5 thoughts on “Israel Considers Free Gaza Movement Ships ‘Pirates’ – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Richard, thank you for sharing the updates for FGM and I’ve got one more late breaking update 2 hours earlier from Tom : “New information: Israel has declared “military maneuvers” for 35 miles from the Gaza shore. In their fax (in English) to the Larnaca Port authorities they note that humanitarian supplies are to be routed through Israel, etc.; the fax was obviously intended for us, but none of our group had received any word of these maneuvers directly from the Israel authorities. In any event, it looks like yet another attempt at justifying the legally and morally unjustifiable. Some very savvy Greeks gave some very valuable input. Decision: We will hold a press conference and put out a press release tomorrow morning at the dock pointing out why we intend to continue to Gaza notwithstanding Israeli machinations. Also, it has been announced publicly that our boats will leave tomorrow late afternoon or evening; a committee is now meeting to discuss specifically at what time. That’s it for now. Again, thanks for your continued support. Tom”….
    One of the things that was decided was to have an at sea ceremony to publicly remember and honor the memories of those who were killed and injured during the IAF and Israeli Naval two hour attack on the USS Liberty, one of the namesake ships in the FGM. One reason it remains an issue is because many US Veterans, myself included, grieve that our country never publicly acknowledged this attack, and all issues related were handled secretly and behind closed doors; those survivors and the families of the deceased and wounded never got recognition or validation of the suffering endured during that attack,nor an explanation nor public explanation.
    Having had contact w/ two of those USS Liberty survivors over the last few years, I can tell you that there are deep scars from that horrific attack. Tomorrow’s at sea ceremony both for US Navy dead and for the 5000 Palestinians who have died since 2000 Intifada began is appropriate and necessary for those who suffered and those who remain ignorant of that attack. In my opinion, as a veteran I think it is long past time for public recognition of their sacrifices. Honoring the fallen is done by people in all cultures and is meant to help the living as well as to honor the dead. However, neither of the two groups, Liberty survivors or dead Palestinians of Intifada 2 are ever recognized nor remembered; long overdue, IMO.. /Miriam

  2. @Miriam:

    IMO, they’re two entire separate issues. Each one is very complicated & very different fr. the other. The only common thread is that Israel was involved in both matters. I agree that the Liberty attack has not received the attention it deserves. But this shouldn’t be the venue for it. It detracts from FGM’s mission & muddies the waters. In politics, you can’t piggyback issues. It just doesn’t work. Especially when they’re so different.

  3. In terms of agreeing whether there is commonality, we may never agree, but assuredly all (US) veterans deserve the respect and remembrance that the planned at sea ceremony will offer for the ship’s survivors and kin. In an account written by Ron Kukal a Liberty crew member who pulled comrades bodies from the Med after one of the waves of attack, wrote the following 2 days ago-doesnt’ sound like his nightmare is over:
    with most of the details of that attack.

  4. Correction!..the article was written by Phil Tourney survivor and past president of the USS LIBERTY Veterans Association three times and co-host of the LIBERTY HOUR radio show through republicbroadcasting.org. thank you for enabling your readers to have the opportunity to read his account and to remember.

  5. Last update – 06:47 21/08/2008
    Despite Israel’s blockade, boats in Cyprus pass inspection for Gaza protest
    By The Associated Press
    Tags: Gaza Strip, Cyprus, blockade

    LARNACA, Cyprus – Cyprus will allow two boats carrying members of a U.S.-based activist group to sail for Gaza in defiance of Israel’s blockade of the Palestinian territory, authorities here said Wednesday.

    The two wooden sailboats have passed a safety inspection, Cyprus’ Merchant Shipping Director Serghios Serghiou said.
    He said the boats have also been given safety certificates from Greece, where the vessels are registered.

    We have not prohibited the departure of the boat, Serghiou told The Associated Press.

    Protest organizer Paul Larudee said the boats – the 21-meter Free Gaza and 18-meter Liberty – will set sail around midnight tonight from Larnaca port for the estimated 30-hour trip.

    Members of the Free Gaza protest group said some 40 activists from 16 countries, including 81-year-old Catholic nun Anne Montgomery, will attempt to break the blockade Israel imposed on Gaza last year in a bid to set a precedent
    for others to follow.

    They plan to deliver 200 hearing aids to a Palestinian charity for children and hand out 5,000 balloons.

    Foreign Ministry spokesman Arye Mekel said the ministry had told activists in a letter that all humanitarian aid should be delivered through Israeli-controlled border crossings. But Mekel refused to say how Israel would respond if the
    activists tried to break the blockade.

    Thomas Nelson, 64, said the group expects the Israeli navy to intercept the boats and arrest those onboard. The Portland, Oregon-based attorney said activists plan to resist any attempts to arrest them in a non-violent way.

    Nelson said there is no security threat to Israel here, except the truth and Israel is afraid of the truth.

    Nelson said lawyers from the U.S.-based National Lawyers’ Guild would file legal action against Israel in an appropriate legal forum if Israeli authorities kidnap activists in international waters.

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