Take a few moments to read about the Irish in Gaza…
I wrote previously about Derek and Jenny Graham and their voyage to Gaza, and how they were trying to bring attention to the suffering in the region. Jenny wrote back to us recently with an update on the last journey, their new plans, and a call for help…
The Spirit of Humanity
“Our last boat, the Spirit of Humanity, was intercepted in international waters by the Israeli army in late June this year, and boarded after being surrounded by 5 gunships, Zodiacs, and an F16.
All onboard were held in detention accused of entering Israel illegally, even though they dragged us handcuffed and at gunpoint to Israel! We had 2 Irish citizens on board, Derek Graham and Mairead Mcguire, a nobel peace prize laureate.”
(The Irish were held for 8 days before being deported back to Ireland – full coverage at www.freegaza.org and www. irishingaza.wordpress.com and a summary in the Irish Times.)
“This of course did not deter us and we are preparing to sail again. This time we hope to run a convoy from different countries travelling together. Our vessel, and the one we need support for, is an Irish boat travelling from Ireland. We will have Irish politicians from both sides of the border and Irish musicians on board. The musicians will record an album on the journey, and once in Gaza we will invite Palestinian musicians to add their own music. We will then release the album to the public to get the plight of the Palestinians out there.
We, FreeGaza Ireland, are a small bunch of regular folk, absolutely nothing special and we need help. We don’t have much time, the weather is against us, and it is already almost a year since the invasion on Gaza. Although 5 billion has been pledged in the reconstruction of Gaza not one penny has actually been spent.” ——————————————————————————–
Jenny and Derek are desperately trying to help publicise the fact that the crossings into Gaza need to be opened, and that unimpeded entry of humanitarian aid and reconstruction materials is critical. The more publicity they get from the journey the better the chance of the siege being lifted.
Whatever your politics it’s hard to deny this is a just and worthwhile cause, and to keep up the momentum they need financial support. The venture is funded from donations and if you’re in a position to help they would obviously very much appreciate it. They have a Paypal donation link on their home page if you’d like to make an individual contribution.
Fund-raising events are also particularly effective as they get the message out to more people, and if it’s practical Jenny has told us they would be pleased to help in any way possible for anyone organising an event – so get your thinking hats on!
(Jenny and Derek will be back in Ireland for the next two months, but would also be very grateful of support from our Irish further afield if you’re in a position to do something).
There are plenty of disturbing images from Gaza, but maybe we should finish on a more positive and hopeful note – a video that shows you the nature of the people, some hints of the hardships and losses, and a sense of what life could be like if it’s allowed to return to normal…
Well done guys, and all who are able to support, and everyone else involved in trying to bring visibility and resolution to this catastrophe. www.diaspora.ie