Friends, the illegal Israeli blockade of Gaza has been in place for years. This blockade is now being enforced by Israel’s unlawful attacks on humanitarian aid ships in international waters and the cold blooded killing of civilians on board of those ships.
Meanwhile, the Canadian government continues its unconditional support for Israel. Thus it falls upon us, the Canadian civil society and its organizations, to speak up and stand for justice.
The time has come to send a Canadian Boat to Gaza to join the upcoming flotilla of ships from the U.S., Europe, South Africa, and parts of the Middle East due to set sail in fall of this year. We appeal to you to support the effort of sending this Canadian-flagged boat to carry humanitarian aid to Gaza, to break, and end, Israel’s illegal blockade of the strip.
We aim through this effort not only to send a message to Israel and challenge its illegal actions but to also bring awareness to the Canadian people about what Israel is doing in Gaza, in all of Palestine and to the Palestinian people. This will be achieved through the media and awareness work that would surround the campaign throughout the coming months.
The blockade of Gaza goes two ways. Vital building materials and other supplies are banned from entering Gaza and all exports from Gaza are also denied. As we plan to carry aid into Gaza, we also aim to carry exports, even symbolic, out of Gaza, thus asserting the right of Palestinians in Gaza to trade with the world, rather than be at the mercy of international aid.
We are working in cooperation and coordination with the Free Gaza Movement which has sent and coordinated many boats to break the siege of Gaza over the past years.
This is a peaceful mission — a non-violent challenge to illegal Israeli actions with the spirit of promoting peace, prosperity, social responsibility and the right of free movement for all peoples. This is a civil society initiative. We do not represent any government and our relationship with any state will not go beyond what is mandated by maritime law.
The Canadian Boat to Gaza aims to carry journalists and prominent Canadian public figures who oppose the blockade of Gaza.
The estimated cost of this mission is $300,000. We count on your endorsement and financial support to make the Canadian Boat to Gaza possible.
Farid Ayad, Toronto, Palestine House
Ruth Breen, Fredericton, CUPW
Farooq Burney, Toronto/Qatar, Mavi Marmara Survivor
Kim Elliott, Ottawa, rabble.ca
Basem Emara, Toronto, Gaza Freedom March
Wendy Goldsmith, London
Elias Hazineh, Toronto
David Heap, London
Mohamed S. Kamel, Montreal
Denis Kosseim, Montreal, Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine
Stephanie Lambert, Montreal
Ehab Lotayef, Montreal, Canadian Arab Federation
Toni MacAfee, Halifax, CUPW
Kevin Neish, Victoria, Mavi Marmara Survivor
Ali Mallah, Toronto
Derrick O’Keefe, Vancouver, Co-Chair Canadian Peace Alliance
David Parker, Halifax
Dylan Penner, Ottawa
Marion Pollak, Ottawa, CUPW
Sandra Ruch, Toronto, Gaza Freedom March
Sid Shniad, Vancouver, Independent Jewish Voices
Jase Tanner, Vancouver
Scott Weinstein, Montreal, Independent Jewish Voices
Ismail Zayed, Halifax
(organizational affiliations for identification only)