PRESS STATEMENT The Spirit of Rachel Corrie Mission hereby objects to the use of an Israeli land port to deliver its humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people. The team is thankful to the Malaysian Government for their negotiations with the Egyptian Government in securing the docking of MV Finch into the El-Arish Port since May 16th. We have been informed that the Egyptian Government has imposed on the Malaysian Government as a condition precedent for the cargo to be discharged, that the same be transported via Karem Shalom, at the Israeli border in Gaza. The team was never consulted in the negotiations nor was its opinion taken into consideration by the Egyptian Government. This decision is against the principle of the team’s mission, which is to break the illegal siege of Gaza by the Israelis. Have we agreed to the cargo being unloaded via Israel, we would have agreed on the 16th of May, when the Israeli navy demanded that we proceed to Ashdod. However, we insisted in proceeding to Gaza Port and were then attacked brutally by the Israeli navy. On 28th April 2011, the Foreign Ministry of Egypt issued a statement that the Rafah Crossing would be permanently opened to enable humanitarian aid to pass through Gaza. It is therefore in contradiction and inconsistent with our intent that our cargo should now be diverted via Israel and with the expressed permission of Israel which we did not and will not seek in any circumstances. To comply with this unreasonable demand would abrogate the fundamental principle by which we embarked on this mission – to break the illegal siege of Gaza. In addition, we are not assured that this cargo would in fact be delivered to Gaza, as in the past, all assurances given to previous missions were not implemented and most of the humanitarian aid were laid to waste, only 40% was allowed to enter Gaza. For the past 10 days, we were given repeated assurances by the Egyptian Government that the cargo of PVC pipes to restore the destroyed sewerage system would in fact be transported via Rafah. This turn of events demonstrates the insincerity of the Egyptian Government and their implicit endorsement of the illegal siege when they explicitly stated they would permanently open the Rafah Crossing to humanitarian aid, and as this aid will prevent the spread of infectious diseases must be considered humanitarian aid. We are therefore compelled to take drastic action to uphold the dignity of the Palestinian people and the justice of the cause. Any compromise of this fundamental principle would undermine the heroic struggle of the Palestinians in the last few years to resist the cruel and inhumane blockade of Gaza, the largest open prison in the world and a collective punishment of the 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza. This is a unanimous decision of the team which consists of a crew of 5 comprising 3 Malaysians and 2 Indians, and 7 activists made up of 4 Malaysians, 2 Irish and 1 Canadian, expressing and representing the aspirations of all people who support the just struggle of the Palestinians to break the inhumane and illegal siege. This illegal siege by Israel is a contravention of the Geneva Conventions which inter alia provides that a nation under occupation is entitled to have access to clean drinking water and sanitary conditions. As a result of the barbaric invasion codenamed “Operation Cast Lead” in 2008, 7.5km of sewage pipes were destroyed. Yet, our cargo of 7.5km PVC pipes, a humanitarian aid to restore the existing sewerage system, has been denied entry to Gaza. We appeal to all just and peace loving people to support our stand on this issue and the struggle of the Palestinians to live in peace and dignity. ON BEHALF OF THE TEAM, MATTHIAS CHANG, MISSION LEADER, THE SPIRIT OF RACHEL CORRIE MISSION, MAY 2011, EL-ARISH, EGYPT
Archive for May, 2011
Derek and jenny were not in charge of this mission and hope people understand they are not in agreement with every decision that has been made especially decisions without agreement by all on board and they will issue statement when they have proper access to phones and internet.
Derek and Jenny Graham (Ballina, Co.Mayo), have again tried to enter Gaza by boat. The boat was sponsored by the Malaysian anti war charity Perdana the Global Peace Foundation. The boat was carrying 7.5 Km of PVC plastic sewage pipe for the repair of the damaged swage infrastructure. The boat was intercepted in Palestinian Territorial Waters 400m off the Gaza coast on 16th of May at 6.35 am local time. The boat was shot at by the Israeli navy and forced to return to Egyptian waters where it was met by the Egyptian navy. The Egyptian navy boarded the vessel and after inspecting the cargo confirmed it was as stated a humanitarian cargo (7.5 Km of PVC plastic sewage pipe). The Egyptian navy gave the boat two options, return to international waters or come to El Arish port, where the boat could land and offload their cargo. The boat decided to go to El Arish.
6 days later the boat is still anchored outside the port waiting to dock. Thursday evening the boat received fresh supplies of food and water but sadly is still waiting to receive permission from Egyptian authorities to enter port.
Back in Malaysia they are doing everything they can to help and the attack has been roundly condemned by the Malaysian Prime Minister and the Malaysian Foreign Minister.
Derek and Jenny , Astro Awani, ( malaysia tv) sudut Pandang, april 22nd 2011
Dr. Zulaiha Ismail and Jenny Graham, bella ntv7, ( Malaysia) april 24th 2011
Irish in Gaza was proud to be part of the launch of PGPF, ( Perdana Global Peace Foundation)
Kuala Lumpur, 22nd April, It is with great pleasure that we announce the launch of the Perdana Global Peace Foundation, PGPF.
Incorporated on October 8th, 2010, PGPF is a more comprehensive entity to replace the previous Perdana Global Peace Organisation, PGPO.
Given the scope of its international commitment, PGPO was restructured to a tax-exempt charitable foundation as a vehicle to raise sustainable funds for the purpose of carrying out the activities of the foundation which include organising and delivery of humanitarian aid missions and programmes such as conferences and exhibitions aimed at criminalising war.
Like its predecessor, this Foundation is based on the Kuala Lumpur Initiative to Criminalise War – a reference document that details the mission and strategies to criminalise war.
PGPF is a first but resolute step in the arduous journey towards global peace, with the single goal of putting an end to war. Founder and President, Tun Dr. Mahathir, envisages “a serious, active and sustained struggle against war and for peace”, even if the journey takes a thousand years, and probably would take more than our lifetimes.
This is reflected in PGPF’s logo. The design uses the sun and the road as the central elements. The meaning is clearly conveyed as a road to peace, which is the central purpose of the event.
The primary colour used is a light, bright green that is always associated with new beginnings like that of a young shoot reaching out to the sun. The design of the logo is one of hope signified by the dominating sun in the distance. The overall energy is positive to influence the flow and mood of the foundation.
Sharing and supporting this agenda are world-prominent professionals, activists, intellectuals, authors, statesmen – all passionate advocates of international peace.
PGPF aims to initiate a global forum that encourages dialogue between different parties in the hope that the fora builds understanding, fosters a love for peace and instills the resolution to end war.
The launching of PGPF’s logo is then followed by the presentation and photo session of the personally autographed, A Doctor in the House: The Memoirs of Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad. The presentation of the best-seller is an appreciation to generous donors for their contributions to PGPF.
“JELAJAH KEAMANAN 2011” (Peace Expedition) is part of the ongoing efforts by Perdana Global Peace Foundation in advocating peace and criminalising war, to be accomplished through road shows in selected states in Peninsular Malaysia.
Targeting university students and youth the objectives are to create awareness and sending powerful message to youth towards changing traditional perceptions of war and peace into one which makes war illegal. Amongst the planned programmes towards achieving this is the ‘Discourse Series’, ‘XPDC Keamanan’ and ‘Wakaf Water4Gaza’..
‘Discourse Series’ would feature prominent speakers to elaborate on issues of global concern regarding human rights, peace, criminalizing war, weapons of mass destruction, victims of war, global political landscape, Israel-US controlled media, economic sanctions, military sanctions, etc.
‘XPDC Keamanan’ is likened to that of the treasure hunt game, as a means of adding excitement and challenge to inspire the youth to have responsibility in putting greater citizen pressure on governments to make war a crime.
The ‘Wakaf Water4Gaza’ seeks to raise cash of RM1.5 million for the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. ‘Wakaf’ or pious endowments is an act of charity much enjoined by Islam.
Funds will be raised through the ‘Wakaf’ of 1.5 million 500 mililiter bottled mineral water as a symbolic gesture representing 1.5 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip as about 95% of the water is undrinkable. The sewerage reticulation system and water desalination plants were destroyed by the Israeli forces in a devastating bombing campaign on the Gaza Strip beginning 27th December 2008. By 18 January 2009 some 1,400 Palestinians had been killed and large areas of Gaza had been razed to the ground.
The “Break the Siege on Gaza” is a campaign to ensure that the illegal siege and violations of human rights to which the people of Gaza were being subjected should be an urgent humanitarian priority of the international community.
The objective to increase awareness of the plight of the Palestinians and to outrage and push for concerted action by civil society around the world of the three-year siege against Gaza.
The PGPF launching event will end with the flagging-off ‘Jelajah Keamanan’ by YBhg Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, Honourable Adviser of Perdana Global Peace Foundation. – PGPF
Below are some of the media coverage for the event:Bernama – Perdana Global Peace Organisation Is Now A Foundation Bernama – PGPO To Continue Helping Palestine, Says Tun Dr Mahathir The Star – Mahathir: Foundation to send aid to Palestine Malay Mail – Perdana Global Peace Organisation Is Now A Foundation