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I have a parallel blog in French at http://anniebannie.net

Date

July 7, 2009

SPIRIT OF HUMANITY

Many of you have been asking us what has happened to the kidnapped passengers and our boat, The SPIRIT OF HUMANITY. Here then is our current update.

All 21 passengers have now left. Huwaida and Lubna were freed right away, because they hold Israeli citizenship.

Many passengers did not get all of their belongings back, many computers were stolen, some that were returned had their hard drives completely erased. Many of the pieces of camera equipment were not given back as well, and, of course, none of the tapes of the boarding, roughing up or incarceration of the 21 people who have been returned.

However, all passengers are already in their country or origin or are returning tonight. The London 6 had a press conference last night, the Bahraini 5 had a press conference in Bahrain over the weekend, and the Irish 2 are being feted tonight with a massive rally at Dublin airport. There will be a big reception and press conference there.

The two men from Al Jazeera have both been returned to Jordan through the Allenby bridge.

That leaves the three Americans… Cynthia McKinney, Kathy Sheetz and Adam Shapiro. We hear little from the American media about these three brave passengers, and it will be up to the Americans to express their outrage over their treatment. If they had been kidnapped by the military from Irah or Venezuela, their stories would have been all over the media. Because they were kidnapped by a ‘friendly’ nation, few in the U.S. have opened their mouths.

As far as Israel is concerned, we will demand that our boat be returned, that our equipment and tapes be returned, and they cease and desist their interference with our human rights trips to Gaza. Because we are going back. Israel can ram our boat, threaten us with bodily harm, shoot at us, board and confiscate the boat, shuttle us off to prison, and we will still return.

The outrage in many countries over what happened is muted by the fact that 11,000 Palestinians remain in Israeli jails, many without benefit of trial, many languishing for years without being able to see their families.

And this fact is something we must all remember. We came from countries around the world. We attempted to break Israel’s draconian siege of 1.5 million Palestinians. Even when arrested, the Israelis treated us with kid gloves, afraid of the consequences from governments, activists and human rights organizations. Who will stand up for the Palestinians and do the same thing?

Please go and watch, if you have not already, our video of our incarceration and the incarceration of Palestinian men, woman and children.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Ri8jWj_KbY

With grateful thanks from all of us to all of you.

The Free Gaza Team
www.freegaza.org
www.flickr.com/photos/29205195@N02/

McKinney released from Israeli Prison, returning to United States

McKinney released from Israeli Prison, returning to United States
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Heart

Rhonda Cook and Larry Hartstein
The Atlantic Journal-Constitution
Cynthia McKinney’s mom said she’s learned that her daughter is on the way home.

Leola McKinney said a friend who contacted the U.S. Embassy in Israel reported that the former congresswoman was released from Israeli custody and taken to Ben Gurion International Airport.

“We finally got word that she was released,” Leola McKinney said late Sunday afternoon. “We don’t know what time she is supposed to fly out. All we know is that they took her to the airport.

“I would be more relieved when I know she’s on the flight,” Leola McKinney added. “But I am relieved that she’s away from there.”

McKinney had been in custody since Tuesday, when she and 20 others were swept up by the Israeli Navy while allegedly trying to sail through a navy blockade. The group says it was attempting to deliver humanitarian supplies to Gaza.

Full article

See also McKinney speaks from jail

Letter to President Obama: Why Are We Supporting Israel’s War Crimes in Gaza?

obama_boycotts_racism_s

Mohamed Khodr

“Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, can not long retain it.” —Abraham Lincoln

“Right and wrong are the same in Palestine as anywhere else. What is peculiar about the Palestine conflict is that the world has listened to the party that has committed the offence and has turned a deaf ear to the victims.” —Arnold Toynbee;

Dear President Obama:

Peace Be With You, your family, our nation, and all of humanity as we prepare to celebrate Our Independence Day, a day illegally denied to so much of humanity, but none more so unjust and cruel than our illegally and immorally supported Israeli occupation of millions of Palestinians in East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the besieged concentration camp we call Gaza.

The world is quite cognizant of the power and influence Israel and its powerful lobbies and Congressional allies hold on our foreign policy toward the Mideast and the Muslim world. Yet, in your destiny to become our President you have the innate intelligence, ability, charisma, and oratory skills to become the agent of change, the one to dare to accomplish the divine duty of justice for all, at home and abroad.


READ ON

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