute an on-line

petition and half a million post cards in the United States, both calling for President Obama to use U.S. influence on both Israel and Egypt to end the embargo.

Corey Saylor of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) then spoke about the significance of a new U.S. policy in the Middle East as a vital part of the strategy to counter anti-U.S. and extremist influence in the Middle East.  Brian Becker of the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition followed by explaining to the press the “miscalculation” made by Israel in attacking the unarmed peace flotilla will not intimidate the international pro-Gaza community, but will instead give the movement greater courage and resolve in demanding an end to the embargo.

Medea Benjamin of Code Pink, a national anti-war organization, then spoke, as an American Jew, of the rising tide of Jewish American solidarity with the Gaza freedom movement and the fact that the pro-Israel lobby does not represent the opinion of the entire Jewish community in America.  Reverend Graylan S. Hagler of Plymouth Congregational Church reminded the press that the actions by Israel were simply wrong, and that they must be neither denied nor defended by our government.

Although he was not able to join the press conference, the remarks and sentiments of former U.S. Ambassador to Iran, Jim Peck, were conveyed by D.C. peace activist Brian Hennessy.  Ambassador Peck was one of the U.S. citizens on the convoy arrested and detained by Israeli forces, and then subsequently expelled from Israel, after being charged with illegal entry into a country that he was forcibly abducted to!  Attorney Ashraf Nubani, representing American Muslims for Palestine, then refuted the contention, by Israeli officials, that the soldiers who attacked the convoy acted in self defense after they were attacked by activists aboard one of the ships. “Violent criminals do not have the legal right of retaliation if their victims push back on them”, he stated.

Concluding statements were given by Mokhtar Kamel, who represented a coalition of Egyptian-American organizations, and Radia Daoussi, an international human rights and health advocate, who offered statistical evidence of the critical damage done to the people of Gaza as a result of the embargo.

Imam Mahdi Bray noted that, “The MAS Freedom actions will build on the interfaith leadership coalition that we have been able to organize, and reach out to President Obama and members of Congress to call on them to do what is moral and right in supporting the human rights of the besieged people of Gaza.  But what is key to all of this is the need to bring an immediate end to the blockade of innocent people in Gaza.  The President and the Congress of the United States must hear this clear message: Let Gaza Live.

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