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Widyan Sha'at Director of Ethar with Sinead MacLochlainn, Alanna Campbell and women of Ethar

My Dear friend Mags O’Brien (SIPTU & TUFP and Irish Ship to Gaza comrade) who lives in Dublin contacted me around the beginning of March 2012 just before UNISON’S International women’s day festivities which would be held on March 8th 2012 in Belfast. She said that a quilt had been made by women in Ireland who were members of the trade unions and they wanted it delivered to Gaza, was I up for doing it. I said “yes!” and agreed to meet her in Belfast on 8th of March for International Women’s day.

March 8th arrived and I boarded the bus form Derry as Mag’s boarded the bus from Dublin. I was excited about the prospect of delivering this message of love and solidarity to our sisters in Gaza. As I was already planning to travel out to Gaza on March 28th, delivering the quilt on behalf of Irish women could easily be added into my schedule.

International Women's Day Belfast

We both arrived in Belfast and attended the woman’s day march and speeches after. During the speeches I couldn’t help but think to myself “here we are in Ireland as women standing free, exerting our rights as women, marching for what women have achieved and what women will achieve as our struggle continues to move forward” yet, back in Gaza our sisters are struggling in a way many of us here cannot comprehend. See for yourself the reality of life in Gaza for poor women who have lost their homes and/or husbands in Cast Lead.

This woman and her children barely exist in this tiny one room space, nothing else

Barely enough room for one person let alone ten!!

Women with children forced to live in refugee camps, in tiny 3 metre areas that more resemble a stable or a shed rather than a inhabitable home created by a brutal inhumane collective punishment siege! Women who have had to watch their homes destroyed in a flash of white light from Israeli drones or F-16’s. Women who have had to watch their own children die for lack of medical supplies, or parts, and still others have been forced to watch as their child lies dying needlessly before their eyes, simply waiting for a little permit to be approved by Israel for the child to leave Gaza to go to a specialist hospital in Egypt or Israel. Women who have lost their homes and their husbands in Cast Lead and are now left to fend for themselves in the streets of an open air prison. The refugee camps will haunt you, cramped and filled with women and children, so many children. With horrible sewage problems because Israel won’t allow pipes in to fix the bombed out sewer system. The smell of this is a constant reminder and it is never far away, even the sea is polluted with sewage, and the tap water is nothing but contaminated sea water with waste in it. This is life in Gaza, this is a man made disaster of epic proportions which is being ignored by most of the world. And the women are suffering the most. So I was very happy to facilitate this Quilt with a message of Solidarity to our sisters in Gaza from women in Ireland.

“We call for the immediate and complete lifting of the blockade on Gaza. The ongoing siege is a denial of dignity; it is a denial of rights for a people, particularly its women, who yearn to be Free!”

The quilt was sponsored by UNISON and in 2011 it was taken from Belfast in small pieces down to the Women’s Seminar in Cork where women began working on it. The Quilt was then brought back up to Belfast where the finishing work was carried out by Vivien Holding of the Communications Workers Union. Vivien put it together and laboriously sewed the binding and backing.

Mag’s and I met up with Patricia McKeown the Regional Secretary of UNISON in the North of Ireland who facilitated us in making our way to the UNISON building for the remainder of the day’s events and speeches. As we made our way to the UNISION building we discussed with Patricia the possibility of Irish women doing some solidarity work with our sisters in Gaza.

Upon arriving at UNISON the quilt was presented to myself and Mags by Taryn Trainer of UNITE and the Chair of the Woman’s Committee in the North. In a message from Pauline Buchanan regarding the quilt, she said “ The women of Ireland thought that the quote which takes pride of place in the centre would appropriately express to our sisters in Palestine that we support them, and that we will continue to work towards the realization of their human rights.”

Taryn Trainor presents quilt to Mag's O'Brien and Sinead MacLochlainn

From the quilts idea and inception by women in Belfast shortly after Cast Lead, the quilt began its life in Belfast, travelled down to Cork where more women worked on it, then it travelled back to Belfast where still more women completed it. The quilt has travelled across Ireland, then by air across England, France, Italy, Greece to Cairo, Egypt. Where it then began the 7 hour ride across the Sinai desert where on March 28th it crossed into Rafah, Palestine, and then travelled to Kahn Younis where it was received and presented to Widyan Sha’at the Director of Ethar Woman’s Initiative. It is home now.

Ethar Initiative-Gaza

Sinead MacLochlainn made the presentation on behalf of the the Women’s Committee Irish Congress of Trade Unions’ and a mention of the ICTU, NIICTU, UNISON, UNITE, Communications Union Workers as well. Ms. Sha’at speaking on behalf of Ethar Initiative said she wishes to thank the women of Ireland for their solidarity, especially Taryn Trainer and the Women’s Committee in the North, Pauline Buchanan of ICTU and Patricia McKeown of UNISON and Vivien Holding of the Communications Workers Union. The quilt will stand as a reminder to women here in Gaza of the friendship and solidarity between Ireland and Palestine.

The Ethar Initiative will be sending a personal letter of thanks to the ICTU/NIICTU and to those organisations and women who participated in this project of solidarity by creating and sending the Quilt to Gaza.

The Ethar Initiative was set up by women, for women, and is run by women who get no salary, all donations go to the poor women and children that Ethar helps. Ethar is a labour of love run by our sisters, who need our help!! So, please check back on this website as we will be doing an entire report on the Ethar Woman’s Initiative and we hope all the women of Ireland will get on board and get invovled with the campaign to help woman in Gaza by working with our sisters at Ethar. Coming soon in solidarity we will be launching an all Ireland Initiative for women to work with our sisters in Gaza dubbed the “Ireland Gaza Woman’s Initiative ” and we hope Irish women will join us in working directly with our sisters in Gaza! Bookmark our coming website here www.igwi.org and check back to learn about the new Initiative between Ireland and Gaza.

We Stand In Solidarity with Our Sisters

Jennifer McCann MLA and Clr Gerry MacLochlainn arrive in Gaza

Derry Friends of Palestine member Sinn Fein Councillor Gerry MacLochlainn along with Sinn Fein MLA Jennifer McCann from Belfast, both arrived in Gaza on Monday night to a big Gazan weclome. They are part of the (Council for European Palestinian Relations) CEPR’s largest delegation yet. A fact finding mission consisting of elected members and Parliamentarians from around the world.

Jennifer McCann MLA and Claire Short from the British Labour Party at refugee camp in Gaza

Jennifer McCann MLA reports from yesterday:

Jennifer McCann MLA with women from the Delegation

There’s over 100 people from all over the world on this delegation. Today we visited the Health Facility for wounded children and as you can see from the pictures they have lost limbs in the bombing, one other young girl of 10 years had been shot.

One of many children who have lost limbs when israel attacked their homes

We then went through Beit Lahia just north of Jabalia,the area was totally devastated in the bombing of Dec 2008. This is an area where entire families were wiped out in a single attack, and where the UN school was bombed. We visited the makeshift homes in one of the refugee camps and the conditions over 130,000 people are living in are atrocious, 7 people all living in one or two tiny rooms. They cannot rebuild any of the houses that were bombed as they can’t get access to building materials due to the blockade.

one of the thousands of homeless refugee familys, 7 members forced to live in one room

There were a number of other meetings and presentations with NGO’s and leaders of Civil Society here and we had a reception in the University for applied sciences, the young students have increased in numbers from 300 to 9,000. The Palestinians are very resilient people. There are students who had gained University places in other countries but can’t go due to the blockade.

Charlie McMenamin, John Mallon, Phil McCullough and Clr Gerry MacLochlainn

As part of the Irish Ship to Gaza national campaign there will be coordinated protests held in Derry and Belfast as follows:


DERRY-GUILDHALL SQUARE

TUESDAY
JUNE 28TH
1:00-2:00 PM

SPEAKERS:
Sinead MacLochlainn, Chair Irish Ship to Gaza Committee
Liam Gallagher, Derry Trade Union Council
Liam McConway, Derry Friends of Palestine

BELFAST-CITY HALL
WEDNESDAY
JUNE 29TH
1:00 PM

SPEAKERS:
TBA

Please show your support for the passengers sailing from Derry and Belfast on the Irish Ship the MV Saoirse as part of the Freedom Flotilla 2 to Gaza. Tell Israel to “Let Them Sail”

Steve Amsel at Desertpeace conducted an interview with Sinn Fein Councillor Gerry MacLochlainn who is currently in the Mediterranean getting ready to set sail on the MV Saoirse, the Irish Ship to Gaza.

Sinn Fein Councillor Gerry MacLochlainn with Dr. Fintan Lane on board the MV Saoirse

Gerry MacLochlainn is a Sinn Fein Councillor in Derry. Active in the Irish Civil Rights campaign, Gerry took part in the Burntollet Civil Rights march which was brutally attacked. Gerry is a former Maths teacher, he studied philosophy and maths at University College Wales, Aberystwyth. He is a former Irish Political Prisoner in England. On his release he headed up the Sinn Fein office in London and was active in the struggle to release of the Guildford 4. In 2009, Gerry led the 2nd convoy into Gaza after the invasion and he co-founded Derry Friends of Palestine. During operation Cast Lead he persuaded Derry City Council to support a boycott of Israeli goods until Israel withdraws from the occupied territories. Derry was the first city in Ireland to pass such a motion. He returned to Gaza again to bring the Mayor of Derry to meet with the Mayor of Khan Younis to begin a twinning process between the two cities. Gerry was a keynote speaker in Geneva at the first International Conference in support of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli Jails, organised by U-Free. He is a member of the International Steering Committee of Freedom Flotilla 2 – Stay Human and a member of the Irish Ship to Gaza national committee.

*

DesertPeace: According to the inroduction, I believe this will be your third trip to Gaza. After the brutal attack by the Israeli navy on the Mavi Marmara a year ago, are you in any way concerned for your personal safety this time?

*

Gerry MacLochlainn: I have to be honest and yes – I am concerned and I think I would foolish if I were not. The shocking slaughter of unarmed people aboard the Mavi Marmara made it clear that Israel is prepared to cross any line to protect its illegal occupation of Palestinian lands and blockade of Gaza. If you oppose, even peacefully as we are doing, Israeli policy in Palestine and against Palestinians you are fair game as far as the IDF is concerned.

But no matter how concerned I am – I have to do what is right. The governments of the world should be leading our flotilla into Gaza but they stand idly by. It falls to us then the ordinary citizens of this world to act for humanity. Someone has to step up and if not me who? I can’t leave it to others.

So we will set sail, we will strive to each Gaza, we do so publicly, peacefully and with no desire to harm to contribute to the harming of anyone, including the IDF who are threatening us with extreme violence if we do not turn back.

BUT although we are peaceful, although we threaten no-one, we will not be bullied, we will not turn back. We will not surrender our boats and we will try to reach Gaza.

We may not succeed on this occasion but the siege will be broken and the blockade will be lifted. Israel can menace, maim or even murder but it can no more stop us or those who follow than it can stop the tide.

Palestine will be free and its ports will be open to the world as are the ports of any other country.

*

DP: Are there any long term plans for activities back in Ireland once you return from this trip?

*

GM: Yes. I am a Sinn Féin Councillor as you know and my city council has voted to boycott Israeli goods. I recently brought our Mayor out to Gaza to meet the Mayor of Khan Younis, Mohammed al Farra, and we intend to build up a relationship between our two municipalities.

I am talking to business men and local community groups, schools and sporting associations to develop links with our sisters and brothers in Khan Younis.

The Derry Friends of Palestine, of which I am a member, has a programme of work to do to assist the people of Gaza. We will soon be making a significant contribution to health care in Khan Younis. The details of this intervention will be announced in the near future.

But more than that I plan to continue to bear witness to the crimes that Israel is committing in Gaza and elsewhere in Palestine. Along with my colleagues, the Irish Friends of Palestine and my party, Sinn Féin I intend to continue to mobilise opinion to peaceful protest at every manifestation of Zionist aggression.

I intend to be a peaceful but very persistent opponent of Israel so longs as it refuses to deal with its neighbours as equals.

*

DP: As an elected official, do you feel that your solidarity work for the people of Palestine in any way could hurt your political career? I am aware that many people in Ireland identify personally with the Palestinians because of their own struggles for Freedom and Independence. Can you elaborate on this?

*

GM: Well I suppose the big advantage of being in Ireland, and being an Irish Republican in Ireland is that your support comes from people who know all about imperialism, about land grabs about suppression, and who know just which side they are on. Consequently advocacy for Palestine will not damage anyone’s political career in Ireland.

I well remember, during my time in jail in England as our hungers strikers died, the women of Gaza took to the streets to salute and support our comrades. They reached into our prison cells on our behalf that day and we gladly reach into theirs now.

Our message is simple, Palestine, you have sisters and brothers in Ireland. You will never have to face the enemy alone. I shout aloud – The Irish are coming!

*

DP: Sinn Fein has always been in the forefront of the struggle, are there other groups working with you on these International issues?

*

GM: Sinn Fein is of course one of the largest parties on the island and one of the two major components of the government in the north and is a major opposition party in the South. The fact that our party has a principled position in support of Palestine means that these politics are now heard at the heart of government.

But it is fair to say that the breadth of support for Palestine in Ireland spreads beyond the Republican base. Nearly every party has some support for Palestine within its ranks. This is a potential major advantage for the people of Palestine because, as their case becomes better known, the support will spread further.

We believe that we can influence Irish foreign policy to take a principled stand on the Palestine issue at an international diplomatic level. We will co-operate with the widest array of parties and trends to achieve that.

*

DP: Gerry, it’s been a pleasure. I wish you a safe trip and hopeully one day we can celebrate together in a Jerusalem that belongs to all of the people, not just the chosen few.

*

GM: Inshallah! Thank you. It has been a pleasure for me too.

FREEDOM FLOTILLA II-STAY HUMAN WILL SAIL TO GAZA!

PRESS RELEASE

Istanbul, 17.6.2011

This is a rainbow coalition of human rights defenders. It does not only concern Muslims, but everyone, be they Muslim, Christian, Jew, Hindu, secular or whatever. This is world citizenry united,
Our destination is Gaza. Our means are non-violent. Our goal is to lift the illegal siege, completely and permanently and freedom for the Palestinian people.

With national campaigns in over 20 countries and around 10 ships being readied, Freedom Flotilla 2—Stay Human is on track to sail to Gaza to break the illegal Israeli blockade. The Turkish aid organization IHH remains part of the flotilla, even though the Mavi Marmara is unable to sail.
There is no doubt about the need for the flotilla.
Israel’s policy of collective punishment remains intact.
The so-called “established channels” for delivering aid to Gaza, referred to by global leaders seeking to stop our mission, do not allow for the needs of the people of Gaza to be met due to Israel’s many restrictions, nor do they permit freedom for Palestinians.

Nowhere else in the world are people required by the international community to accept humanitarian aid instead of freedom. And even that humanitarian aid is not forthcoming, owing to Israel’s blockade. This month, the health authority in Gaza proclaimed a state of emergency due to an acute shortage of vital medicines. Approximately 178 types of medications and 123 types of medical supplies have run out, and an additional 69 types of medications and 70 types of medical supplies are expected to run out within the next three months.

A few days ago, 46 Palestinian civil society organizations announced their full support of the Freedom Flotilla 2.

The fact that the Mavi Marmara will not participate in the FF2, means that the misinformation put forward by the Israeli government and its supporters that the flotilla is a “Turkish” and “Islamist” effort will be completely exposed. Hundreds of people from around the world are sailing to break the blockade on Gaza.

Freedom Flotilla 2 will include more ships than the first flotilla, even without the Mavi Marmara. Moreover, the coalition consists of significantly more member organizations this time, from all over Europe, North America, the Middle East and North Africa.

Our destination is Gaza. Our means are non-violent. Our goal is to lift the illegal siege, completely and permanently.

The International Coalition of Freedom Flotilla II

The all Ireland Irish Ship to Gaza Campaign held its successful Northern launch at Conway Mill on Wednesday 1st December.

Speakers at the Northern press launch included; Sinead MacLochlainn-National Chair of Irish Ship to Gaza Committee, John Mallon-Chair Belfast Irish Ship to Gaza Fundraising group, Patricia McKeown-Irish Congress of Trade Unions, UNISON, Trade Union Friends of Palestine, Margaret Walsh SDLP representative, Gerry Adams MP Sinn Fein representative and Issam Ben Ali from the Palestinian Rights Institute Dublin passenger on the first Flotilla in May.

Sinead MacLochlainn said “The campaign aims to maximise Irish participation on the Flotilla by funding an Irish boat with up to 50 people. The purpose of the flotilla is to break the siege and open the sea lanes to Gaza. This will allow cargo ships to sail into, and out of the seaport bringing in tons of aid and building supplies. People can then rebuild their homes and start the economy working again. This will put people back to work and get them off aid by allowing importing and exporting to freely take place directly with Gaza and the world.”

John Mallon said “ There are people from all walks of life in Belfast who want to get involved with the campaign. There is currently a fundraising Sky Dive event being organised between Belfast and Derry and already there are over 120 people who have signed up to jump for Gaza. The Falls Women’s Centre are getting behind the Irish Ship campaign with their support. People are organising sponsored walks and other events in support of this cause. We welcome anyone who wants to get involved in organising events in support of the boat to Gaza.”

Patricia McKeown pledged support from ICTU, UNISON and Trade Union Friends of Palestine. She said; “The Irish Congress of Trade Unions is 100% behind the objectives of the Flotilla which is to breach the blockade as a prelude to ending the siege. The Trade Union Friends of Palestine are already working on the Freedom flotilla 2 and the Irish Ship to Gaza. After the last incursion they raised 100,000 Euro very fast for the last flotilla and I think they would want to repeat that exercise.” Speaking on behalf of UNISON she said “UNISON raise a lot of humanitarian aid and funds and looked to repeating that and widening it.”

Margaret Walsh representing the SDLP gave apologies for Tim Attwood who was supposed to attend today. She said “I do support the right for people to live and to have freedom. And I certainly support the project 100%.”

Gerry Adams MP said “I would like to commend and thank to organisers of the Irish Ship and Flotilla. It should not fall upon the citizens to do this, there is a responsibility on the international community to breach what is an illegal blockade on the Gaza strip. “ He continued “Up to 80% of the people of Gaza rely on hand outs to survive. If this were anywhere else Governments would be compelled to give aid as opposed to citizens. So I just want to commend the organisers I think it is very brave what people are doing.”

For more information on Irish Ship to Gaza events in the North please visit Friends of Palestine Belfast HERE or Derry Friends of Palestine HERE or HERE.

Fund raising events to be held across the North and South in the coming weeks. Please support the Campaign as we work to fund an Irish Ship on the Freedom Flotilla 2 whose primary purpose is to breach the illegal blockade on Gaza. In the North you can donate to either Derry Friends of Palestine or Friends of Palestine Belfast. Groups in the South participating in the campaign are Irish Anti War Movement, Free Gaza Movement, Palestinian Right Institute, Trade Union Friends of Palestine and the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Additionally you can donate directly to the ISTG bank account details below:

PLEASE DONATE Bank Account Details:
AIB Bank
P.O. Box 96A, 7/12 Dame Street, Dublin 2
Sort Code 93-20-86
Account Number 33077059

Outside of Ireland you can donate directly into our account:
BANK ACCOUNT DETAILS

AIB Bank
P.O. Box 96A, 7/12 Dame Street, Dublin 2
Sort Code 93-20-86
Account Number 33077059
IBAN: IE37 AIBK 9320 8633 0770 59
SWIFT CODE: AIBKIE2D

Derry Friends of Palestine is teaming up with our comrades Friends of Palestine Belfast for an amazing skydive event called “Jump for Gaza” in aid of the Irish Ship to Gaza campaign. And just to prove this is an all Ireland campaign to send an Irish Ship to Gaza, that’s right, our own Fintan Lane, Irish Ship to Gaza coordinator, will be Jumping for Gaza!! What about them Cork lads, they’re a brave lot!!

The event itself will take place at the Wild Geese Skydiving school in County Derry, February 12th 2011. So plenty of time to raise sponsorship monies for a great cause!! You can register to jump online at our Facebook event HERE, once registered you will be emailed your sponsorship form and can start fundraising right away!!

If you are not on Facebook then you can email (minus the spaces) Sinead at chair @ derryfriendsofpalestine.org or Philly at friendsofpalestinebelfast @ gmail.com for more information and to register or get your sponsor form.

The Wild Geese are located at Movenis Airfield, Carrowreagh Road,
Garvagh, Co. Derry. Here is some information from the Wild Geese about making your first jump!!

Are you 16 years or over, if so, then let us introduce you to an experience of a lifetime. A thrill that you will never forget. Your first sky-dive will remain forever in your memory. A thrill that you will not only experience during your first sky-dive but continue, should you go on to make many hundreds more! We work under the regulations of the British Parachute Association (B.P.A.), the governing body of our sport in the U.K., therefore all your training will be carried out by highly qualified B.P.A. Approved Instructors.

A full time operation, the centre itself is open seven days a week, all year round. Now all we need is your commitment to join us in the most amazing world and off-this-planet (literally) experience of Skydiving.

Read about what your first jump experience will be like HERE
REQUIREMENTS

• Minimum age is 16yrs.
• Under 18’s need parental/guardian written consent before training and jumping: (Please Click HERE to download and print the appropriate form).
• Anyone 40 yrs and over will need a doctor’s written permission before jumping, get it HERE.
No maximum age for those doing a Tandem Skydive.
• Weight limits for a Tandem Skydive are:
– Male 102kg. (15 stone) max.
– Female 82kg. (13 stone) max

Sabra and Shatila Massacre

On 6 June 1982, the Israeli army invaded Lebanon. The invasion was grotesquely named “Operation Peace for Galilee.” With the meaning of Peace for Israel and death for everyone else. Over all reports from Lebanese claim the Israeli invasion and subsequent bombing of Beirut killed 18,000 and 30,000 injuries. The majority of these were civilians.

Sabra and Shatila Massacre

Sabra and Shatila Massacre

Ultimately after about 60 days of fighting a cease-fire was finally agreed. With the PLO agreeing to pull out of the area, this was witnessed by a multinational team. Under the Reagan Administration, Philip Habib a US envoy was sent to Lebanon in 1981 to defuse the Lebanese Civil War. Habib negotiated a peace that allowed the PLO to evacuate from the besieged city of Beirut. Within this agreement West Beirut would fall under the control of the Lebanese army, and the PLO were given a US guarantee of security for the Palestinian civilians in the Sabra and Shatila camps once the 14,000 PLO fighters had withdrawn.

Despite the witnessing of the PLO having left the area and despite the promises of protection for the remaining civilians in the two camps by the US envoy Habib, Israel saw a big opportunity to use the situation to its ultimate goal of wiping out more Palestinians. Ariel Sharon unilaterally made the unfounded claim that “2,000 terrorists” were still inside the Palestinian refugee camps. Then, on 15 September the Israeli army moved in and occupied West Beirut. They then surrounded and sealed off the camps of Sabra and Shatila. Leaving the Lebanese and Palestinian civilians at the mercy of their captors.

The War Criminal Sharon personally directed the Israeli operation, placing himself in a vantage point at the Kuwait embassy located at the outskirts of the Shatila camp. Like a dictator overseeing his subjects from atop a six story building, he could see the camps of Sabra and Shatila and witness his orders being carried out. His plan began swiftly and by that afternoon the camps were shelled by the IDF under the direction of Sharon atop his perch. The following order was given “The searching and mopping up of the camps will be done by the Phalangists army.” Then the IDF gave the command to the Phalangist militia to enter the camps and “commence” the “mopping up procedure.” Israeli General Amir Drori then telephoned Ariel Sharon and said, “Our friends are advancing into the camps. We have coordinated their entry.” To which Sharon replied, “Congratulations! Our friends’ operation is approved.”

Over the next 40 hours the Phalangists raped, killed, and injured thousands of unarmed civilians, mostly children, women and elderly inside the surrounded and sealed camps.

Sabra and Shatila Massacre

Sabra and Shatila Massacre

Sabra and Shatila Massacre

Sabra and Shatila Massacre

The IDF were in full contact with the militia and could see what was taking place, yet they never intervened. Instead, they prevented innocent civilians from escaping their death and assisted the terrorist militia by illuminating the camps at night so the killing, raping and injuring could continue round the clock.

Sabra and Shatila Massacre

Sabra and Shatila Massacre

We can never know the exact number murdered, it ranges between the Israeli IDF counts of 800 to 3,500 by the Lebanese. Almost 1,000 people were dumped in communal graves by the Red Cross. Additionally family members outside the camps buried some in cemeteries in Beirut and lastly hundreds were buried beneath bulldozed buildings by the terrorist Phalangist militia in their “mopping up” operation.

Despite evidence in the UN Security Council calling Sabra and Shatila a “criminal massacre,” despite the UN finding that illegal weapons were used on civilians, Ariel Sharon the man who was found to be “personally responsible” for this war crime has never been punished. Instead, the War Criminal Sharon was rewarded as a Hero by his country and was later welcomed to the White House, as a man of peace. As for the US Envoy Philip Habib who promised protection for the civilians in the camp which prompted the PLO to leave the area? Well In 1982, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom which is the highest official honor given to a US citizen by the US government.

Flash forward to December 2008, Gaza, operation “Cast Lead” and we see the same tactics once again. An area of 20 by 5 miles, surrounded by Israel with the 4th largest army in the world. We see Gaza being invaded by air, the use of illegal white phosphorous on civilians, being bombed shelled and shot at for 28 days, 1400 killed almost 400 were children, and since the so called end of “Operation Cast Lead” almost each week several more trapped Palestinians are killed by Israeli fire. With the latest victims 91 year old grandfather, Ibrahim Abu-Asad, and his 14-year-old grandchild, Hussam Abu-Asad.

91 Year Old Ibrahim Abu-Asad

91 Year Old Ibrahim Abu-Asad


Today Gaza is the new Sabra and Shatila camps, and more over, the massacre that occurred in Gaza beginning Dec 27th 2008 until Jan 18, 2009 can and will happen over and over again, at Israel’s slightest whim. The captive population has no way out, just like the people inside Sabra and Shatila camps. There is no one to protect them, and the world ignores this crisis. As Obama’s so called “peace talks” take place with only one Palestinian political party represented, there is a continued slow massacre in Gaza which has continued since operation Cast Lead. Each week without fail another Palestinian dies at the hands of Israel. Sometimes 1 person, other times 2 or 3 or more. Just as Sharon claimed those left trapped inside the Sabra and Shatila camps were “terrorists” Israel uses this same tactic when it murders Palestinians in Gaza. Israel has appointed itself to be judge, jury and executioner, without world supervision, investigation, transparency.. It’s a constant drip, a slow painful massacre that the world continues to ignore. Israel’s bloody history repeats itself and this will continue until the world demands otherwise.

BE PART OF THE SOLUTION

The situation in Gaza is not a humanitarian one, it’s a political one. The proud people of Gaza do not want to be aid dependant. In order to free the people of Gaza so they can live normal lives, it is imperative that this cruel, unjust and illegal siege be lifted. A new Flotilla is taking place very soon, the Freedom Flotilla 2. As Irish people of conscience we must step forward and help the people of Gaza together. Please support the Irish Ship to Gaza so Ireland can help break this siege on the seaport which will then allow cargo ships to bring re-building supplies, food, medical equipment and medicine to those trapped inside suffering for years and help get the Gaza economy back to work so they can get off the dole. All of us can help stop this; all of us can make a change happen. Together we can make a difference, please donate to the Irish Ship to Gaza and be part of the solution. Any amount is welcomed.
Remember what Bobby Sands said “Everyone, Republican or otherwise, has their own particular part to play. No part is too great or too small; no one is too old or too young to do something.”





Donate now; let’s help Gaza be free together

IRISH SHIP TO GAZA by Carlos Latuff

IRISH SHIP TO GAZA by Carlos Latuff

The Irish Ship to Gaza Campaign wishes to thank the great resistance cartoonist Carlos Latuff, for his very kind donation of artwork for the Irish Ship to Gaza and for all his support for our efforts to send an Irish ship to Gaza.

Carlos has done some great work on the BDS campaign and his work is known around the world. He said he has a great love for Ireland and also Palestine, and that it was an honour to create work for Ireland and Palestine together in one cartoon.

http://twitter.com/CarlosLatuff
http://latuff2.deviantart.com/gallery

Those who comprise the Irish Ship to Gaza Campaign represent Irish people and organisations that aim to break this inhuman siege by being part of the Second Freedom Flotilla. We are fundraising to ensure that an Irish ship is among those that set out in October 2010 to break the illegal siege of Gaza.

Please help us ensure that Ireland is fully represented in the Freedom Flotilla 2 to break the siege on Gaza by donating to the Irish Ship to Gaza fund below.

PLEASE DONATE





BANK ACCOUNT DETAILS

AIB Bank
P.O. Box 96A, 7/12 Dame Street, Dublin 2
Sort Code 93-20-86
Account Number 33077059

IRISH SHIP TO GAZA

IRISH SHIP TO GAZA

Tomorrow (Friday) 27th August, Dr Fintan Lane of the “Irish Ship to Gaza” all Ireland committee will be speaking in Limerick at the Absolute Hotel, 8:00PM the public is invited to attend.

The event is organized by the Limerick branch of the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) who are delighted to have Dr. Fintan Lane, Irish activist from the Freedom Flotilla and Free Gaza Movement speaking. He will be discussing the next Freedom Flotilla which is to sail in October.

There will be an Irish ship taking part in the Freedom Flotilla 2 and Fintan will be outlining plans for the Irish Ship to Gaza and discussing how people can participate in this action to break the siege on Gaza.

Fintan was on board the Irish boat the Challenger 1 when it was attacked and hijacked by Israeli forces on May 31st during the first Freedom Flotilla. The attack resulted in the murder of nine aid activists from the Turkish boat the Mavi Marmara.

This is a great opportunity for the people of Limerick who protested in their hundreds at the brutal invasion of Gaza which left hundreds dead including children, and the recent flotilla attack in international waters. This is a chance for the people of Limerick to get involved with the Irish Ship to Gaza and participate in this unique solidarity initiative which will take place across the island of Ireland.

EVERYONE WELCOME TO ATTEND

PLACE: ABSOLUTE HOTEL, LIMERICK
TIME: 8:00 PM
DATE: 27TH AUGUST, THIS FRIDAY

COME OUT AND SUPPORT THE IRISH AS WE ATTEMPT TO BREAK THE SIEGE BY SEA

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