The mission of the Canada Boat to Gaza is three-fold:
- to challenge the legality of the inhumane blockade of Gaza’s 1.6 million inhabitants;
- to expose the Canadian government’s complicity in this act of collective punishment of defenceless civilians;
- to demonstrate to the people living under the blockade that the world has not forgotten them.
In the face of governments’ refusal to act, ordinary citizens have a special responsibility to use all non-violent means to challenge the blockade of Gaza in coordination with similar international efforts. The Gaza blockade would not be possible without the active diplomatic and political support of Western governments, with the Canadian government taking a leading role. Stephen Harper has said that the government of Canada will support Israeli policies, ‘whatever the cost’.
Our initiative aims at publicizing the cruelty, illegality and inhumanity of Israel’s blockade over the people of Gaza, and to expose the Canadian government's foreign policy towards Israel, which condones, accepts and, in concrete terms, enables, Israel’s multi-year blockade.
More specifically, The Canadian Boat to Gaza (CBG) is an initiative that derives its support from civil society, ordinary Canadians from all walks of life. During the first phase of our work, from August 2010 to November 2011, we raised over $400,000.00 thanks to the support of nearly 200 civil society organizations in this country and of thousands of people from diverse ethnic, religious, social, professional and political backgrounds and from all regions of the country. We maintain that the Harper government acts against the values and interests of Canada by its uncritical support of the State of Israel, despite Israel's numerous flagrant violations of international law and of human rights as documented by the U.N., the International committee of the Red Cross, and all credible international Human Rights organizations. Faced with the Government of Canada's irresponsible position, we consider it our duty as citizens to employ all necessary non-violent means to break the Gaza blockade.
With our international partners from Australia, Belgium, Denmark and other countries, we are all united by the will to end the illegal and immoral blockade imposed by the Israeli state on 1.6 million Palestinian civilians living in the Gaza Strip.
The blockade of Gaza acts in two ways:
a) It restricts bringing essential materials and goods into Gaza thereby condemning the innocent civilian population to poverty, poor health, reduced life expectancy and dependence; and
b) It does not allow regular travel or exports to leave Gaza either, restricting the movement of goods and people.
The Canadian Boat to Gaza campaign, working with the Palestinians in Gaza and other international partners, has attempted in July 2011 and in November 2011, and will continue to attempt to accomplish the following goals:
a) Participate in sending boats to the Port of Gaza in defiance of the Israeli blockade;
b) Deliver much-needed humanitarian aid; raise international awareness, and
c) Carry Palestinians exports and passengers out of Gaza.
We are already succeeding in breaking the wall of silence and complicity of our governments around this inhumane blockade. Together we will break the physical, literal blockade too. Join our cause and together we’ll break the blockade once and for all.