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August 28, 2008

The SS Free Gaza and SS Liberty left port in Gaza at 3:40 PM

The SS Free Gaza and SS Liberty left port in Gaza at 3:40 PM, and have
begun their long voyage back to Cyprus. Aboard the ship are seven
Palestinian passengers, including several children. We were able to speak
with Paul Larudee on the SS Liberty just a few minutes ago:

“We’re a little over an hour into our return trip to Cyprus and, unlike
when we came in, there are several Israeli naval vessels in sight. We seem
to be the focus of their activity, the center of their attention so to
speak. However they’re keeping a careful distance, not really approaching
us. We expect to reach the twelve-mile limit around 7 PM this evening, and
then cross over into international waters.

“When we arrived in Gaza last Saturday, it was the first time in forty-one
years that anyone has freely entered Gaza. But our leaving is in a way
even more significant. Last Saturday, two of our Palestinian members came
into Gaza on these boats. Today, seven more Palestinians are leaving with
them. They got exit stamps from the Palestinian government, they boarded
the ships, and soon they’ll be in international waters, and then in
Cyprus. This is the first time, ever, that Palestinians have been able to
freely enter and leave their own country. It’s an incredible step forward,
and a sign of greater things to come.”

–Paul Larudee, aboard the SS Liberty, freely leaving Gaza.


Date : 08-26-2008

(GAZA CITY, 26 August 2008) – The SS Free Gaza and SS Liberty will leave Gaza for Cyprus on Thursday morning at 9:00 am. Several Palestinian students who have been denied exit visas by Israel will travel to Cyprus on the boats. One Palestinian professor will finally be able to go back to teaching in Europe and one young, Palestinian woman will finally be reunited with her husband. Several of the Free Gaza international human rights workers will remain in Gaza to do human rights monitoring.

By freely traveling to Gaza, on Saturday, August 23rd, in two, small, wooden boats, the Free Gaza Movement forced the Israeli government to issue a fundamental policy change regarding their military and economic blockade of Gaza. Until now, Israel has wanted absolute control of Gaza with no responsibility. Israel has managed to maintain this situation, in spite of international law, because its policies have never been challenged.

When the SS Free Gaza and SS Liberty approached the waters of Gaza, the Israeli government had to decide whether it wanted to publicly acknowledge that Israel remains an occupying power in Gaza, in which case Israel would be responsible under international law for its actions, including war crimes. In the face of intense, public scrutiny, Israel instead chose to acknowledge the inherent right of Palestinians to freely engage with the world. The Israeli Ministry of Foreign affairs publicly announced that humanitarian and human rights missions to Gaza will no longer be stopped or threatened by Israel. With the end of the Israeli siege of Gaza, Palestinians are free to exercise their rights without fear of being stopped or killed by the Israeli military.

Since the organizers of the Free Gaza Movement will not be entering Israeli territorial waters, and since they will request an inspection from the Gaza Port Authority, they expect no interference on the part of the Israeli authorities when they leave Gaza. By Israel’s own admission, it has no authority to inspect the boats or the passengers when they leave Gaza.

With the collapse of the Israeli blockade, the Free Gaza Movement will quickly return to Gaza with another delegation, and invites the United Nations, Arab League and international community to organize similar human rights and humanitarian efforts. The Free Gaza Movement will continue to work to ensure the free passage between Gaza and the outside world will remain safe and open.

For an illustrated version of this article see here

Biden the zionist

Mainstream news pundits are calling the Obama/Biden ticket “the most liberal ever”. Surprise, surprise, nothing could be further from the truth. If Cheney pulls Dubya’s strings, then Biden will certainly pull Obama’s, but who will be pulling Biden’s?

Watch this short interview for a not-so-subtle hint.

Found this here

Nothing much to hope for

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