A JEWISH BOAT TO GAZA
Jewish Boat 2 Gaza
The boat is the initiative of the German group, Jüdische Stimme für gerechten Frieden in Nahost in conjunction with Jews For Justice for Palestinians in the UK.
The principles of our mission, as Jewish organizations representing the major alternative voice of Jews in Europe are:
A. To protest against and challenge the blockade of Gaza, on the basis that it constitutes an illegal, collective punishment of the whole population. To protest that the blockade is a grossly immoral act subjecting the people to subsistence living, denying them basic medical services, forcing them to live in the ruins of their homes (following the bombardment of Gaza by the Israeli forces 18 months ago) by denying them materials for reconstruction, denying toys to the children,denying them the right to fish in their own territorial waters, denying them the materials to reconstruct their sewage and fresh water systems and in so doing bringing about an horrendous public health crisis and a mental health catastrophe.
B. To protest against Israel’s continuing occupation and settlement of Palestinian land, and the Israeli government’s self-evident intention of annexing much of that land.
C. To make a statement that the current policies of Israel are not representative of all Jews, that there are thousands of us who wish to state ‘Not in our name’, that instead we stand in the proud Jewish tradition of justice, of championing the rights of the downtrodden, of implacable opposition to prejudice and racism in all their forms. We refer Jews to the teachings of Rabbi Hillel, “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbour. That is the whole Torah”, and to the work of Rene Cassin, a Jew who shortly after the Holocaust, drafted the text which became the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, and which Israel is now guilty of grossly violating.
D. We believe that the current policies towards Gaza are counterproductive in two ways: they serve only to fuel the anger of Palestinians, their leaders and their supporters throughout the Arab and the wider world: by fuelling the cycle of violence they serve as a self-fulfilling prophecy, for they generate the very aggressive response to Israel which the blockade is intended to counter. The second counterproductive effect is to feed within Israel a sense of isolation and a sense of persecution which generate towards outsiders and critics (whether the critics be Jew or non-Jew) fear and hatred. This in turn fuels an embracing of aggression and violence. We believe that Israel’s policies are destructive of the soul of its own people, that these policies reveal that a people who oppress another can never themselves be free.
E. The aid goods which we will carry on our small boat are necessarily symbolic: we will have small pieces of medical equipment like blood pressure monitors, insulated cool boxes for medicines, antibiotics, sterile needles and dressings at the request at the time of medical authorities. We will be taking school books and equipment donated by German schoolchildren for the children of Gaza, and art materials and musical instruments for the young and the youth, to support the Gaza Community Mental Health Program, and we will be taking fishing nets and fishing tackle for the fishermen of Gaza.
F. We, above all, should have a deep understanding of and implacably reject the oppression of others.
Jewish Ship to Gaza (including a link to paypal)
a new website is under construction: www.jewishboat2gaza.org
Jüdische Stimme für gerechten Frieden in Nahost