The boats made it to Gaza. They broke the siege.

"We've entered Gazan waters!"
Yvonne Ridley Date : 08-23-2008
A Message to All from the SS Liberty:
"We've entered Gazan waters. We're flying the Palestinian flag, and we now believe that we're going to reach the shores of Gaza very soon. I missed the start of the Berlin Wall coming down by just a few days, but now I know how people felt when they tore down those first few bricks. Today is a huge victory of people over power."
--Yvonne Ridley, abord the SS Liberty, bound for Gaza, 23 Aug. 2008


Update:

FREE GAZA BOATS ARRIVE IN GAZA
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Date : 08-23-2008

GAZA (23 August 2008) - Two small boats, the SS Free Gaza and the SS Liberty, successfully landed in Gaza early this evening, breaking the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip.

The boats were crewed by a determined group of international human rights workers from the Free Gaza Movement. They had spent two years organizing the effort, raising money by giving small presentations at churches, mosques, synagogues, and in the homes of family, friends, and supporters.

They left Cyprus on Thursday morning, sailing over 350 kilometers through choppy seas. They made the journey despite threats that the Israeli government would use force to stop them. They continued sailing although they lost almost all communications and navigation systems due to outside jamming by some unknown party. They arrived in Gaza to the cheers and joyful tears of hundreds of Palestinians who came out to the beaches to welcome them.

Two small boats, 42 determined human rights workers, one simple message: “The world has not forgotten the people of this land. Today, we are all from Gaza.”

Tonight, the cheering will be heard as far away as Tel Aviv and Washington D.C.

QUOTES FOR PUBLICATION

“We recognize that we’re two, humble boats, but what we’ve accomplished is to show that average people from around the world can mobilize to create change. We do not have to stay silent in the face of injustice. Reaching Gaza today, there is such a sense of hope, and hope is what mobilizes people everywhere.”
--Huwaida Arraf.

Huwaida is Palestinian-American, and also a citizen of Israel. She’s a human rights activist and co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement. In 2007 she received her Juris Doctor from American University in Washington D.C. Currently she teaches Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at Al Quds University in Jerusalem. Huwaida sailed to Gaza aboard the SS Liberty.

“We’re the first ones in 41 years to enter Gaza freely - but we won’t be the last. We welcome the world to join us and see what we’re seeing.”
--Paul Larudee, Ph.D.

Paul is a cofounder of the Free Gaza Movement and a San Francisco Bay Area activist on the issue of justice in Palestine. He sailed to Gaza aboard the SS Liberty.

“What we’ve done shows that people can do what governments should have done. If people stand up against injustice, we can truly be the conscience of the world.”
--Jeff Halper, Ph.D.

Jeff is an Israeli professor of anthropology and coordinator of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), a non-violent Israeli peace and human rights organization that resists the Israeli occupation on the ground. In 2006, the American Friends Service Committee nominated Jeff to receive the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize with Palestinian intellectual and activist Ghassan Andoni. Jeff sailed to Gaza aboard the SS Free Gaza.

For More Information, please contact:

(Gaza) Huwaida Arraf, tel. +972 599 130 426

(Gaza) Jeff Halper, tel. +972 542 002 642

(Cyprus) Osama Qashoo, tel. +357 99 793 595 / osamaqashoo@gmail.com

(Jerusalem) Angela Godfrey-Goldstein, tel. +972 547 366 393 / angela@ichad.org

Let this be a lesson to all. A small group of determined, committed and well organized ordinary people engaging in non-violent action can achieve results that governments are incapable or are unwilling to achieve. Would this be an embarrassment to Mubarak, the dictator of Egypt puppet of the US? Would he feel the shame and feel compelled to open the border and allow food and medicine to cross into Gaza? I hope against hope that would be the case.