Freedom Flotilla 2 will (hopefully) finally sail

3 Jul

As of just a couple hours ago, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that the second Gaza Flotilla will soon be set to sail, despite numerous setbacks in port.

If you pay any attention to the news at all, you might remember last year’s raid on the six ships of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla. The Israeli military carried out an operation that left nine activists killed and dozens of others wounded.

The Canadian boat in this year’s flotilla, the Tahrir, can be followed on Twitter in English and French for all their latest news. I’ve been glued to the updates (as much as I can be and still get work done), with my heart in my mouth, at once frightened for the folks who have showed tremendous courage in taking on this mission, and also wishing I were there with them.

The leaders of Canada’s federal parties have not endorsed the Tahrir and its mission – Official Opposition Leader Jack Layton has said that it’s not an initiative that’s supported by the NDP, and that the party instead wants to call for an end to the blockade through the United Nations. Meanwhile, interim Liberal leader Bob Rae has said that a blockade-breaking mission isn’t necessary to get aid to Gaza, and that there are clear avenues through agencies such as the Red Cross.

If this mission were simply about delivering aid, Rae’s criticism would have merit. The point here, though, is that the Israeli blockade is illegal, and this mission is hopefully another opportunity to remind the world of that fact.

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