Rachel Corrie sailing slowly to Gaza

'Rachel Corrie' with some of the activists/volunteers, which include PGPO's Matthias Chang and Shamsul Akmar Musa Kamal

[Cyprus, June 4, 2010] The Rachel Corrie is 150 miles away from Gaza in international waters and on her way. They will arrive on Saturday morning.

The 1200 ton cargo ship is the last ship from the Freedom Flotilla and is loaded with construction materials, 20 tons of paper and many other supplies that Israel refuses to allow into the imprisoned people of Gaza.

Some of the High-Profile people on board:

Mairead Maguire from Belfast, Ireland, a Nobel Peace Laureate (l976) and Co-founder of Peace People, Northern Ireland.  She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her work for peace and a nonviolent solution to the Ethnic/political conflict in Northern Ireland. Mairead went on the maiden Voyage of Dignity in October 2008, the second successful voyage for the Free Gaza Movement.  She was also on Board  Spirit  when Israel hijacked the Boat in International Waters, taking all 2l humanitarian passengers to Israel, where they were arrested, detained for a week in an Israeli prison and then deported.

Denis Halliday, from Ireland, a UN Assistant Secretary-General from 1994-98. Appointed by SG Boutros Ghali, he served as ASG UN Human Resources Management in New York and in mid 1997 to end 1998 as Head, Humanitarian Programme in Iraq to support the Iraqi people struggling under the genocidal impact of UN Sanctions. Since resigning from the UN in 1998, Halliday has delivered numerous parliamentary briefings, provided extensive media inputs and has given public/university lectures on Iraq, human rights, and the UN, in particular its reform.

Matthias Chang Wen Chieh is a Malaysian of Chinese descent. He is a Barrister of 32 years standing and once served as the Political Secretary to the Fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad. He is the author of three bestsellers,  Future Fast Forward ,  Brainwashed for War, Programmed to Kill , and  The Shadow Money-Lenders and the Global Financial Tsunami , published in the US and in Malaysia.

Mohd Nizar bin Zakaria,Perak, Malaysia, MP Mohd Nizar bin Zakaria is a Member of the Malaysian Parliament.

In addition, there is a three-member camera crew on board from Malaysia TV3 and journalist Shamsul Akmar bin Musa Kamal.

The passengers on board the ship have stated,  Communication is difficult and sometimes impossible and there are many rumors out there started by Israeli authorities, but there is no way we are going to Ashdod. We are, for sure, on our way to Gaza.

Published in: on June 4, 2010 at 19:06  Comments (1)  

Israeli operatives sabotaged ‘Freedom Flotilla’

(Cyprus, June 4, 2010) On Tuesday,, Colonel Itzik Tourgeman told the Knesset Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday that two more ships are on their way to try and break the naval blockade of Gaza. The head of research in the operations division said, “The ships have not reached their target as of today because covert action was taken against them.”


http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/Flash.aspx/187299

We had suspicions about our two boats, Challenger 1 and 2 and their mechanical problems as they sailed toward the flotilla, but we were not going to say anything unless we could prove it. Turns out we didn’t have to prove it. Israeli mouthpieces did.

The Guardian ran a piece the same day, saying,

Israel gave strong indications today that its forces had secretly sabotaged some of the ships bound for Gaza as part of the freedom flotilla.

Matan Vilnai, the deputy defence minister, was asked on Israel Radio whether there had not been a smarter alternative to direct assault. He answered that “all possibilities had been considered,” adding: “The fact is that there were less than the 10 ships that were due to participate in the flotilla.”

An unnamed Israeli Defence Force source who briefed the Knesset’s foreign affairs and defence committee on the widely criticised armed interception of the flotilla at sea, also spoke of “grey operations” being mounted against the flotilla.”

We were lucky that our two captains were supurbly trained and able to offload the passengers safely.

So we are going to make sure the Rachel Corrie is well protected and that Israel is put on notice that anything that happens to her, the passengers and the crew will rest with Israel. As a result of these threats, we’re going to pull Rachel Corrie into a port, add more high-profile people on board, and insist that journalists from around the world also come with us.

And sabotage happens with more than deeds. It also happens with words. In today’s Haaretz, Barak Ravid reported,

“A diplomatic solution seems imminent to allow the humanitarian aid vessel the Rachel Corrie to dock without incident at the Ashdod Port. According to European diplomats and senior Foreign Ministry officials in Jerusalem, quiet messages have been exchanged over the past few days between Israel and the group operating the ship, to allow it to dock.”

This, too, is sabotage in writing. We called Haaretz and the reporter. He did not return our call.

We have no intention nor would we ever have any intention of ever docking in Ashdod.

Published in: on June 4, 2010 at 00:06  Comments (2)