Target: The crew of activist ship the Estelle
Goal: Applaud attempt to breach Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip to deliver humanitarian aid
A pro-Palestinian activist ship carrying supplies intended for the people of Gaza was intercepted by Israeli forces on Saturday, October 20, 2012. Supplies aboard the Estelle included “humanitarian cargo such as cement, and goodwill items such as children’s books,” according to Salon. The Estelle also carried 30 activists from Europe, Canada, and Israel.
Israel imposed a naval blockade on Gaza in 2007 ostensibly to prevent arms smuggling to Hamas and other militant groups. However, the Associated Press reports that declassified Israeli documents implicate the Israeli government in using the blockade to strategically impose suffering upon the Palestinian people as a way to force the Hamas government from power. Part of the strategy detailed in the documents include government calculation of the minimum number of calories needed to avert humanitarian crisis in the Palestinian territory. The blockade was strictly maintained from 2007 until 2010 and included a seemingly arbitrary list of food items and other non-dangerous supplies. In 2010 the blockade was eased in response to international pressure that came after Israeli forces killed nine activists aboard the Gaza Freedom Flotilla attempting to break the siege.
The Israeli blockade of Gaza is a cruel form of collective punishment on the Palestinian people for the political disputes between the Israeli and Hamas governments. The blockade has destroyed the economy of Gaza and has resulted in starvation, unsanitary conditions, and general suffering for the people who live there. In spite of these well established facts, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continues to praise the blockade and stated in response to this event: “There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza.”
This is patently false and thanks to brave activists such as those aboard the Estelle, the plight of the Gazan people will not be shut out from the public consciousness as long as the blockade remains in place. Please sign this petition and applaud the activists who recently challenged Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip.
Dear Estelle crew,
I am writing to applaud your attempt to challenge the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip. This blockade has caused suffering and starvation to the Palestinian people and has destroyed their economy by keeping out food and other goods needed for a decent standard of living.
In spite of the danger (evident in the aftermath of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla) you faced going up against armed Israeli forces, you bravely demonstrated your commitment to helping the people of Gaza in doing what you did. Your actions are key to the growing support and understanding of and for the Palestinian people and their situation. Thank you.
[Your Name Here]