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2016:

06 May: Tair Kaminer starts her fifth spell in gaol. Send messages of support via Reuven Kaminer

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2015:

23 Dec: JfJfP policy statement on BDS

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17 Jan: Letter to Camden New Journal about Veolia

11 Jan: JfJfP supports public letter to President Obama

Comments in 2012 and 2011

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Posts

Press releases

 

Passengers aboard the boat
__________

Passengers and Crew:

Reuven Moskovitz, from Israel, was a founding member of the Jewish-Arab village Neve Shalom – Wahat al Salaam (Oasis of Peace) and a holocaust survivor. Speaks German, Hebrew and English.

Rami Elhanan, from Israel, lost his daughter Smadar to a suicide bombing in 1997 and is a founding member of the Bereaved Families Circle of Israelis and Palestinians who lost their loved ones to the conflict. Speaks Hebrew and English.

Lilian Rosengarten, from the US, is a peace activist and psychotherapist. She was a refugee from Nazi Germany. Speaks English and German.

Yonatan Shapira, from Israel, is an ex-IDF pilot and now an activist for Combatants for Peace. Speaks Hebrew and English.

Glyn Secker, from the UK, is the boat’s captain and a member of Jews for Justice for Palestinians Executive Commitee. Speaks English.

Dr. Edith Lutz, from Germany, is a peace activist and a nurse. She was on the first boat to Gaza in 2008. Speaks German and English.

Itamar Shapira, from Israel, is Yonatan’s brother, and a member of the boat’s crew. Speaks Hebrew, Spanish and English.

Reporters:

Eli Osherov,  Israeli reporter from Israel Channel 10 News.

Vish Vishvanath, Freelance photographer and reporter.

__________

Initial Press Release

Press release: issued on the 26th September 2010


At crisis point in peace talks, Jews, Israelis call to lift the siege on Gaza, end the occupation.

A boat carrying aid for Gaza’s population and organized by Jewish groups worldwide has set sail from Cyprus today at 13:32 local time

The boat, Irene, is sailing under a British flag and is carrying ten passengers and crew, including Jews from the US, the UK, Germany and Israel as well as an Israeli journalist.

Passengers on the Jewish Boat to Gaza gather for a group photograph before their departure. Photo by Vish Vishvanath/Metro

The boat’s cargo includes symbolic aid in the form of children’s toys and musical instruments, textbooks, fishing nets for Gaza’s fishing communities and prosthetic limbs for orthopaedic medical care in Gaza’s hospitals.

The receiving organization in Gaza is The Palestinian International Campaign to end the siege on Gaza, directed by  Dr. Eyad Sarraj and Amjad Shawa, Director of PNGO

The boat will attempt to reach the coast of Gaza and unload its aid cargo in a nonviolent, symbolic act of solidarity and protest – and call for the siege to be lifted to enable free passage of goods and people to and from the Gaza Strip.

The boat sets sail. Photos by Vish Vishvanath/Metro

The boat will fly multicolored peace flags carrying the names of dozens of Jews who have expressed their support for this action, as a symbol of the widespread support for the boat by Jews worldwide.

Speaking from London, a member of the organizing group, Richard Kuper of Jews for Justice for Palestinians, said today that the Jewish Boat to Gaza is a symbolic act of protest against the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories and the siege of Gaza, and a message of solidarity to Palestinians and Israelis who seek peace and justice.

‘Israeli government policies are not supported by all Jews,’ said Kuper. ‘We call on all governments and people around the world to speak and act against the occupation and the siege.’

Regarding the threat of interception by the Israeli navy, Kuper said ‘This is a nonviolent action. We aim to reach Gaza, but our activists will not engage in any physical confrontation and will therefore not present the Israelis with any reason or excuse to use physical force or assault them.’

Passenger Reuven Moskovitz. Photo by Vish Vishvanath

Passenger Reuven Moskovitz, 82, said that his life’s mission has been to turn foes into friends. “We are two peoples, but we have one future”, he said.

__________

Jewish Boat to Gaza boarded by Israeli forces and taken toward Ashdod port

28 September, 2010, For immediate release

The Irene, a boat carrying nine passengers and aid for Gaza’s population has been taken over by the Israeli navy and denied access to Gaza.

The boat is flying a British flag and its passengers include citizens of the US, the UK, Germany and Israel. Two journalists are also on board.

Last contact with the boat’s captain, Glyn Secker, was at 0937 GMT, when their path had been cut off by a Destroyer. Recent reports from other news sources indicated that the boat has been surrounded and boarded. At this point they were less than 20 miles from Gaza’s shore. Since then all phones went dead.

The occupied Gaza Strip’s territorial waters end 12 nautical miles from shore, but the Israeli blockade is enforced at 20 miles from shore.

Israeli attorney Smadar Ben Natan who is representing the passengers has asked to see her clients immediately.

Local group Physicians for Human Rights-Israel has asked for permission to send an independent doctor to visit the passengers immediately, after hearing from organizers that at least one passenger suffers from serious chronic health problems and is in need of medical care.

Speaking from London, a member of the organizing group, Richard Kuper of Jews for Justice for Palestinians, has condemned the Israeli army’s apparent action and said that this boat and its fate are a symbol of the chances for peace in the region. The way it is being treated by Israeli authorities indicates that they have no real intentions of reaching peace, he said. He called for worldwide support for the boat and its message of protest against the siege of Gaza and the occupation.

__________

Arrival in Ashdod and possible release

The passengers and crew of the Irene  arrived the port of Ashdod in Israel in the custody of the Israeli Navy.

The Irene, which was towed into port by Israeli Navy boats, was met by a group of peaceful protestors on the beach of Ashdod port.  The Israeli passengers and crew were separated from the foreign nationals (from the UK, USA and Germany) aboard the boat.  The Israelis were questioned in Ashdod, whilst the Foreign Nationals were taken to Holon.

The legal team have visited the Israelis and have reported to us that the most of them were treated well, although Yonatan and Itamar, were separated and taken onto a Naval boat, where Yonatan was tasered, and both Yonatan and Itamar were restrained with handcuffs before being led off.  Yonatan is now doing well, as is Reuven, who there was great concern about as he does suffer from a heart condition.

The lawyer reports that the Israeli members of the crew will be released today, although all their phones and cameras have been confiscated in case they contain images that may be a security risk.  It may take up to two weeks to return them.

The lawyer is now on route to Holon, to visit with the foreign nationals.  We have received reports that the UK members of the crew refused Consular advice and support so that they would not be deported until they had confirmed the safe release of the Israeli nationals from the Irene.  The FCO confirmed that support will still be available to them if they require it.

It is believed that all the crew and passengers will  be released tonight,  but we will let you know when we have official confirmation.

The Foreign Nationals are being held by the Israeli Immigration Police (OZ) at Hatzoref 5 in Holon, if any journalists or well wishers in the area would like to go and support their release.
FURTHER UPDATE SINCE THE TIME OF WRITING THIS

Foreign Nationals denied access to their legal representatives

We have just received a call from the legal team in Israel.

The lawyers had made all the necessary negotiations and had all the required paperwork required to visit the Foreign Nationals held by the Israeli Immigration Police (OZ) at Hatzoref 5 in Holon.

When the legal team arrived, they were told that they needed to submit a formal request via fax in order to visit them.  The legal team’s office then sent through a fax request but it was rejected (we are not currently clear why it was refused but will report more as we hear it).

The legal team were then advised to contact the Israeli Foreign Office, however the Foreign Office has currently refused to speak to them.  We are currently phoning the relevant Consuls and Embassies to inform them that there are Foreign Nationals who are being held by the OZ and are being refused access to their legal representatives.

If you want to help, please contact the Foreign Office in the UK, USA and Germany and their Embassies or Consulates in Israel and state your concern that there are citizens being held by the Israeli Immigration Police OZ without access to their legal representatives.

We will update you on this situation as soon as we have further information.

London Press Team, Jewish Boat to Gaza

The passengers and crew of the Irene  arrived the port of Ashdod in Israel in the custody of the Israeli Navy.

The Irene, which was towed into port by Israeli Navy boats, was met by a group of peaceful protestors on the beach of Ashdod port.  The Israeli passengers and crew were separated from the foreign nationals (from the UK, USA and Germany) aboard the boat.  The Israelis were questioned in Ashdod, whilst the Foreign Nationals were taken to Holon.

The legal team have visited the Israelis and have reported to us that the most of them were treated well, although Yonatan and Itamar, were separated and taken onto a Naval boat, where Yonatan was tasered, and both Yonatan and Itamar were restrained with handcuffs before being led off.  Yonatan is now doing well, as is Reuven, who there was great concern about as he does suffer from a heart condition.

The lawyer reports that the Israeli members of the crew will be released today, although all their phones and cameras have been confiscated in case they contain images that may be a security risk.  It may take up to two weeks to return them.

The lawyer is now on route to Holon, to visit with the foreign nationals.  We have received reports that the UK members of the crew refused Consular advice and support so that they would not be deported until they had confirmed the safe release of the Israeli nationals from the Irene.  The FCO confirmed that support will still be available to them if they require it.

It is believed that all the crew and passengers will  be released tonight,  but we will let you know when we have official confirmation.

The Foreign Nationals are being held by the Israeli Immigration Police (OZ) at Hatzoref 5 in Holon, if any journalists or well wishers in the area would like to go and support their release.

FURTHER UPDATE SINCE THE TIME OF WRITING THIS

Foreign Nationals denied access to their legal representatives

We have just received a call from the legal team in Israel.

The lawyers had made all the necessary negotiations and had all the required paperwork required to visit the Foreign Nationals held by the Israeli Immigration Police (OZ) at Hatzoref 5 in Holon.

When the legal team arrived, they were told that they needed to submit a formal request via fax in order to visit them.  The legal team’s office then sent through a fax request but it was rejected (we are not currently clear why it was refused but will report more as we hear it).

The legal team were then advised to contact the Israeli Foreign Office, however the Foreign Office has currently refused to speak to them.  We are currently phoning the relevant Consuls and Embassies to inform them that there are Foreign Nationals who are being held by the OZ and are being refused access to their legal representatives.

If you want to help, please contact the Foreign Office in the UK, USA and Germany and their Embassies or Consulates in Israel and state your concern that there are citizens being held by the Israeli Immigration Police OZ without access to their legal representatives.

We will update you on this situation as soon as we have further information.

London Press Team, Jewish Boat to Gaza

 

European Jews for a Just Peace, Jews for Justice for Palestinians (UK), Juedische Stimme fuer einen gerechten Frieden in Nahost (Germany), American Jews for a Just Peace (USA), Jewish Voice for Peace (USA), Jews Against the Occupation Sydney.

__________

Israeli nationals released and heading home

We have confirmation that the Israeli members of the passengers and crew of the Irene have been released from prison just over an hour a go, and are expected home very soon.  They have all had their phones confiscated so we have not had contact with them yet, but we have spoken to their family members, who are all very relieved about their imminent safe return.  We will get them to contact us as soon as we can.

__________

International Members of the Crew

We have just heard from the legal team that three of the international members of the crew of the Irene, Captain Glynn Secker, Vish Vishvanath and Lilian Rosengarten, are at Ben Gurion airport.  They are being held in police custody,  but will be on the first available flights home.

They have had their phones confiscated, so we have not had any direct contact with them, however their legal representatives say they are all safe and well, if a little tired. We have informed their family members of their imminent arrival home and they are all relieved at the news.

The fourth International member of the crew, Dr Edith Lutz, has chosen to remain in prison at Givon Deportment Center, and will be detained there for 73 hours, because she has refused to be deported.  Her legal representatives, and the German Consulate hope to make contact with her tomorrow. We all are extemely proud of her stand, and hope to pass on this message, as well as the news that her Israeli crewmates are all safely home.  We will let you when we hear anything further.

We would like to thank everyone who contacted their foreign offices or the respective consulates in Israel as we believe that this has helped secure a speedy release for our international crew members.

We would like to arrange a welcoming committee for well-wishers, supporters and press for the returning crew members.  If you would like to attend and show your support for them, then we have the following flight details:

      • Vish Vishvanath will be travelling on  El Al Airline Flight LY0213 arriving at Luton at 8.25 tomorrow (29th Sept 2010)
      • Glyn Secker will be on El Al Airline Flight LY315 arriving at Heathrow at 13.35 tomorrow (29th Sept 2010)
      • We are currently trying to contact the US Embassy to find out the exact details of the flight, and will let you know as soon as possible.

Please also forward any messages of support to us, either by email, facebook or twitter so we can pass them on to the passengers and crew who were on the boat.

__________

Dr Edith Lutz

We have just heard from the legal team in Israel that they have been allowed in to visit Edith, accompanied by two members of the German consulate.

Edith will be held until Sunday at Givon Deportment Center in Ramla, when she will go before a judge, and will be offered the option of deportation to Germany.  Our lawyer informed us that she was under the impression that if she refused deportation she would be allowed to visit the Israeli crew members.

She has now been informed that the Israeli and the rest of the Foreign Nationals have been released, which is a great relief to her, however she reports that she is very sad to miss her husband’s birthday.  Our legal team reports that despite this she is well and in good spirits.

We have also found out that today is Women’s Visit Day at the Givon Deportment Center.  If any local well wishers would like to try to visit her to show their support the number of the center is 00972 8978 7222.

For international well wishers and supporters, we are trying to pass on as many messages of support to her as we can, so please continue send messages to us via email, our facebook group or twitter.

We are pleased that the authorities in Israel are now co-operating with us, and allowing her to be visited by her legal representatives, and would like to thank everyone who contacted the German Embassy or Consulate in Israel.

 

__________
Yonatan and Itamar Shapira’s testimony as they returned home to their family

Yonatan and Itamar Shapira were two of the Israelis on-board the Jewish boat to Gaza, the Irene. They above all were subjected to violence from the Israeli forces who intercepted the boat.

These are their words an hour after they returned to their family in Israel:

“The Israeli media is being dominated by army propaganda. They’re claiming that the take over of the boat was non-violet and quiet on both sides – but what actually happened was that the boat passengers were non-violent, but the Israeli Navy was very violent.

At sunrise we stopped about 35 miles from shore and put up all the flags and banners from the organisation – the boat looked so, so pretty! We then turned south-east and headed towards the port in Gaza. Film maker Vish and journalist Eli took the dinghy and took stills and video of the boat. Everyone felt a sense of excitement as we stood on deck waving goodbye to the quiet journey we had been on. We knew that soon we would be intercepted, so we used the time for briefings. Holding each other’s hands, we talked about the principles of the boat and decided on strategies of how to deal with the Navy.

When we were approximately 20 miles outside of Gaza, a big Navy warship was spotted to the north of us. At that point it was still quite far away, so we held course.As the warship drew closer they hailed us and spoke to Glyn, the captain. The Navy said that we were entering a closed area by an oil rig, so the Irene altered course slightly in response. We then saw another smaller ship in front of them. As the warship approached and drew parallel to the Irene the smaller ship remained stationary. A number of smaller vessels were spotted coming from the east. The Navy again called us demanding to know our intention – we replied that we were headed for Gaza.

The Navy responded with the exact declaration they made before attacking the Mavi Marmara :

“You are entering an area which is under military blockade and is closed under international law.”

Itamar was in charge of communicating with the Navy, and responded by reading our own declaration in English and Hebrew:

“We are a boat of the European organisation Jews For Justice For Palestinians. We are unarmed and non-violent and determined to proceed to the port of Gaza. You are enforcing an illegal blockade and we do not recognise your right to do this. On this Jews For Justice for Palestinians boat are peace activists of all ages among us holocaust survivors, bereaved parents and Israelis who refuse to collaborate with the illegal occupation of Palestine.”

We waited for them to confirm that they had heard.

The Navy repeated their message in Hebrew – then the boats started coming from all sides. Eight army vessels surrounded us – three or four of the ships had cannons.

We called the soldiers to refuse their orders:

“We call on you IDF soldiers and officers to disobey the illegal orders of your superior officers. For your information, the occupation of Gaza and the Palestinian Territories are illegal under international law; therefore your risk being tried in the international courts. The blockade as well as the occupation is inhumane and contradicts universal and Jewish moral values. Use your conscience. Remember our own painful history. Refuse to enforce the blockade. Refuse to occupy Palestine.”

Itamar read this in Hebrew and English on radio a few times as the boats came towards us. Everyone was getting ready and holding hands on the Irene, getting ready for interception. Vish was in the front taking photos and filming the whole thing.

There were more than 100 soldiers on all the military boats around our boat. Two small boats with cannons drew up on both sides, shouting and threatening us with megaphones and constantly moving closer towards us. Glynn the captain stayed calm and behaved exactly to principles of boat, staying on course and challenging the Navy.

The military spoke to Itamar directly and stated that he was responsible for the harm that would come to us and the risk that we were taking by not changing course. We understood very quickly that we were about to be boarded at any moment. The small boats came right up close and then the north side jumped on board.

ITAMAR: As I was talking to the army boat cruising alongside us with some 20 armed, and muscled navy soldiers I was amazed for the thousandth time in my life at how the army portrays the reality to themselves and to us. They insisted that it is me personally who is responsible for the violence that may happen if we do not obey and they will be “forced” to board our little boat. I cynically tried to show them how ridiculous it seems to have so many armed, strong and trained soldiers boarding a boat with 9 un-armed people, most of whom remember the second world war and civil right movement in the 60′s, who declare non-violence. How can they portray the violence as our responsibility. I reminded them of the holocaust survivor and bereaved parent on board and that we do not want any confrontation with them. I think it made them angry but reduced their possible violence to most passengers apart from Yonatan and I. It is very important to remember that the Israeli army had killed two Gazan fishermen in the passing week with minimum media attention for getting “too close” to what the IDF has decided the blockade border is. Therefore their violence toward us must be put in proportion to this.
During all the military action I was talking to Al Jazeera but I’m not sure what they have of it or what was broadcast as he was about to go on air when the phone was grabbed.

They attacked Itamar and took him to their boat. The other soldiers viciously pushed Glynn from the helm. The rest were holding hands singing “We Shall Overcome.” I think Reuven may have been playing his harmonica!

ITAMAR: At least 2 soldiers, to what I understood, were assigned to getting all recording devices. The Israeli Channel 10 reporter stood next to me and one of the soldiers just took his camera from his hand. I took the camera back without touching the soldier and put it behind my back and refused to give it to the soldiers. The soldier called another one and together tried to make me move with twisting arms and shouting and trying to reach for the camera. when they did not succeed they asked for a permission from their commander to arrest me. 4 of them dragged me to the military boat and forced me down to the boat’s floor in order to handcuff me. I did not give up until one of them pushed his fingers deep onto the artery in my neck, and then I heard Yonatan’s dreadful scream and saw him losing control of his body because of the electric shock he got. I shouted to Rami to throw the camera into the boat’s engine-room and Yonatan was brought to the military boat that I was on and we were both handcuffed and taken to a large ship.

While we were holding hands singing the soldiers started taking over everything. At that point I was sitting on the floor of the boat hugging Glynn and Reuven, trying to decrease the risk to them, then moved to sit with Rami. On each side one of the passengers turned off the engines so as not to make it possible for the navy to steer the boat to a different place.

Soldiers on boat approached me and Rami, they seemed to want to take me to a Navy boat. Me and Rami hugged each other – the strongest hug I have ever given to anyone!

The officer came towards us, pulling out his taser ordered us to stop holding on to each other. The soldier threatened if I did not let go they would hurt me, then tasered me on my right shoulder and shot twice – it was very painful – but not as painful as the next shot where he pulled aside my life jacket, put gun on my chest and fired.My whole body lost control and I convulsed like a fit, I let out a high pitched scream. Then they took me to one of their boats.

And that was the “non-violent” take over of the Jewish boat to Gaza. Of course if we were Palestinians or Muslims they would have shot with live ammo, but because we were Jews and Israelis and had world attention they did not want to do what they did to the Mavi Marmara. Of course later they took all evidence filmed by Eli and Vish and the only evidence which now exists is with the military and the military film itself. It would be amazing if somehow there was pressure for the army to release the media materials we shot – there’s no reason for them to keep it. It’s amazing footage of all 48 hours of the voyage and the messages we wrote on the masts and flags from everyone who had sent wishes. Probably the most powerful images are of the actual seconds when the Navy boarded the ship.

All our banners and flags were pulled down by the army and the boat was pulled with the rest of passengers on-board to Ashdod.

Itamar and I went to Ashdod in the big warship which took several hours. We saw the boat being towed to the port. We saw the protesters, friends, family and supporters waiting for us on the beach since the morning, and a boat of film makers with cameras that were trying to reach us but was intercepted and forced to turn back to the port.

Each one of us had an intimate body search – they touched me quite intimately but no internal search. Eventually we were taken to a police station in Ashdod and saw more demonstrators waiting for us outside.

The police station took several hours, they interrogated Rami, Itamar, Reuven, Eli and I and we were all accused of trying to enter an illegal closed zone, while Rami, Itamar and I were also accused of threatening, insulting and attacking the soldiers.We were all released around eight in the evening. It was shocking to be attacked so brutally whilst hugging and singing – the soldiers shouted at us, shook and pushed us. We were shocked to hear the army say the takeover was peaceful.

There was a big group of Israeli media and also people from Reuters and a few others waiting for us outside station. We answered their questions, then Reuven took out his harmonica and played a beautiful Jewish songs abut people who pursued peace. Everyone joined in around us, as we sang together some people who were passing by shouted things like “death to the Arabs”.

If we weren’t Jews and Israelis we would have much less chance to make it out alive. I send my love and thanks to everyone for all of their support, love and efforts to help us.”

NOTE:

Yonatan was not given or offered any medical attention at any point after he was shot with the taser.

They were released on 5000 N.I.S bail to return for additional interrogation or court discussion.

It is unclear as to whether they will be charged.

 

Supporters: Jewish organizations and individuals from UK, Holland, Germany, US, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, France, Austria, Australia and Israel.

Organizers and sponsors: European Jews for a Just Peace, Jews for Justice for Palestinians (UK), Juedische Stimme fuer einen gerechten Frieden in Nahost (Germany), American Jews for a Just Peace (USA), Jewish Voice for Peace (USA), Jews Against the Occupation Sydney.


 

Updates

Message of Support and article from John Pilger

John Pilger is a world-renowned journalist, author and documentary filmmaker and a personal friend of one of the passengers onboard the Irene, Rami Elhanan. He sent this message of support after the Irene set sail:

“The Jewish Boat to Gaza is such good news, and inspiring, especially as it draws a clear line of humanity and principle between the Jewish people and those who deny the humanity of the Palestinian people. My friend Rami Elhanan is the embodiment of this, and he’s on board. All power to the Jewish Boat to Gaza.”

You can read his article featuring Rami for the New Statesman here:
Photo by Paul Mason

 

His family are greatly relieved to have him home, his partner Vanessa said “I feel very proud of Glyn and all the crew and passengers.  I’m thrilled to bits that it came off and that he’s home.  It’s been wonderful to have such support from everyone in getting them home safely.  It was really important to me to be involved in the send off from Cyprus, and to get to know the passengers and crew I’ve just got huge admiration for everyone involved.”

Dr Edith Lutz

We have just heard from the legal team in Israel that they have been allowed in to visit Edith, accompanied by two members of the German consulate.

Edith will be held until Sunday at Givon Deportment Center in Ramla, when she will go before a judge, and will be offered the option of deportation to Germany.  Our lawyer informed us that she was under the impression that if she refused deportation she would be allowed to visit the Israeli crew members.

She has now been informed that the Israeli and the rest of the Foreign Nationals have been released, which is a great relief to her, however she reports that she is very sad to miss her husband’s birthday.  Our legal team reports that despite this she is well and in good spirits.

We have also found out that today is Women’s Visit Day at the Givon Deportment Center.  If any local well wishers would like to try to visit her to show their support the number of the center is 00972 8978 7222.

For international well wishers and supporters, we are trying to pass on as many messages of support to her as we can, so please continue send messages to us via email, our facebook group or twitter.

We are pleased that the authorities in Israel are now co-operating with us, and allowing her to be visited by her legal representatives, and would like to thank everyone who contacted the German Embassy or Consulate in Israel.

London Press Team, Jewish Boat to Gaza

We have spoken with Yonatan and Itamar Shapira – two of the Israeli crew!

We can share the great news that tonight the London media team spoke at length with two of the crew of the Irene, Yonatan and Itamar Shapira who are safe and well and with their family in Israel.

Check back soon to read a transcript of what they had to say but I will leave you with an excerpt from the declaration that was read by the crew and passengers of the Irene to the Israeli forces as they approached them:

The blockade as well as the occupation is inhumane and contridicts universal, moral, and Jewish values.
Use your conscience.
Remember our painful history.
Refuse to inforce the blockade.
Refuse to occupy Palestine.

Goodnight!

International Members of the Crew

We have just heard from the legal team that three of the international members of the crew of the Irene, Captain Glynn Secker, Vish Vishvanath and Lilian Rosengarten, are at Ben Gurion airport.  They are being held in police custody,  but will be on the first available flights home.

They have had their phones confiscated, so we have not had any direct contact with them, however their legal representatives say they are all safe and well, if a little tired. We have informed their family members of their imminent arrival home and they are all relieved at the news.

The fourth International member of the crew, Dr Edith Lutz, has chosen to remain in prison at Givon Deportment Center, and will be detained there for 73 hours, because she has refused to be deported.  Her legal representatives, and the German Consulate hope to make contact with her tomorrow. We all are extemely proud of her stand, and hope to pass on this message, as well as the news that her Israeli crewmates are all safely home.  We will let you when we hear anything further.

We would like to thank everyone who contacted their foreign offices or the respective consulates in Israel as we believe that this has helped secure a speedy release for our international crew members.

We would like to arrange a welcoming committee for well-wishers, supporters and press for the returning crew members.  If you would like to attend and show your support for them, then we have the following flight details:

  • Vish Vishvanath will be travelling on  El Al Airline Flight LY0213 arriving at Luton at 8.25 tomorrow (29th Sept 2010)
  • Glyn Secker will be on El Al Airline Flight LY315 arriving at Heathrow at 13.35 tomorrow (29th Sept 2010)
  • We are currently trying to contact the US Embassy to find out the exact details of the flight, and will let you know as soon as possible.

Please also forward any messages of support to us, either by email, facebook or twitter so we can pass them on to the passengers and crew who were on the boat.

Israeli nationals released and heading home

We have confirmation that the Israeli members of the passengers and crew of the Irene have been released from prison just over an hour a go, and are expected home very soon.  They have all had their phones confiscated so we have not had contact with them yet, but we have spoken to their family members, who are all very relieved about their imminent safe return.  We will get them to contact us as soon as we can.

London Press Office, Jewish Boat to Gaza

 

 

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