Showing posts with label Huwaida Arraf. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Huwaida Arraf. Show all posts

Friday, June 17, 2011

US Boat to Gaza has its determined enemies


The US Boat to Gaza is a member group of the US Campaign, and a US Campaign endorsed initiative.

Unprecedented Civil Suit Filed Today in N.Y. Court to Seize Gaza Flotilla Ships

PRNewswire-USNewswire
June 16, 2011

An American victim of a Palestinian terror attack today filed an unprecedented lawsuit to seize ships used by Islamic and anti-Israeli organizations to breach Israel's coastal blockade of the Gaza Strip.

The suit, Bauer v. The Mavi Marmara, was filed in Manhattan federal court. It seeks to confiscate 14 ships outfitted with funds unlawfully raised in the United States by anti-Israel groups, including The Free Gaza Movement ("FGM"). In May 2010, several of these ships, led by the Turkish vessel the Mavi Marmara, attempted to breach the blockade. The resulting violence caused the deaths of nine militants and injury to numerous Israeli Navy SEALs. A second such flotilla is planned in coming weeks.

The plaintiff, American biologist, Dr. Alan Bauer, who along with his son Jonathan was seriously injured in a Palestinian suicide bombing on March 21, 2002 in Jerusalem, alleges that FGM and other American-based anti-Israel organizations have raised funds in the United States to outfit the Gaza Flotilla ships. The lawsuit contends that furnishing and outfitting the ships, which are being used for hostilities against a U.S. ally, violates American law. The plaintiff rests his claim upon a rarely-utilized "informant" statute (18 U.S.C. section 962) that allows a plaintiff (called an "informer") to privately seize ships outfitted in the United States for use against a U.S. ally.

The plaintiffs are represented by attorneys Robert J. Tolchin Esq. of New York, and Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, Esq. of Israel, founder of Israeli human rights group Shurat HaDin (Israel Law Center).

This is the first lawsuit brought to seize the Gaza Flotilla ships.

Attorney Darshan-Leitner said, "We intend to seize the Gaza Flotilla ships and turn them over to a victim of Palestinian terrorism. The extremists organizing these hostile provocations against Israel must not be allowed to illegally raise funds for their operations in the U.S.  Escalating attacks on Israel from all directions require new and innovative responses. This unprecedented private action will help block their efforts to breach the coastal blockade and smuggle materials to Hamas in Gaza."

Attorney Robert Tolchin added, "This lawsuit will bring judgment to people who have until now ignored the law. Each flotilla ship is an attack on Israel and thus a slap in the face to the United States and every other nation that is at peace with Israel. The flotilla organizers, and the owners of these boats, should be held accountable for the damages and deaths they cause."

A copy of the complaint is available here.

SEE ORIGINAL ON PRNEWSWIRE...

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I'm Setting Sail for Gaza Again & You Can Help

Dear Friends,

One year ago today, as Israeli naval commandoes attacked the Gaza Freedom Flotilla in international waters, I was on board The Challenger, a U.S.-flagged ship that was part of this international effort to break Israel's illegal blockade of the Palestinian Gaza Strip. 

Israeli commandoes grabbed me by my hair and rammed my head into the deck. They then stepped on my head in order to cuff my hands behind my back and then put a sack over my head. Worse yet, the commandoes killed nine of my fellow passengers, including 19-year old U.S. citizen Furkan Dogan, on the Mavi Marmara.

An international fact-finding mission of the UN Human Rights Council concluded that Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip is "collective punishment"--a war crime--and that its May 31, 2010, attack on the flotilla in order to enforce its blockade was "illegal." The mission found that six passengers, including Furkan, were killed "in a manner consistent with an extra-legal, arbitrary and summary execution," and that survivors were subjected to "torture."

Rather than put pressure on Israel to end its illegal blockade of Gaza, investigate Israel's killing of a U.S. citizen and attack against a U.S. ship, and sanction Israel for misusing U.S. weapons to attack the flotilla, the Obama Administration shamefully has tried to shield Israel from accountability for its actions. 

On Saturday, Egypt permanently reopened its border crossing with Rafah. This is an important step toward ending Gaza's isolation. But because Israel is still illegally blockading Gaza by land, sea and air, and because my country--the United States--is still enabling Israel to get away with it (in April, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice even publicly pressured governments to block future flotillas), in June I plan to sail for Gaza again with "Freedom Flotilla II -- Stay Human."

I need you to help us break Israel's illegal blockade of Gaza, bring messages of solidarity to the 1.5 million Palestinians who are suffering Israel's collective punishment, and make sure that Israel does not repeat its illegal attack on us.

Here's how you can help today!

1. Tell President Obama to ensure safe passage of the Freedom Flotilla II to Gaza.

2. Visit the website of US Campaign member group U.S. Boat to Gaza, which is organizing The Audacity of Hope, the U.S. component of this flotilla. There you can take action by writing a letter of solidarity to Palestinians in Gaza, sign up for email updates, and much more.

I am proud to be an Advisory Board Member of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation because of all the amazing work we do together to change U.S. policy to support freedom, justice and equality for Palestinians.  I'm so glad that the US Campaign has endorsed the U.S. Boat to Gaza.

Thank you for taking action with me to ensure the success of the Freedom Flotilla II!

In solidarity,

Huwaida Arraf
Member, US Campaign Advisory Board
Chair, Free Gaza Movement

Monday, July 27, 2009

Huwaida Arraf: "Free Gaza--and Palestine "

US Campaign Advisory Board member Huwaida Arraf writes in The Nation about her experience with the Free Gaza Movement and the attempt to sail into the Gaza Strip on the Spirit of Humanity--an attempt that was blocked by the Israeli military:
"My colleagues and I invested time and energy in this difficult journey and put our lives at risk because for too long the international community has been complicit in Israel's crimes against the Palestinian people. For too long, diplomats and world leaders have paid lip service to Palestinian human rights. For too long, the Palestinian people have been told to wait--wait in the checkpoint line, wait on the peace process, wait to have your rights recognized, wait for freedom"
To read the full article, click here.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

US Campaign Advisory Board Member Huwaida Arraf: Israel's policy has nothing to do with security

Free Gaza!

Many of you have already heard the news that the Israeli navy has surrounded and boarded the Free Gaza Movement ship Spirit of Humanity while en route to the Gaza Strip, and has prevented the ship from completing its voyage. The ship, its crew, and passengers were on their way to deliver humanitarian and rebuilding supplies to the Gaza Strip. At no time did they enter Israeli waters. The ship and those on board have now been taken to an Israeli port. We are waiting for updates on the status of the boat, its crew, and passengers. For updates, please see the Free Gaza Movement website. The Huffington Post is also carrying an article on the Free Gaza boat. Just before the boat was boarded, US Campaign Advisory Board member and Free Gaza Movement chair Huwaida Arraf issued the following statement: "No one could possibly believe that our small boat constitutes any sort of threat to Israel. We carry medical and reconstruction supplies, and children's toys. Our passengers include a Nobel peace prize laureate and a former U.S. congressperson. Our boat was searched and received a security clearance by Cypriot Port Authorities before we departed, and at no time did we ever approach Israeli waters." Arraf continued, "Israel's deliberate and premeditated attack on our unarmed boat is a clear violation of international law and we demand our immediate and unconditional release." Take action to demand that Israel release these prisoners, illegally kidnapped in international waters, and allow them to complete their mission!