Activists Challenge Israel's Other Blockade by Air
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This year’s Nakba and Naksa Day protests saw Israel besieged on every one of its garrisoned borders by unarmed Palestinians simply wanting to return home. Freedom Flotilla 2 is defying Israel’s punitive naval blockade of the Gaza Strip. We see the July 8 week of action as our contribution to the new movement that is chipping away at the walls and borders of Fortress Israel.
Taking our cue from the strategy of the Flotilla, we are not hiding our intentions. We openly declare that we are peaceful and mean no harm to any Israelis. We carry nothing dangerous in our bags and are committed to using only nonviolent action. Our aim is to enter Palestine and visit our Palestinian friends in Bethlehem, Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Territories. Of course, it is entirely possible that the Israeli authorities will prevent us from doing that. If that is what comes to pass, we are prepared to peacefully resist being deported and willing to be detained if necessary.
Some may say that this is a foolhardy action that will result in nothing more than hundreds of dedicated activists being deported and possibly denied entry to Palestine in the future. But just as no one thinks that one flotilla (or two or three) is going to bring the blockade of Gaza to an end, no one thinks one week of action is going to break the Israeli stranglehold on the West Bank. It is one step on the road to dismantling the system of Israeli colonization, occupation and apartheid in favor of a solution that brings justice and equality to all who call Israel/Palestine their home.
The eyes of the world will be on Israel/Palestine in coming weeks. The Israeli government’s increasingly hysterical reactions to the second Freedom Flotilla—from threatening journalists, to claiming Flotilla activists are prepared to attack Israeli soldiers with sulfur, to (it seems likely) sabotaging boats—have only exposed how much they fear unarmed civil resistance. The Arab revolutions and the growing international movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) have opened up new horizons for the struggle against Israeli apartheid. Now is the moment to challenge it on every front.
For information on the July 8 week of action, including how to participate, visit the Palestine Justice Network or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Much more information about the action, in French and English, can also be found at Bienvenue en Palestine.