Women of the world need your support to sail for Palestine 

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(Photo credit: Gregory Costanzo)

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The people of Palestine – both Gaza and the West Bank, arbitrarily split by Israeli separation policies which are illegal in international law – suffer daily abuse, deprivation and oppression. The United Nations, as well as major aid agencies such as Oxfam, provide testimony that Gaza has not been able to recover from the last Israeli assault of 2014. 75,000 people cannot return to their ruined homes and 80% of the population relies on international humanitarian aid just to survive.

 Women are in the front line – literally. They are the ones trying to keep their homes and families together among their ruined houses. They are the ones trying to guide and protect their traumatized children living in a war zone. They are the ones suffering, but they are also the ones leading.

Take for example Palestinian journalist Ameera Harouda, who runs towards the sounds of bombs because “I want to be there first because these stories should be told”.

Recognizing the vital role of women in Gaza, the Canadian Boat to Gaza campaign is participating in the Freedom Flotilla Coalition campaign to send an All-Women’s boat to support women in Gaza and to challenge the illegal Israeli blockade. Committed women in public life around the world have volunteered to sail with the Women’s Boat to Gaza.

U.S. playwright Naomi Wallace describes her participation: “The collective venture of the Women's Boat to Gaza is an act of defiance against the criminal incarceration of and frequent acts of war against an entire population, the majority of whom are children. It is also an intervention to highlight decades of astonishingly creative resistance by Palestinian women against Israel's illegal occupation.” She adds: “Why will I be on the boat?  I am a playwright.  It's both my duty and inspiration to engage with and expose systems that diminish us, like occupation, racism and brutality."

Irish Nobel Prize Laureate Mairead Maquire says “I am sailing on the Women's Boat to Gaza because I love my Palestinian brothers and sisters and l want to stand with them in all our struggle for Palestinian freedom and rights.” Also on board will be Members of Parliament, other eminent women and activists from over a dozen countries.

These women need our financial support to sail for Gaza. They are donating their time, courage and energy, but need financial donations to buy and equip the boats and provide the other support this campaign needs. http://canadaboatgaza.org/donate/

You, too, can get on board this vitally important initiative and show your commitment to Palestinian women of Gaza and those who would support them by donating to this campaign and helping to spread the word to your friends, family colleagues and other contacts.

Each one of the women sailing on the boats carries with her the support you provide.

Get on board this campaign and help the women of Gaza and the women’s boat to Gaza.

Follow us and to get involved at: 
www.canadaboatgaza.org and womensboattogaza.org
www.facebook.com/FreedomFlotillaCoalition and www.facebook.com/CanadaBoatGaza
Twitter @GazaFFlotilla @CanadaBoatGaza

In Solidarity, 

Canadian Boat to Gaza Team
 

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Des femmes du monde entier ont besoin de vous pour rejoindre la Palestine

Faire un don 
  
Le peuple palestinien de Gaza et de Cisjordanie, est soumis arbitrairement à une séparation et une fragmentation et vit sans contiguïté territoriale depuis la mise en place de politiques israéliennes ségrégationnistes, illégales au plan  du droit international.

Ce peuple est quotidiennement agressé, opprimé et souffre de multiples privations. Les Nations Unies, de même que certaines grandes ONG, telle Oxfam, constatent que Gaza ne s’est pas remise de l’agression israélienne de 2014. En effet, 75 000 personnes ne peuvent toujours pas regagner leur maison en ruines et 80 % de la population ne survit que  grâce à l’aide humanitaire internationale.

Les femmes sont littéralement en première ligne du combat. Au milieu des décombres de leurs maisons, elles sont celles qui tiennent à bout de bras leur famille et leur foyer, qui guident et protègent leurs enfants traumatisés ayant à vivre dans cette zone de guerre. S’il est vrai qu’elles souffrent, elles n’en demeurent pas moins la pierre angulaire de leur peuple.

La journaliste palestinienne Ameera Harouda en est un parfait exemple. Si elle accourt aux premiers bruits des bombes c’est parce que, dit‑elle : « Je veux être la première sur les lieux, car  le monde doit savoir ce qui se passe ».

Reconnaissant le rôle vital des femmes de Gaza, la campagne canadienne du Bateau pour Gaza qui participe à celle de la Coalition pour la Flottille de la Liberté, collabore à l’envoi d’un bateau dont l’équipage sera composé exclusivement de femmes et dont l’un des objectifs est de manifester notre solidarité envers les femmes de Gaza. Ce bateau a également pour but de briser le blocus illégal imposé par Israël. De divers coins du monde, des femmes engagées au sein de leur société se sont portées volontaires pour participer à la traversée vers Gaza.

Pour la dramaturge américaine Naomi Wallace, « cette entreprise collective qu’est le Bateau des femmes pour Gaza constitue un acte de résistance contre la séquestration criminelle et les actes de guerre imposés à tout un peuple, dont la majorité sont des enfants. C’est également l’occasion de mettre en valeur l’incroyable créativité des Palestiniennes dans leur résistance face à l’occupation israélienne illégale ». À la question « pourquoi monter à bord de ce bateau?», elle répond : « Je suis auteure dramatique, c’est à la fois un devoir et une source d’inspiration que de se confronter à des systèmes qui tentent de nous diminuer en tant qu’êtres humains, comme le font l’occupation, le racisme et la brutalité. »

Prix Nobel de la paix, l’irlandaise Mairead Maquire naviguera sur le Bateau des femmes pour Gaza « par amour, dit-elle pour ses frères et sœurs palestiniennes, pour être à leur côté dans toutes nos luttes pour les droits et libertés des Palestinien.ne.s». Issues d’une douzaine de pays, des parlementaires ainsi que des personnalités de premier plan et des militantes de la base seront aussi du voyage.

Ces femmes ont besoin de notre soutien financier pour se rendre à Gaza. Elles investissent leur temps et leurs énergies et font preuve d’un grand courage mais  il faut de l’argent à la fois pour acheter et équiper les bateaux,  et aussi pour  couvrir les besoins connexes liés à une campagne de cette envergure. http://canadaboatgaza.org/donate/

Nous avons besoin de vous pour accomplir cette mission vitale. Soutenez les femmes de Gaza et celles qui les aident : faites un don et parlez de ce projet à vos ami.es, proches, collègues, etc. 

Chacun des femmes qui naviguera sur le bateau portera avec elle votre contribution. 

Montez à bord de cette campagne, soutenez les Palestiniennes de Gaza et le Bateau des femmes pour Gaza.

Pour nous suivre, rendez‑vous sur :

 

www.ffq.qc.ca/luttes/bateau-gaza/a-propos/

www.facebook.com/Bateau-Canadien-Pour-Gaza-122827927786858/
www.canadaboatgaza.org (en anglais).
www.womensboattogaza.org (en anglais).
www.facebook.com/FreedomFlotillaCoalition
www.facebook.com/CanadaBoatGaza
Twitter : @GazaFFlotilla  @CanadaBoatGaza

Solidairement, 
L’équipe du Bateau pour Gaza

Women’s Boat to Gaza presented at the European Parliament

May 31, 2016. World  Solidarity Day with Gaza.
Women's Boat to Gaza logoThe Women’s Boat to Gaza, Freedom Flotilla logoa campaign of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition conducted its meetings over the past weekend to discuss and further plans to set sail towards Gaza in mid-September with all women delegates and crew. In doing so we raise the issue of the ongoing illegal blockade of Gaza. Shabnam Mayet, Human Rights Advocate from South Africa says, “The Israeli occupation consistently both violates International Law and disregards UN Resolutions with impunity.”

Confirmed delegates who will be on the Flotilla include: Nobel Laureate (1976) and peace activist from Northern Ireland, Mairead Maguire and Green Party New Zealand Member of Parliament Marama Davidson. Further delegates will be announced in the coming weeks.

One of the important goals of our mission is to highlight the devastating effects of the brutal blockade on the Palestinian people living in Gaza. We will emphasize in particular the struggle of women, and their many roles within the resistance. Women in Gaza often fill the role of caring for and sustaining life, they are actively involved in community development and nation building. It is important to make their voices heard, even more so during periods of extreme injustice.

We also wish to acknowledge the anniversary of the massacre on the Mavi Marmara in 2010, when 10 non-violent activists were murdered by the Israeli Navy, an illegal act in international waters that continues to go unpunished. However, this brutal attack is nothing compared to the daily violence inflicted on Gaza with while the world remains silent.

A United Nations report states that Gaza will be uninhabitable by 2020. Homes, schools and hospitals have been destroyed. 97% of water is not drinkable and electricity is reduced to a few hours per day. “Our project, supported by many women’s groups in Gaza and by civil society around the world, seeks to bring a message of solidarity and hope. In order to change this horrifying prediction the siege must be immediately lifted” says Ellen Huttu Hansson, spokesperson for Ship to Gaza Sweden.

The Freedom Flotilla Coalition has asked for the support of members of the European Parliament for the Women’s Boat to Gaza and will seek assurances from all governments that they will protect and not obstruct its peaceful mission of solidarity to the besieged Palestinian people of Gaza.

For more information, contact +32 484 130 589

You can support the Women's Boat to Gaza herePayPal graphic + link

WOMEN’S BOATS TO GAZA HAVE BEEN NAMED

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This month, in celebration of Mother’s Day, we concluded our worldwide call to name the boats that will sail to Gaza in mid September. Amal-Hope and Zaytouna-Oliva will sail to Gaza in mid September. Both women’s names represent many languages. Amal symbolizes the hope that we will bring to the shores of Gaza and Zaytouna symbolizes the mighty olive, the tree of life in Palestinian agriculture. In addition, Oliva was the name of the civil protection boat that Italian activist-journalist Vittorio Arrigoni sailed in solidarity with Palestinian fishing boats in Gaza before he was murdered in 2011. We also honour Mother’s Day’s origins in the 1800’s with women speaking out against war. We intend to carry this spirit forward with our mission. We have been deeply encouraged by the interest in this important project, which will not only highlight the role of women in the struggle, but will also bring attention to what is happening to each and every person living in Gaza. We are constantly encouraged by the resilient spirit of our sisters and brothers in Gaza and we will continue to bring their stories forward as we campaign to lift the brutal and illegal siege of Gaza.

We received over 160 excellent and thoughtful name suggestions, and have now made the difficult decision to select two names for the boats that will sail to Gaza. Each submission is appreciated and the Freedom Flotilla Coalition looks forward to ongoing support as we prepare to sail in mid September.

Amal-Hope and Zaytouna-Oliva will sail with the purpose and determination behind these women’s names.

For more information please contact spokesperson Wendy Goldsmith at: wendygoldsmith21@gmail.com or  (+1) 519 281 3978.

 

You can support the Women's Boat to Gaza by donating online:  http://canadaboatgaza.org/donate/

Those who can benefit from a U.S. tax receipt can contribute online at

https://womensboatgaza-nonviolenceinternational.nationbuilder.com/contribute

To find and support other campaigns that are part of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition, please see: freedomflotilla.org/about

Thank you for your support. Together we can end the blockade of Gaza!

 

Other ways to get involved:

Follow us at www.canadaboatgaza.org and freedomflotilla.org

www.facebook.com/FreedomFlotillaCoalition/ and www.facebook.com/CanadaBoatGaza/

Twitter @GazaFFlotilla  @CanadaBoatGaza

 

In Solidarity

the Canadian Boat to Gaza team

 

Help Launch the Women’s Boat to Gaza with Your Donation

Emailing WBG Logo shortlist copy
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Dear supporters,

On International Women's Day the Freedom Flotilla Coalition (FFC) launched our latest project, the Women's Boat to Gaza.  We met in Italy and FFC members from around the world agreed upon a sailing date of mid September with the goal of reaching Gaza within a couple of weeks.  We were honoured to participate in many events in Italy, and have received great interest from around the world.  Palestinian women and their families in Gaza are eager to greet us at the shore when we arrive.

There are many steps between now and mid September and this project relies solely on donations from you (its supporters).  Canadian Boat to Gaza has committed to raise $50,000 to cover our share as a major partner in this project, the total cost of which is ~250,000 Euros.  We are off to a good start but we need your help to make this project a reality.  
 

Our immediate target across Canada is to raise $20,000 between now and and the end of April for the plans to stay on track.

Would you please consider making a donation to this important work to end the illegal blockade of Gaza?  No donation is too small or too large! Please visit our website at www.canadaboatgaza.org for more information or visit http://canadaboatgaza.org/donate/ to donate now!  Only together we will end the siege!
 

In Solidarity 
the Canadian Boat to Gaza team

Other ways to get involved:

Follow us at www.canadaboatgaza.org

Facebook www.facebook.com/FreedomFlotillaCoalition/ and

Twitter @GazaFFlotilla.

Contact us to discuss how you can be involved!

Name the Boats Competition

Dear supporters,

The Women’s Boat to Gaza (WBG) is very close to purchasing two boats for the ‘all women boats’ which will be challenging the illegal Israeli sea blockade.  Now we need to give the boats a name.  The WBG is holding a competition to do this and we are inviting our Canadian Boat to Gaza supporters to participate.  

  We are looking for names that reflect our core principles:

* A boat with only women crew and delegates
* Solidarity with women, children and men of Gaza and all of Palestine.
* Highlighting the role of women in daily life, the struggle and resistance
* A non-violent, direct action that is not affiliated with any government
* Ultimate goal is to break the illegal blockade of Gaza

The competition is open to all, and the closing date for entries is April 25th.  The winner(s) will be selected by the WBG Committee and announced May 1st.

"The successful submission will be honoured aboard the boats, on our website and on www.freedomflotilla.org

Please send your submissions by April 25, with a brief rationale for your suggestion to mediawbg@gmail.com.

 Although all participants in the campaigns involved in WGB are volunteers, we still need your financial assistance to help buy, refurbish and equip the boats.  No donation is too small or too large! You can donate online:  http://canadaboatgaza.org/donate/

In addition we invite Toronto area supporters to join us at a fundraising concert on April 21st. see http://beitzatoun.org/event/womens-boat-to-gaza/

Other ways to get involved:

Follow us at www.canadaboatgaza.org and freedomflotilla.org
www.facebook.com/FreedomFlotillaCoalition/ and www.facebook.com/CanadaBoatGaza/
Twitter @GazaFFlotilla  @CanadaBoatGaza
Contact us to discuss how you can be involved!

 In Solidarity,

Canadian Boat to Gaza Team

Launching Women’s Boat to Gaza campaign (+ français, العربية)‎

[*Le texte français suit le texte anglais**البيان بالعربية في الاسفل*]
  WBG logo

Messina, Sicily, Italy
March 8, 2016: For Immediate Release

The Freedom Flotilla Coalition* (FFC) has chosen March 8th, which marks International Women's Day (IWD), to announce the launch of their Women's Boat to Gaza (WBG) project.

The Women's Boat to Gaza will set sail mid-September of this year and plans to dock at a number of Mediterranean ports along its route and arrive Gaza on October the 1st.

The FFC's fourth mission (FF4) will be sailed by an all women crew and will carry aboard, notable women from all over the world in order to highlight the undeniable contributions which have been made by Palestinian women to the resistance movement. Palestinian women have been central to the struggle in Gaza, the West Bank, inside the Green Line and in the diaspora. 

"One of our goals is to highlight this struggle and the devastating effects it has had on women, often left alone, sifting through rubble to take care of their families when their husbands are imprisoned or murdered" said Wendy Goldsmith, of the Canadian Boat to Gaza campaign. "On International Women's Day, and on every day, we stand with these brave and resilient women, and will send the Women's Boat to Gaza to let them know they are not alone and to end the illegal blockade of Gaza."

 

WBG is endorsed by renowned women's organizations from all over the world, among them: The Women's Affairs Center (Gaza), The Coalition of Women for Peace (Israel), Forum de Politica Feminista (Spain), Women's Front (Norway), Coordinadora de Solidaridad Palestina (Mexico), CODEPINK Women for Peace (US) and the Fédération des femmes du Québec (Canada).

The FFC is also pleased to announce the launch of the WBG website.  Please visit:
www.womensboattogaza.org for more details and to follow the progress of WBG / FF4.

For more information:
Laura Arau  +34 (6) 36 00 36 01  prensa@rumboagaza.org
Wendy Goldsmith +1 (519) 281-3978 mediawbg@gmail.com

* Freedom Flotilla Coalition campaigns participating in the WBG are:
Canadian Boat to Gaza
Freedom Flotilla Italy
International Committee for Breaking the Siege of Gaza
IHH – Turkey
Palestine Solidarity Alliance-South Africa
Rumbo a Gaza-Spain
Ship to Gaza Norway
Ship to Gaza Sweden

* other WBG international partners:
Kia Ora Gaza – New Zealand
Miles of Smiles
US Boat to Gaza


—————–français—–——–

Le Bateau des femmes pour Gaza lèvera l’ancre en septembre 2016
Les femmes québécoises et palestiniennes demandent la fin du blocus et l’occupation

Montréal, le 7 mars 2016 – Des organisations québécoises et canadiennes se joignent à une coalition internationale pour mettre en œuvre le Bateau des femmes pour Gaza, dans l’objectif de mettre fin au blocus de la Bande de Gaza. Par l’organisation d’événements et fort.e.s du soutien de femmes, d’hommes, d’ONG, de groupes de la société civile et d’associations de femmes à travers le monde, le Bateau lèvera l’ancre en septembre 2016.

Le Bateau des femmes pour Gaza, ce sont des femmes du monde entier qui tiennent à rendre visible l’esprit de résistance indomptable des femmes palestiniennes, à leur manifester leur solidarité, à leur faire parvenir un message d’espoir jusque derrière les murs de leur prison à Gaza.

Le blocus doit être levé, mais même levé, Gaza continuera d’être un territoire occupé par Israël. En solidarité avec l’ensemble du peuple palestinien, il nous faut continuer la lutte pour  que les Palestiniennes et les Palestiniens, où qu’ils soient, recouvrent la totalité de leurs droits. Les groupes québécois exigent donc la fin de l’occupation, de la colonisation, le démantèlement du mur, le respect du droit de retour des réfugié.e.s (résolution 194 de l’ONU) et la reconnaissance du droit des citoyen.ne.s arabo-palestiniens d’Israël à une égalité totale. 

À Gaza, les conditions de vie sont déplorables depuis l’imposition du blocus en 2007 et cela affecte en particulier les femmes : sans liberté, sans paix et sans ressources essentielles pour assurer une vie digne, Israël contrôlant tout. L’insécurité alimentaire y est de modérée à grave. Les multiples agressions militaires y ont détruit toutes les infrastructures essentielles à une vie en société : maisons, hôpitaux et cliniques, centrales électriques, usines de filtration d’eau, écoles et universités, entreprises, commerces, etc.  

La vie des Palestinien.ne.s de Gaza est un enfer et un combat permanent, et pourtant, les femmes continuent de porter leur famille à bout de bras et refusent de disparaître. Ellesinspirent espoir, force et détermination devant les innombrables injustices. Agir à leurs côtés est une question de dignité pour toutes et tous. 

-30-

Contact: Mme Lorraine Guay <lorraineguay@videotron.ca>  sera disponible pour répondre aux demandes d’entrevue des journalistes.

—————–العربية————-

ميسينا ، إيطاليا٨ آذار ٢٠١٦ 
للنشر الفوري 
 
اختار تحالف اسطول الحرية تاريخ ٨ آذار ، الذي يصادف اليوم العالمي للمرأة ، للإعلان عن إطلاق مشروع 'قارب النساء الى غزة'.   
 
و سوف يبحر 'قارب النساء الى غزة ' منتصف شهر أيلول من هذا العام . و سوف يقوم القارب بالتوقف في عدة موانئ بحرية في البحر الأبيض المتوسط في طريقه الى غزة ، على ان يصل هناك يوم ١ من تشرين الاول . 
 
يقود مهمة اسطول الحرية الرابعة طاقم نسائي ، و سوف يكون على متن القارب نساء بارزات من مختلف أنحاء العالم بهدف تسليط الضوء على المساهمات المركزية للمرأة الفلسطينية في مقاومة الاحتلال ، في غزة والضفة الغربية، داخل الخط الأخضر و في الشتات.
 
ويحضى 'قارب النساء الى غزة ' لتأييد مجموعة من المنظمات النسائية الرائدة في مختلف أنحاء العالم ، من بينهم : مركز شؤون المرأة (غزة)، تحالف النساء للسلام (اسرائيل )، منتدى دي بوليتيكا فمينيستا (اسبانيا)، الجبهة النسائية (النرويج)، تنسيقية التضامن مع فلسطين (المكسيك)، كودبينك نساء من اجل السلام ( الولايات المتحدة الامريكية) و اتحاد الكيبيك للنساء (كندا) .
 
ويسرنا الإعلان عن إطلاق موقع الواب لمشروع 'قارب النساء الى غزة: 
للمزيد من المعلومات الاتصال ب: 

العربية:  دنيا حمو
+519 878 2843
Dunia Hamou
dunia.hamou@gmail.com
  
لورا آراو 
+34 (6) 36 00 36 01
            prensa@rumboagaza.org
 

 

 

 

:ويندي غولدسميث 
+ 519 281 3978
 mediawbg@gmail.com
 
*يتكون تحالف اسطول الحرية من : 
– القارب الكندي الى غزة 
-اسطول الحرية إيطاليا 
-اللجنة الدولية لكسر حصار غزة
– IHH تركيا 
-تحالف التضامن مع فلسطين،  جنوب افريقيا 
-الطريق الى غزة، اسبانيا 
-السفينة الى غزة ، نرويج 
-السفينة الى غزة، السويد 
 
*الشركاء الدوليون الآخرون: 
– كيا اورا غزة ، نيوزيلندا 
-أميال من الابتسامات 
-قارب الولايات المتحدة الى غزة
 

Women’s Boat To Gaza – FAQ

1) Is this flotilla initiative really calling for participation by women only?  And if so, why?

2) What is the importance of highlighting the struggle of women more specifically in Gaza, Palestine and globally in general?

3) Can men participate in the campaign and if so, in what capacity? 

4) What is the Freedom Flotilla Coalition?  Which countries are participating?

5) Why is the WBG challenging the Israeli blockade by sea?

6) You say your campaign supports  the  full rights of the Palestinian people: can you explain what those are?

7) Why is the Israeli blockade of Gaza illegal?

8) Is the WBG a non-violent initiative?

9) How many ships will participate in the WBG and where will they depart from?  

10) When will the Women’s Boat to Gaza sail?  

11) Who will be on board? 

12) Will you be bringing aid to Gaza? 

13) What is the current situation on the ground in Gaza?

14) Are there any risks for those participating?  

15) How will the Women’s Boat to Gaza be funded?

16) How can I participate?

1) Is this flotilla initiative really calling for participation by women only?  And if so, why?

Yes.  This initiative is called the Women’s Boat to Gaza because everyone on board, including the crew, will be women. The Freedom Flotilla Coalition has decided to sponsor the Women’s Boat to Gaza because we believe that it is essential to highlight the vital role women play not only in the resistance movement but in the survival of the Palestinian people as a whole. We intend to raise awareness about the ongoing struggle that women in Gaza, in the West Bank, inside the green line and in the diaspora, have waged against the occupation historically, and which they continue to do.  

Women fulfill diverse roles in direct actions such as the Women’s Boat to Gaza, and play an integral role in various efforts that are being undertaken both in Palestine and  to achieve justice and peace through non-violent means.

2) What is the importance of highlighting the struggle of women more specifically in Gaza, Palestine and globally in general?

Although numerous versions of feminism exist, we can all agree with Angela Davis’s point: "Feminism is the radical notion that women are people".

Like most people, we recognize the need to make our world more just and egalitarian. Women in Gaza often fill the role of caring for and sustaining life, and are actively involved in community development and nation building. It is important  to make their voices heard, even more so during periods of extreme injustice.

Women in Palestine participate in all social sectors and in all forms of resistance. They defend their rights and the rights of their children and communities, with courage and determination. Families encourage their children to attend school despite the Israeli checkpoints and ongoing harassment. During the olive harvest and popular demonstrations they challenge the soldiers and settlers. Despite its importance, their work in women's organizations remains nearly invisible. Women and men in Gaza endure the inhumane Israeli blockade and continue against all odds to raise their children and overcome barriers.

Women’s empowerment is linked to the general struggle of the Palestinian people against the occupation and in particular the dire need to lift the blockade. They are an inspiration and role models for all women and men who dream of a better world.

3) Can men participate in the campaign and if so, in what capacity?  

Yes, men and women from campaigns around the world are organizing this project.  The names of our partners can be found on our website at www.freedomflotilla.org. Within this struggle, men and women play equal roles. In this particular project, it has been decided that women will take on the major role of confronting the Israeli Occupation Force (IOF). This does not minimize in any way the role that men take in both the organizing and planning stages.  

4) What is the Freedom Flotilla Coalition?  Which countries are participating?

The Freedom Flotilla Coalition is composed of civil society organizations and initiatives from many countries.  We have been challenging the illegal and inhumane Israeli blockade of Gaza for many years and are committed to continue the struggle until the blockade is unconditionally lifted and the Palestinian people everywhere regain their full rights.

The Freedom Flotilla Coalition campaigns that will be participating in the WBG include: Ship to Gaza-Sweden, Ship to Gaza-Norway, Canadian Boat to Gaza, Freedom Flotilla-Italy, Palestine Solidarity Alliance-South Africa and Rumbo a Gaza-Spain and partners: US Boat to Gaza and Kia Ora Gaza-New Zealand-Aotearoa .

Watch this space as more campaigns join us.

5) Why is the WBG challenging the Israeli blockade by sea?

Some of our campaign countries are connected to Gaza by the same sea.  We believe that the illegal Israeli blockade should be challenged non violently.  The Freedom Flotilla coalition has been challenging the Israeli naval blockade of Gaza for 6 years.  We are experienced in challenging  the blockade by sea.  Other groups challenge the land blockade of Gaza.  We will work closely with women and organizations in Gaza, as well as other initiatives that share the same goals of breaking the Israeli blockade of Gaza.  

6) You say your campaign supports  the  full rights of the Palestinian people: can you explain what those are?

While our focus is on opposing the blockade against Gaza, we see this in the larger context of supporting the right to freedom of movement for all Palestinians everywhere. The Occupation daily violates the rights of Palestinians to move freely around their country and to leave and return to their country, as guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We also support other broad-based demands for Palestinian rights based on international law, including:

1. Ending the Israeli occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall

2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and

3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.

For information about the devastating effects of the blockade please visit http://www.euromedmonitor.org/en/article/1100/10-Years-of-Blockade:-The-Humanitarian-Impact

7) Why is the Israeli blockade of Gaza illegal?

Israel has occupied the Gaza Strip since 1967 and, as the occupying force, it is responsible for the well-being of the population within this territory. By applying restrictive measures that affect the population as a whole, it violates the Geneva Conventions and humanitarian international law, which prohibit collective punishment.

Experts warn that if the siege of Gaza continues, normal life will not be viable in the territory by 2020. The current blockade has been imposed for ten years by Israel and Egypt with support from many international governments. The blockade has imposed restrictions of movement on people and goods for more than a decade.  For the most part, the mainstream media does not cover this truth. Palestinians continue to attempt to raise awareness and demand action through world forums, but their collective voices are often silenced.

8) Is the WBG a non-violent initiative?

Yes.  Every initiative the Freedom Flotilla Coalition participates in is rooted both theoretically and practically within the framework of non-violence.  We elect to always counter oppression by nonviolent strategies.  Our goal is to peacefully end the illegal Israeli blockade.

9) How many ships will participate in the WBG and where will they depart from?  

This has not yet been determined, but our ships will reach ports in the Mediterranean en route to Gaza in order to raise awareness about the terrible effects of the illegal Israeli blockade of Gaza. Stay tuned for a stop near you!

10) When will the Women’s Boat to Gaza sail?  

The date of sailing has not yet been determined.  However, our goal is to sail in late 2016.

11) Who will be on board ?  

We are currently identifying delegates from around the world. Our delegates will represent politicians, media, cultural artists and activists from around the world.  

12) Will you be bringing aid to Gaza?  

The Women’s Boat to Gaza  is not an aid mission; however we will bring as much aid as we can on our ships.  The need for reconstruction especially after the latest Israeli attack in 2014 is great, and  has not been met by the donor states.  The needs of the Palestinians living in Gaza are great and can not be satisfied by our efforts.  Nearly two million people are held hostage in the world’s largest open-air prison, and our demand is to put an end to this situation by upholding international law and respecting human rights. As always, we strive to bring a message of solidarity and hope while putting pressure on governments to intervene in this humanitarian crisis.

13) What is the current situation on the ground in Gaza?

The situation Gaza is always changing. Israel began to impose a series of political and economic sanctions on Gaza following the Palestinian elections in 2006. These sanctions became harsher as of 2007. Gaza was blockaded from the air, land and sea, and free movement of people and goods was restricted. In its many brutal attacks,  Israel has ravaged agricultural fields, schools, workplaces, hospitals, water supplies, electricity and homes in the city and throughout the Gaza Strip, depriving Palestinians in Gaza of resources they need to live. The IOF have even made swimming  in the Mediterranean unhealthy because the Israeli bombs have destroyed the Gaza sewage system. 1.9 million Palestinians struggle for life in Gaza. Seventy-two percent of Palestinians living in Gaza, 65 percent of whom are children, suffer food insecurity. Ten percent of the children have poor physical health. The United Nations terms this situation as “intolerable.”

14) Are there any risks for those participating?  

Whenever the illegal actions of the Israeli Forces are challenged, risks will be inherent.  People living in Gaza live with the risk every day.  In 2010, the Israeli Occupation Forces  killed nine unarmed civilians on the Mavi Marmara and a tenth later died of his injuries. We will have no weapons and our boats will be inspected prior to sailing. However, the IOF has a record of treating passengers on boats headed for Gaza with violent force. FFC participants accept these risks.  Previous missions all ended with the boats being captured and the people on board imprisoned. Internationals have been deported and banned from future entry into Israel. Recently FF3 participants have been denied entry, even though they were not on a boat that came into contact with the IOF.  

15) How will the Women’s Boat to Gaza be funded?

All of the participating campaigns will raise funds in their own countries and communities by connecting with individuals and organizations who support our effort. FFC is not affiliated with any political organization. We are a network of grassroots civil society individuals and groups. Any donation is welcome, no matter how small. We see our action as representing all those who refuse to remain silent.

16) How can I participate?

There are many ways to become involved. Help could take the form of sharing information with your contacts, organizing local fundraising events, joining work teams or making a donation through any of the campaigns participating in the project. Please follow us on the web, Facebook or Twitter. If you are willing to support the campaign and its political demands, please contact the campaign closest to you.

 

Press Release

Emailing WBG Logo shortlist copyPress release

The Women's Boat to Gaza (WBG) is a Freedom Flotilla Coalition (FFC*) initiative that seeks not only to challenge the Israeli blockade but to also show solidarity and bring a message of hope to the Palestinian people.

The initiative was launched with a call to all artists/designers globally for submissions of a criterion based logo for the WBG that represented the undeniable contributions and indomitable spirit of Palestinian women who have been central within the Palestinian struggle.

The deadline of logo submissions was extended to the 25th of January 2016. We received and compiled approximately 40 logo submissions from different artists and organisations, after which a shortlist was created and collectively voted on by the media and steering committee of the WBG on the 31st January 2016.

We would firstly like to thank all the artists/designers and applicants who gave their time and effort  toward the logo submissions which were carefully reviewed and considered individually.  Your creativity and drive is noted and much appreciated.

We are pleased to announce the final logo choice by South African graphic designer and activist Atiyyah Mohamed. Atiyyah’s involvement in the project was initiated through her enthusiasm for human rights and peace around the world and which centres directly around the struggle of Palestinian women in particular. Atiyyah is a member of the Palestine Solidarity Alliance youth league and is involved in digital activism as well. Her logo was selected on the base of clarity and *-representation of the core message of the WBG.

The logo may be used in all WBG related campaigns and organisations and by individuals in support of the project. Should you require the logo in a specific format, or for any other information, enquiries or to engage in the campaign please do not hesitate to contact us via email at either Wendy Goldsmith or at mediawbg@gmail.com.

We encourage all participation in the Women’s Boat to Gaza – together we will break the blockade!

In solidarity!

FFC is composed of civil society organizations and initiatives from many countries. We have been challenging the illegal and inhuman Israeli blockade of Gaza for years and are committed to continue the struggle until the blockade is unconditionally lifted and the Palestinian people everywhere regain their full rights.

Women’s Boat to Gaza announced

Emailing WBG Logo shortlist copy
The Women’s boat to Gaza is a Freedom Flotilla Coalition (FFC) initiative.  By launching a women’s boat, women from all over the world aim to highlight the undeniable contributions and indomitable spirit of Palestinian women who have been central within the Palestinian struggle in Gaza, the West Bank, inside the Green Line and in the diaspora.

Gaza has been under Israeli blockade for the past decade during which Israel has also launched countless attacks against the besieged population, turning their life into a nightmare and a continuous struggle. Through Freedom Flotillas and other naval missions we have brought international attention to their suffering and their resistance.

The Women’s Boat to Gaza (WBG) seeks not only to challenge the Israeli blockade but to also show solidarity and bring a message of hope to the Palestinian people.  With the support of women, men, non-governmental organizations, civil society groups and from women’s collectives and events around the world, we will make this happen.

The FFC is composed of civil society organizations and initiatives from many countries. We have been challenging the illegal and inhuman Israeli blockade of Gaza for years and are committed to continue the struggle until the blockade is unconditionally lifted and the Palestinian people everywhere regain their full rights.