FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions About the Boat and the Blockade

PART 1. WHAT IS THE CANADIAN BOAT TO GAZA?

Who is organizing the Canadian Boat to Gaza?

What do you hope to achieve through the Canadian Boat to Gaza?

Other than the organizing group, who supports this initiative?

Does the Canadian Boat to Gaza receive government funding?

Israel enforces the blockade, but do any other governments help to maintain it?

How will the Canadian Boat to Gaza and similar projects change the situation for the Palestinians?

Does the Canadian Boat to Gaza have connections with organizations inside the Strip to define the real needs for the population?

Would you accept to be directed to Ashdod or Arish if promised that your cargo will be taken by land to Gaza?

What is the strategy vis-à-vis Israel's determination to stop all boats?

What’s next for the Canadian Boat to Gaza?

PART 1. WHAT IS THE CANADIAN BOAT TO GAZA?

Q: Who is organizing the Canadian Boat to Gaza?

A: The Canadian Boat to Gaza is a a grassroots people-to-people solidarity movement working together to end the siege of Gaza, as part of the international FFC.

Q: What do you hope to achieve through the Canadian Boat to Gaza? 

A: We aim to challenge, undermine and expose illegal Israeli policies and actions behind the blockade of Gaza in the spirit of promoting justice, prosperity, social responsibility and the right of free movement for all peoples. Our hope is to also bring attention to the suffering of the blockaded people of Gaza.

Q: Other than the organizing group, who supports this initiative? 

A: A large number of organizations and individuals support the Canadian Boat to Gaza. A partial list of endorsing organizations and public figures is available on our website. This list is currently being updated.

Q: Does the Canadian Boat to Gaza receive government funding? 

A: No. We receive no public funding and do not represent any government. Our only relations with states or governments are those that are mandated by Maritime Law.

Q: Israel enforces the blockade, but do any other governments help to maintain it? 

A: Yes.  The principal international enablers of the blockade of Gaza are the United States, Canada and Germany. The governments of these three countries support the blockade in different ways. In the case of the United States, direct military aid is the most tangible form of support.  All three governments provide Israel with diplomatic support safeguarding its blockade policy from censure at the United Nations and other international bodies.  In addition, Canada has signed bilateral agreements in such matters as border control and military co-operation, which, inter alia, support the blockade.  In addition to diplomatic support and economic and military cooperation, Germany has supplied the Israeli navy with state-of-the-art submarines, which have been used to maintain the maritime blockade.

Q: How will the Canadian Boat to Gaza and similar projects change the situation for the Palestinians? 

A: Palestinian civil society has explicitly called for international supporters to mount such campaigns in solidarity with them. As a result of previous boats and flotillas, pressure was put on Israel to ease the blockade. We need to continue to challenge Israel to allow free movement of goods in and out of Gaza as well as free movement of the population of Gaza. Any supplies that reach Gaza are also of great help under the current blockade.

Q: Does the Canadian Boat to Gaza have connections with organizations inside the Strip to define the real needs for the population?

A: Yes. We are in contact with local civil society groups in Gaza and ask for their advice and opinions on a regular basis throughout the campaign. We have their support and encouragement.

Q: Would you accept to be directed to Ashdod or Arish if promised that your cargo will be taken by land to Gaza?

A: No. The blockade is illegal and we have the right to carry our materials to Gaza ourselves and to carry out material from Gaza for export as well. Moreover, there is no proof that supplies previously hijacked to Ashdod or forced to go to Arish have been sent to Gaza in a full or timely manner..

Q: What is the strategy vis-à-vis Israel's determination to stop all boats?

A: This is not a deterrent for us. The May 2010 flotilla brought world attention to the plight of the people of Gaza. It embarrassed and exposed Israel and increased international pressure towards at least partially lifting the blockade. The goal is to get Israel to lift the blockade of Gaza fully. We also aim to challenge Canadian foreign policy. Canada’s previous government under Stephen Harper gave Israel uncritical support. We intend to see that the present government use humanitarian and international law as its guidelines in its relationship with both Israel and Palestine.

Q: What’s next for the Canadian Boat to Gaza?

A: In collaboration with our Freedom Flotilla partners, we are presently preparing for the 2016 sailing of the Women’s Boat to Gaza.

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