US to Gaza, Press Release, 16 July 2010
This is an important moment in history. In the aftermath of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla massacre and increased world-wide scrutiny of Israel’s blockade of Gaza, the Israeli government has mounted a huge public relations campaign spreading the lie that by letting a few more items into Gaza the blockade has been lifted. This is not the reality. Gaza is still under siege, vital building materials and other supplies are banned, exports of goods from Gaza are denied and neither ships nor people can travel without permission from Israel, permission which Israel will not give. Gaza is essentially an open-air prison under a U.S.-backed Israeli blockade.
We are planning to launch a U.S. boat to Gaza, joining a flotilla of ships from Europe, Canada, India, South Africa and parts of the Middle East due to set sail in September/ October of this year. In order to succeed in this essential but costly human rights project, we need significant financial support.
Citizens around the world have responded to the plight of the Palestinian people and are taking action to help break the blockade which is suffocating the lives of the people of Gaza and denying them their liberty. The U.S. government is complicit through established policies that uncritically support Israel in its brutal attack on the Palestinian people and on those who attempt to intervene on their behalf. We in the United States must continue to step up and do our part. We must join with others from across the world to support an end to the collective punishment of 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza.
We turn to you to help make the U.S. boat, The Audacity of Hope, a reality. We must raise at least $370,000 in the next month. These funds will be used to purchase a boat large enough for 40-60 people, secure a crew, and cover the licensing and registering of the boat. In addition, the funds will subsidize some other costs of sending a U.S. delegation. We can make this happen together. For example, with 370 people giving $1,000, or with 3,700 people giving $100, we will have raised our full amount.
We have already received donations ranging from $10 to $10,000. So, give what you can and give generously. From the deck of The Audacity of Hope, we will be in a powerful and unique position to challenge U.S. foreign policy and affirm the universal obligation to uphold human rights and international law. Let us act now because every moment counts and every dollar counts. Together we will contribute to the great effort to end the blockade of Gaza and the illegal occupation of Palestine.
Please spread this appeal letter far and wide, so that others will contribute as well.
Thank you for your generosity.
On behalf of the U.S. BOAT TO GAZA,
Nic Abramson, Middle East Crisis Response
Elliott Adams, Past President, Veterans For Peace
Laurie Arbeiter, Activist Response Team
Russell Banks, Writer
Kahlil Bendib, Political Cartoonist
Medea Benjamin, Co-founder CODEPINK
Phyllis Bennis, Institute for Policy Studies
Naomi Brussel, Activist Response Team
Allan Buchman, Founder and Artistic Director, The Culture Project
Leslie Cagan, Co-Founder United for Peace and Justice
Henry Chalfant, Film Maker
Kathleen Chalfant, New York
Ellen Davidson, Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions-USA
Noor Elashi, Writer
Basem Emara, Gaza Freedom March
Kathy Engel, Poet
Hedy Epstein, Palestine Solidarity Committee, St. Louis, Missouri
Mike Ferner, National President, Veterans For Peace
Lisa Fithian, Alliance for Community Trainers
Felice Gelman, Gaza Freedom March
Jane Hirschmann, Jews Say No!
Jennifer Hobbs, New York City Attorney/Gaza Freedom March
Mary Hughes – Thompson, Free Gaza Movement
Abdeen Jabara, Past President, American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Civil Rights Attorney
Tarak Kauff, Veterans for Peace
Kathy Kelly, Co-Coordinator, Voices for Creative Nonviolence
Rashid Khalidi, Columbia University
Ramzi Kysia, Free Gaza Movement
Iara Lee, Cultures of Resistance/Freedom Flotilla Survivor
Karen Malpede, Playwright
Helaine Meisler, Hudson Valley BDS
Gail Miller, Women of a Certain Age
Fatima Mohammadi, Attorney at Law/Freedom Flotilla Survivor
Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies, Syracuse University
Donna Nevel, Jews Say No!
Michael Ratner, President, Center for Constitutional Rights
Mariam Said, New York
Najla Said, Actor/Writer
Hannah Schwarzschild, American Jews for a Just Peace
Kathy Sheetz, Free Gaza – USA/Freedom Flotilla Survivor
Ann Shirazi, Granny Peace Brigade
Starhawk, Alliance of Community Trainers
Eleanor Stein, Albany Law School
Michael Steven Smith, New York City Attorney/Author
Alice Walker, Author
Sarah Wellington, Activist Response Team
Ret. Col. Ann Wright, Freedom Flotilla Survivor
Rebecca Vilkomerson, Jewish Voice for Peace
Dorothy M. Zellner, Veteran Civil Rights Activist
*Organizations listed for identification purposes only
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