Urgent: Take Action for #Flotilla to #Gaza
Send a message NOW to Federal Politicians!
Our friends at Independent Jewish Voices Canada have prepared an online letter which you can use to send this message (see below) to Foreign Affairs Minister Rob Nicholson, Prime Minister Steven Harper, Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair, NDP Foreign Affairs Critic Paul Dewar, as well as other party leaders & foreign affairs critics:
Canadians have joined together with human rights activists from many nations in our Freedom Flotilla Coaliton. Four ships have left ports, heading towards Gaza, the small Palestinian enclave between Israel and Egypt. When they arrive in Gaza they will donate boats to the Palestinian fishermen who are constantly harassed and shot at by Israeli and Egyptian soldiers for fishing and making a livelihood in their own waters, as well as vital aid to our civil society partners.
As you know this is not the first time we have made an effort to end this illegal and immoral blockade. Our persistence is an expression of our conviction that the blockade not only blocks vital movement of people and goods, but also hinders just and sustainable development towards peace in the region.
We urge all Canadian parliamentarians to uphold and defend International Law. The Freedom Flotilla includes only unarmed civilians sailing through international waters towards Palestinians waters and the port of Gaza. No Flotilla vessel ever aims to sail towards Israel nor towards Israeli territorial waters. We therefore urge you to publicly:
1. Defend the right to peaceful navigation of civilian vessels according to United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, as well as the prohibition of violent assault by other vessels.
2. Condemn threats by Israeli government officials that they may use violence and forcibly detain peaceful travelers and seize civilian vessels.
3. Demand an immediate, complete and permanent end to the blockade of Gaza, following numerous U.N. resolutions, and full freedom of movement for Palestinians.
4. Call on the Israeli government to fully respect its obligations as an occupying power under the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Knowing how Israeli forces have behaved in the past, we are gravely concerned for the well-being and physical integrity of non-violent international participants on board the Flotilla. We remind you that there are four Canadians on board those vessels and we expect peaceful passage, and their safe return home following their delivery of much needed humanitarian aid to Palestinians living in war-torn Gaza.
If Canadian citizens are attacked and detained by the Israeli occupation forces, we expect they will receive full Consular assistance and the highest concern for their safety and well-being until they return safely home.
Sincerely and persistently,
Other actions you can take NOW:
1. Petition U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (click on the link below):
@JohnKerry: Ensure Safe Passage of #FreedomFlotilla III
(WASHINGTON DC 06/28/2014) -- The American Muslims for Palestine, a national education and advocacy organization, announces today that it stands in solidarity with the activists, journalists and political figures aboard the Freedom Flotilla III, a fleet of four boats attempting to break the eight-year siege on the Palestinians of Gaza with medical supplies and solar panels.
AMP remembers the nine courageous human rights activists, including American citizen Dogan Furkan, on the Mavi Marmara, whom Israeli commandos executed in international waters in May 2010, and we call upon President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry to ensure safe passage for the vessels of Freedom Flotilla III.
Already, divers attacked the boat Juliano, named after the late director of the Freedom Theater, damaging its propellers, causing the vessel to take on water. The boat was able to make it into the port in Greece, where it sank, the Freedom Theater announced.
AMP calls upon its supporters and all people of conscience to speak up now to demand the US force Israel to allow the remaining vessels to dock at the Port of Gaza safely.