by The Editors
When the Free Gaza Movement attempted to send a boatload of supplies to Gaza last December, the Israeli Navy rammed the vessel, the Dignity, almost sinking it. This week, activists will send two boats on the voyage from Cyprus to Gaza, carrying cement, toys and 38 passengers, among them former U.S. Rep. Cynthia Mckinney, who was also aboard the Dignity. Ms. McKinney sent a letter to President Obama, filling him in on the Gaza mission.
McKinney Joins Voyage to Defy US-Israeli Blockade of Gaza – "Sink Us, Arrest Us, or Tear Down These Walls"
by The Editors
“Either sink us or arrest us.”
Former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and the Free Gaza Movement vow to defy Israel’s blockade by sending two ships to Gaza on Thursday. “We will give Israel two choices - either sink our ship or arrest us,” said Free Gaza Movement head Huwaida Arraf. “But we will not retreat whatever happens.”
Last December, the Israeli Navy rammed and almost sank the organization’s vessel Dignity, in international waters. Ms. McKinney was among the passengers. This week’s voyage “is more than just delivering human aid,” said McKinney, who was the Green Party’s presidential candidate in 2008. “It is a token of support.”
The Israelis will find it difficult to claim no prior knowledge of the mission, as they did in December. Participants in the voyage held a series of press conferences and interviews in Doha, capital of Qatar, detailing their plans. Qatar, an Arab emirate on the Persian Gulf, is also headquarters for Al-Jazeera News, which plans intensive coverage of the trip. Al-Jazeera was on board the Dignity, as well. At least two Israeli newspapers have carried articles on this week’s voyage, embarking from Cyprus, by The Editorswhich organizers say will be the first of a series in their Summer of Hope campaign.
“Not one more dime not one more weapon for Israel's war machine."
Cynthia McKinney personally made sure President Obama is aware of the Free Gaza Movement’s activities. She sent a letter to the White House over the weekend:
"I understand that you sent a message to Israel about its blockade of Gaza. Thank you. It is reported that you specifically mentioned food, medical supplies, cement and building supplies in your note. This note is to inform you that I embark today on a trip to Gaza and we will have for the people of Gaza, exactly the materials that you mentioned, and school supplies for the children. Thank you for the note to Israel and I hope that also means that you will not sign any appropriation bill that has weapons for Israel. President Carter noted that seven schools were completely demolished with F-16s from this country. We all are responsible and I know you know that. But all of us are not in a position to stop the carnage. You are. Please, not one more dime not one more weapon for Israel's war machine."
McKinney also criticized her former congressional colleagues for supporting Israel’s attack on Gaza, which took the lives of 1,400 people, including hundreds of children. “Out of 535 Congress members, only five voted against the resolution that supported Israel. The US should change its policy,” she said.
McKinney announced that the new, U.S.-based activist organization DIGNITY, of which she is a founder, has established a media presence. The outlets include a TV channel ((www.livestream.com/dignity), pages on ning (http://dignity.ning.com/), facebook (www.facebook.com/CynthiaMcKinney), myspace (www.myspace.com/dignityaction) and twitter (www.twitter.com/dignityaction).
Cynthia McKinney may be contacted directly at [email protected]