Jewish Voice for Peace condemns Israel’s attack and killing of members of the Freedom Flotilla aiming to bring much needed aid to the besieged Gaza Strip. Haaretz reports that at least 10 activists have been killed. Al-Jazeera reports that as many as 16 activists are dead. The names of the dead are not yet known. The flotilla passengers included retired US diplomats Amb. Edward Peck and Col. Ann Wright, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Maguire, and former UN assistant Secretary General Denis Halliday, as well as humanitarian aid and human rights workers, several Members of Parliament from Ireland, Germany, Sweden, Turkey, Malaysia, and Palestinian Members of the Knesset.
Before the flotilla was attacked, Yigal Palmor, an Israeli foreign ministry spokesman, said,
“If we let them throw egg at us, we appear stupid with egg on our face. If we try to prevent them by force, we appear as brutes.”
Israel has more than egg on its face. Israel has blood on its hands. This is just another deadly escalation of Israel’s harsh repression of nonviolent protests against the occupation, paid with American tax-dollars.
The White House has stated that it “deeply regrets the loss of life and injuries sustained, and is currently working to understand the circumstances surrounding this tragedy.” This is not enough.
We should not lose sight of the original intent of the flotilla: to bring aid and relief to the Gaza Strip, still under siege.
EMERGENCY PROTESTS TODAY
NY: 3 PM TODAY, Times Square. Assemble at 47th St. and 7th Ave. Look for the JVP banner to join our contingent.
SAN FRANCISCO: 12noon TODAY. Israeli Consulate (456 Montgomery St.) and march to Union Square, Memorial Day. Please be there! Bring your own sign! 1 pm at Market and Powell.
DC: 3pm TODAY: Assemble at the Israeli Embassy, 3514 International Drive NW (Van Ness Metro Stop), moving to the White House at 5pm.
SEATTLE: 1:00 pm TODAY. 5th Avenue and Broad St, Seattle Center near the Experience Music Project.
MIAMI: 5pm-7pm TODAY, at Torch of Friendship (Downtown)
Additional protests here: http://gazafreedommarch.org/cms/en/flotilla/protest.aspx
NOTE: The phone lines in DC are overwhelmed by the number of calls and the fact that Monday is a holiday. But it is still worth a try…
CALL the U.S. State Department (+1 202-647-4000) and the US Consulate in Jerusalem (+972 2 622 7207/21/30) and DEMAND that the U.S. Government take immediate action to safeguard innocent lives!
CALL White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel (+1 202 456 6798) and DEMAND that the creation of an unbiased international commission to investigate and hold the Israeli government accountable for the murder of unarmed civilians!
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