Breaking News: Israel Captures Marianne

The following message was received from Canada Boat Gaza at 12:11 pm Eastern Time on Monday, June 29, 2015

Israel once again commits an act of state piracy in the Mediterranean
At 02:06AM today (Gaza time) the “Marianne” contacted Freedom Flotilla Coalition (FFC) and informed us that three boats of the Israeli navy had surrounded her in international waters, while sailing approximately 100NM from Gaza coast. After that we lost contact with the “Marianne” and at 05:11AM (Gaza time) the IDF announced that they had “visited and searched” Marianne. They had captured the boat and detained all on board “in international waters” as they admitted themselves. The only positive content in the IDF announcement was that they still recognize that there is a naval blockade of Gaza, despite Netanyahu’s government recent denial that one exists.

We have no reason to believe that Marianne’s capture was “uneventful”, because the last time the IDF said something like that, in 2012, the people on board the “Estelle” were badly tasered and beaten with clubs. Back in 2010, ten passengers of Mavi Marmara were murdered by the IDF during a similar operation in international waters.

It is disappointing that the Israeli government chose to continue the absolutely fruitless policy of “no tolerance”, meaning it will continue to enforce an inhumane and illegal collective punishment against 1.8 million Palestinians in Gaza. Israel’s repeated acts of state piracy in international waters are worrying signs that the occupation and blockade policy extends to the entire eastern Mediterranean. We demand that the Israeli government cease and desist the illegal detainment of peaceful civilians travelling in international waters in support of humanitarian aid.

We call on our government to ensure that all 18 passengers and crew from the “Marianne” are safe, including the two Canadians, Bob Lovelace and Kevin Neish. We also call on all parties to strongly protest against the violation of international maritime law by the Israeli state. We call on all civil society organizations to condemn the actions of Israel. People all over the world will continue to respond and react to this injustice, as will we, until the port of Gaza is open and the siege and occupation is ended.

VIDEO: Ehab Lotayef speaks from the boat ‘Rachel’, returning towards Greece: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXWF-VL1bAI&feature=youtu.be

URGENT ACTION APPEAL: http://www.tahrir.ca/en/content/urgent-take-action-flotilla-gaza

In Solidarity,
Canadian Boat to Gaza

http://www.tahrir.ca/content/donate
Follow us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/CanadaBoatGaza and on Twitter: @CanadaBoatGaza

 

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UNJPPI Newsletter – June 20, 2015

In This Issue

• Untold Stories
• Tabghe Church burned
• Letter re CIJA Award to Wynne
• Quaker support for BDS
• Ahava to move
• Amos Gvirtz: Don’t say you din’t know

Register for the UNJPPI AGM in Halifax or look for new postings at UNJPPI.org

Untold Stories: First-ever US Nakba Museum opens in Washington DC
When Bshara Nassar arrived in Washington, DC, he strolled along the National Mall and passed myriad museums dedicated to exposing the painful history of oppressed peoples: the National Museum of the American Indian, the Holocaust Museum, Laogai Museum, the list goes on. He quickly recognized there was no “place for the Palestinian story to be told,” which inspired him to launch the first-ever Nakba Museum Project of Memory and Hope.
Nassar emphasizes that the museum is as much focused on the present as the past, and describes the Nakba as an ongoing event for Palestinian refugees who still live in camps and for all Palestinian people who live under occupation. To address that reality in their own lives, Nassar’s family founded an organization called Tent of Nations. Based at their 100-acre farm in the West Bank, near Bethlehem, it is dedicated to building respect and understanding between different people and cultures.
See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/06/untold-stories-washington

16 arrested, then released, in church torching
Settlers questioned in connection with attack at site where Christians believe Jesus fed 5,000 with five loaves and two fish
BY STUART WINER June 18, 2015, 1:47 pm Updated: June 18, 2015, 3:03 pm
Tabghe Church in the Galillee withstood 1700 years of various rulers in Palestine. It is the church on the location we are told where Jesus multiplied the fish and the bread. For the first time in its long history it was burned nearly completely (arson) this week. The perpetrators wrote in red Hebrew graffiti that the “idol worshippers” will also be killed! It joins other churches and dozens of mosques destroyed since the founding of the “Jewish state” in Palestine.    by Mazin Qumsiyeh
Ed. Note: This church is visited by many tourists.

Reported by Times of Israel
Police said on Thursday they had detained 16 suspects in connection with the torching of the Church of the Multiplication at Tabgha, on the Sea of Galilee, which was set ablaze early that morning. The group was released a few hours later.
See more at: http://www.timesofisrael.com/police-nab-over-a-dozen-suspects-in-church-torching/

Kathleen Wynne: Please refuse ‘honour’ from Israel lobby group
Rabble.ca June 1, 2015
On May 4, individuals representing Independent Jewish Voices — Canada, Women in Solidarity with Palestine, Dykes and Trans People for Palestine, and Palestine House sent a very similar letter to this one to Premier Kathleen Wynne. In that letter, we requested a meeting with Premier Wynne to discuss this issue further. After waiting nearly four weeks for a response, we decided to publish a letter publicly, with additional support from Palestine solidarity organizations active in Ontario.

Canada rights group voices support for boycott of Israel
A Canadian advocacy organization has defied the Ottawa government’s warning not to promote boycotts against the Israeli regime.
On Monday, members of the Canadian Friends Service Committee, known as the Canadian Quakers, reaffirmed their support for the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Tel Aviv over its aggressive policies.
The rights organization said it would ignore the government’s threat to the Canadian rights groups who call for boycotts of the Tel Aviv regime.
Read more…

Ahava seeks to move production out of West Bank
Under pressure from the BDS movement, the Israeli cosmetics company is considering opening a plant inside the Green Line.
Read more…

Don’t Say We Didn’t Know – Amos Gvirtz
Amos Gvirt, Founder of Palestinians and Israelis for Nonviolence, Chairperson of the Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions (ICAHD). Kibbitz Sheffayim, Israel, was visiting/touring Canada in April/May and was at the CFOS Conference (Seeking the Peace of Jerusalem) in Vancouver. I met him and have been receiving his posts, “Don’t Say We Didn’t Know”.

Curtis Marwood includes some of his recent posts:
Don’t say we didn’t know #454

On Thursday, 11th June, 2015, the IDF ordered Palestinian communities in the Jordan Valley to evacuate, together with their livestock, due to army manoeuvres. The communities live in El Malih, El Burj, El Minka and Khumsa. They moved out of their homes and localities for six hours (06:00-12:00). The army said that on 17th June, 2015 they would again have to evacuate for similar reasons – military exercises in the region.
—- —- —-
On Wednesday, 10th June, 2015, government representatives again demolished El’Araqib. Similarly, in ’Abde (near the ruins of Ovdat) and in Fur’a (near Arad), Bedouin homeowners demolished their own homes, fearing that the authorities would demolish those homes and make them pay the expenses!
Don’t say we didn’t know #453
On Thursday, 4th June 2015, IDF soldiers demolished tent living quarters and sheep-pens belonging to four Palestinian families in Humsa, in the Jordan Valley in the West Bank (near Hamra checkpoint).
Read more about demolition and displacement of Bedouins in the Negev.

Don’t Say We Did Not Know 452
Palestinians living in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood of Hebron suffer repeated assaults by the Jewish settlers and IDF soldiers. For example, on May 16, 2015, young settlers threw stones at the home of the Abu Aisha family located next to the Jewish settlement at Tel Rumeida. On May 23, 2015, teen-age settlers assaulted a delegation of Quakers exiting after visiting the home of Palestinian family Azzeh. Soldiers entered the house after the visit and conducted a search. First they accused on of the family’s female member of throwing stones. Then settlers began to hurl stones at the house. The girl was hurt. The soldiers went out towards the settlers and did not return.
——– ——– ——–
On Thursday, May 28, 2015, government agents escorted by police demolished homes in Bedouin villages in the Negev: a residence was demolished in Kuchla, north of Kseife and in Kufr Sar near Dimona. At Umm Batin, near Omer, a structure was destroyed.

Copyright © 2015 United Network for Justice and Peace in Palestine and Israel

UNJPPI Annual Meeting – Aug 28-30

June 3, 2015

Dear friends,

As you can see from the poster, UNJPPI (United Network for Justice and Peace in Palestine and Israel) will be holding its 2015 AGM (Annual General Meeting) in Halifax beginning with supper on August 28 and finishing with lunch on August 30.  We would like you to consider joining us for this important meeting.

As you know, UNJPPI is a national United Church of Canada related network of people interested in a just solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.  This year we will gather to:

  • seek ways to build our network, support each other and become more effective?
  • find ways reach beyond ourselves and invite others in
  • focus on how we can contribute to a just peace in Israel/Palestine, especially in the light of recent government initiatives
  • strategize about how we can work with other networks and like-minded organizations
  • discuss the United Church General Council meeting and how their decisions will affect us,
  • develop a strategy for the fall federal election to help focus on Palestine and Israel.

We have invited two resource persons to join us.  Their special interest is in Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions.

  1. David Wildman, the Executive Secretary of Human Rights and Racial Justice for the Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church in New York.
  2. Hind Awwad lives in Toronto.   From her home in Ramallah she was the coordinator and spokesperson of the Boycott/Divestment/Sanctions movement of the Palestinian NGOs.

Kathy Bergen bergenkathy@gmail.com can give you more information if you need it.  Please tell her that you are able to come.  Our final registration date is August 1st.

As in the past we have asked everyone to pay $500.  People look for help from congregations, presbyteries, conferences for this $500.  You pay for your flight up front and we are hoping we can refund the full cost of your flight.  That depends on how our participants are distributed across the country.

Please register with the link provided on the poster.

Thank you,
The AGM Organizing Team

Download the flyer in PDF.

Gaza’s Ark supporting Freedom Flotilla III

May 11, 2015

Dear friend,

Thank you for your support of Gaza’s Ark.

As you can see on our website and on social media we have been working on a range of areas since the destruction of our boat last July, including supporting our Swedish partners who set sail last weekend for Gaza.

We still retain some assets, as well as possession of some produce that people from overseas purchased, which Gaza’s Ark had been due to carry. We hope to export these goods on board one or more of the boats that are heading to the Gaza Strip as part of Freedom Flotilla III.

We shall continue to communicate with you in relation to any developments re Gaza’s Ark and these matters in particular. However if you wish to keep in touch regarding progress of the flotilla you may wish to sign up for updates or connect with our partners at Canadian Boat to Gaza or the International Committee for Breaking the Siege of Gaza based in England.

As our partners prepare boats for Freedom Flotilla III and begin to sail to challenge the blockade, please assist financially if at all possible:
http://www.tahrir.ca/content/donate or www.shiptogaza.se/en/donate.

Once again thank you for your support and we look forward to continuing to work with you as we collectively strive for the end of the blockade of Gaza and for the realisation by the Palestinian people of all of their human rights.

Regards.
James Godfrey
on behalf of
Gaza’s Ark Steering Committee

Next stop: Gaza

Around 10 pm Friday [June 20], Ship to Gaza’s trawler Marianne of Gothenburg left the port of Messina at the east coast of Sicilia and sailed out on to the Ionian Sea through the strait of Messina.   During the coming week, Marianne will meet up with the other boats who are part of Freedom Flottila III.  Together they will try to break the illegal blockade on Gaza through a peaceful non-violent action.  The short stop in Messina was an intensive one with meetings with peace activists and a press conference at the city hall with the mayor of Messina, the famous corruption fighter enemy Renato Accorinti.
On board the Marianne, to participate in this action, you will find:
The Swedish journalist, author and social critic Kajsa Ekis Ekman;
The Swedish-Israeli composer and activist, Dror Feiler;
The Canadaian scholar and activist, Robert “Bob” Lovelace, a veteran within movements in support of the Indigenous peoples’ rights;
The Spanish Member of the European Parliament, Ana Maria Miranda Paza (Bloque Nacionalista Galego);
Professor Gerd von der Lippe, Norwegian sport sociologist and former athletics star.
The following journalists will be attending:
The Russian journalist, Nadia Kevorkova;
A New Zealand team from Maoria Television, consisting of the reporter Ruwani Perera and the cameraman, Jacob Bryant.