themcglynn.com

02 Nov

Press Israel to end the siege of Gaza and ensure the safety of those aboard the flotilla!

The O’Leary: Hooray  for Ireland!

Dear The O’Leary,

Take Action

1. Call Secretary Hillary Clinton at the State Department: 202-647-5291

2. Call the White House: 202-456-1414

Get talking points

3. Follow the status of the flotilla

4. Email the White House and Congress

This message is not a mistake, nor has it been delayed by months from appearing in your inbox. Today is November 2, 2011, and at this moment, there are two boats in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea heading to Gaza.

One boat, the Saoirse from Ireland, includes parliamentarians among its passengers. The other, the Tahrir, carries representatives from Canada, the US, Australia, and Palestine. The US Representative on the Tahrir, Kit Kittredge, was a passenger on the US Boat to Gaza, The Audacity of Hope, which attempted to sail from Athens in July. A journalist from Democracy Now is on the Tahrir as well. Civil society organizations in Gaza await their arrival, and look forward to the delivery of letters collected from thousands of US supporters in the To Gaza With Love campaign.

As this international contingent of peace activists sails toward Gaza, now is the time for us at home to raise our voices in support of their mission. Call the White House and the State Department and tell them: press Israel to end the siege of Gaza and ensure the safety of those aboard the flotilla!

Time is short and the matter urgent, so if you can call, please do. Here is what you can do to help:

1. Call Secretary Hillary Clinton at the State Department: 202-647-5291

Click here to get the latest talking points.

2. Call the White House: 202-456-1414

You can use the same talking points as above.

3. Follow the status of the flotilla

You can do so on our Facebook, Twitter, ustogaza.org, tahrir.ca, irishshiptogaza.org, and on DemocracyNOW.

4. Email the White House and Congress. Even if you can’t call, please email!

http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/freedomwaves

5. Spread the Word!

Forward this message and pass along the press release.

This past summer, Just Foreign Policy’s Robert Naiman was a passenger on The Audacity of Hope, part of the second Freedom Flotilla to attempt to break the siege of Gaza. The Audacity of Hope, along with seven other boats, were prevented from sailing from Greek ports when Israel outsourced their illegal blockade to Athens. [1] The peace activists who comprised this flotilla, though frustrated in this instance, vowed that, as long as the people of Gaza remained captives in what UN humanitarian chief John Holmes has called “an open-air prison,” they would continue to sail. [2]

Today, despite Israeli claims to the contrary, Gaza remains a prison to its 1.6 million inhabitants. Export of goods is prohibited. [3] Gazans are not able to move freely between Gaza and the West Bank, nor the rest of the world. [4] The Rafah crossing still allows but a trickle of humanity through its pore. [5] The Gazan economy persists in a ravaged state; its people have been rendered reliant on aid. Fishermen are unable to fish due to restrictions on sea access. [6] Farmers located near the border wall are unable to farm on extensive areas of land due to enforcement of a “buffer zone.” [7] The official unemployment rate is 25.6%, with low labor force participation. [8] More than 70% of the population receives humanitarian aid. [9]

As Americans, whose government sends $3 billion a year in aid to Israel, [10] whose leaders collude with those in Israel to deny Gazans their rights, we have a special responsibility to speak up and take action.

Monday’s UNESCO vote to admit Palestine as a full member makes clear yet again that the United States is on the wrong side of world opinion when it comes to Israel and Palestine. While admission to UNESCO may be but a symbolic victory, it is a mighty one: it is a signal that threats and strong arming cannot forever stand in the way of justice. [11]

With Gilad Shalit free and calling for the release of Palestinian prisoners, [12] and with world support behind the Palestinians in their quest for freedom, now is the time to demand an end to this crime against humanity. Support the Freedom Waves Flotilla by calling and emailing the State Department and White House today!

Thank you for all you do to help bring about a more just foreign policy,

Megan Iorio
Just Foreign Policy

Please support our work.
Your donation allows us to promote opportunities for Americans to advocate for a just foreign policy.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/donate

References:

1. “Flotilla FAQ: 10 Q’s & A’s on the Flotilla’s Mission and What it Accomplished,” Just Foreign Policy, http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/flotillafaq
2. “UN envoy: Gaza an open-air prison,” Al Jazeera, March 2, 2010, http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2010/03/201032214210263604.html
3. “A Guide to the Gaza Closure: In Israel’s Own Words,” Gisha Legal Center for Freedom of Movement, September 2011, http://www.gisha.org/UserFiles/File/publications/gisha_brief_docs_eng_sep_2011.pdf
4. Ibid.
5. “Gaza Cheat Sheet,” Gisha Legal Center for Freedom of Movement, http://www.gisha.org/content-moduls.asp?lang_id=en&p_id=1232
6. “World Bank Reveals Crippling Donor Dependency in West Bank, Gaza,” Kanya D’Almeida, Inter Press Service, October 17, 2011, http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=105498
7. Ibid.
8. “Reports See Fiscal Woes Undermining Palestinians,” Ethan Bronner, New York Times, September 11, 2011, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/12/world/middleeast/12palestinians.html
9. “Gaza Cheat Sheet,” Gisha Legal Center for Freedom of Movement, http://www.gisha.org/content-moduls.asp?lang_id=en&p_id=1232
10. “US Foreign Aid to Israel,” CRS Report for Congress, January 2, 2008, http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/100102.pdf
11. “In Defiance of Threats from US, Palestine Admitted as Full Member to UNESCO,” Megan Iorio, Just Foreign Policy, October 31, 2011, http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/node/1056
12. “Shalit Is Free. Lift the Siege of Gaza Now,” Robert Naiman, Huffington Post, October 16, 2011, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/gaza-blockade_b_1032718.html

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