Published on Monday, 20 June 2011 12:14
Written by Khaled Mouammar
At the end of June, 2011, 40 Canadians will be setting sail for Gaza on a boat called Tahrir, which means Liberation. They will be joining an international flotilla of 14 ships, dubbed Freedom Flotilla II, representing groups from 32 different countries that will be confronting the illegal and inhumane Israeli siege of Gaza through non-violent direct action.
As these courageous Canadians get ready to sail, Israel has stepped up its threats, threatening to sue the Canadians who are going, threatening to kill and maim them if they don’t stop, as they did when they violently boarded ships from Freedom Flotilla I in international waters in May 2010 killing 9 passengers and injuring 60.
All of the survivors of the previous flotilla were kidnapped and jailed by Israel and subjected to treatment described by a United Nations Fact-Finding Mission as tantamount to torture. Several had their passports stolen (for use in who-knows-what future outrage by Mossad criminals) all cameras, mobile phones and computers were illegally seized and many lost large sums of money.
This act of piracy follows the Israeli criminal assault on Gaza in January 2009 that killed 1400 civilians and demonstrates that the Israeli army has transformed into an armed mob that will not hesitate to harm the Canadians sailing on Tahrir.
Canadians want to know what is the Harper Government planning to do, to safeguard Canadian citizens (and indeed other humanitarians) sailing with the flotilla on its peaceful mission to Gaza?
The Canadian Arab Federation (CAF) believes that Canada can protect these brave Canadians and support the humanitarian needs of the people of Gaza with two key actions.
First, by appointing a representative to inspect and seal the cargo of the Canadian Boat to Gaza (Tahrir) —thus assuring the Israeli government that the boats are carrying humanitarian supplies such as toys, medical supplies, cement and educational materials.
Second, Harper has to remind the Israeli government of its obligation under international law; to tell them that the Canadian government will be watching closely and will not accept acts of violence against non-violent civilians who are following their conscience.
The siege of Gaza which started in 2006 is an act of collective punishment by which Israel has imposed an open-air prison on 1.5 million Palestinians, half of whom are children under the age of 18. The siege has systematically deprived the people of Gaza of nutritious food and the means to grow it, of clean water, of safe housing and the construction materials to rebuild their homes.
"What we're seeing in Gaza now, is pretty much slow-motion genocide against the 1.5 million Palestinians who live in Gaza.... If you read the 1948 Genocide Convention, it clearly says that one instance of genocide is the deliberate infliction of conditions of life calculated to bring about the physical destruction of a people in whole or in part," stated Francis A. Boyle, professor of International Law at the University of Illinois in Champaign.
CAF calls upon Prime Minister Harper to have the courage of the people of Tunisia and Egypt who rose up peacefully against corrupt and oppressive governments. We call upon Mr. Harper to support this non-violent initiative by Canadians for peace.
CAF calls upon the leaders of the opposition parties to demand that Mr. Harper fulfill Canada's obligations under the UN Charter to uphold international law and all human rights.
Article viewed at: Oye! Times at www.oyetimes.com
Win EASY $50 from Oye! Times. Paid Worldwide
Double your chance to win!
Join our Newsletter
Complete our survey!
Winners picked every Sunday!