Wednesday, March 23, 2011

US Boat to Gaza Responds to IDF Spying on Internationals

Editor's Note: US to Gaza is one of more than 325 coalition members of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.

For Immediate Release
Press Contact: Felice Gelman, 917-912-2597

According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, the Israeli government is "launching a public campaign" today, March 22, 2011 aimed at stopping the planned International Freedom Flotilla set to sail this spring. This news comes on the heels of information that the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) announced it has formed a special unit to "monitor" foreign nationals opposed to its policies, including the flotilla.

The U.S. Boat to Gaza project has been organizing a boat called The Audacity of Hope that will be one of the approximately 15 boats that will sail to Gaza with people from over 22 countries. This non-violent, international flotilla will be sailing close to the one year anniversary of a flotilla that was brutally attacked by the IDF, killing nine people and injuring many more. Organizers of The Audacity of Hope are outraged that the Israeli government is monitoring people in this country, as well as other nations, who are doing nothing illegal or threatening to that government.

"If the Israeli government is worried about so-called "delegitimization" they should put an end to their immoral siege against the people of Gaza. Instead of monitoring people in other countries, the Israeli government should be ending their illegal, counterproductive, and often violent policies towards Palestinians and internationals protesting peacefully," said Gail Miller, one of the organizers. "Israeli authorities seem intent on silencing dissent from within and without. If Israel believes that infiltrating, spying on, and perhaps once again attacking, un-armed human rights advocates in international waters or elsewhere is going to serve Israel’s interest or lessen criticism of its unsustainable policies they are wrong."