Goin’ Back to Gaza

In early June I will hopefully be returning to Gaza via Egypt and the Rafah border crossing.  I’ve been told that I may be one of the first people to risk being detained, under the Conservative government’s new “anti terrorism” Bill S-7.  This new law permits the RCMP to detain or arrest any Canadian citizen, who attempts to leave Canada to do humanitarian work, that the government deems to be associated with terrorism, as defined by the government.  The law allows for Canadian citizens to be detained without charge for 3 days, be forced to give testimony and then if convicted spend up to 14 years in jail.  

I expect that my work in Gaza may involve fixing fire trucks and fish boats, accompanying farmers and fishers as a protective witness along the border buffer zone with Israel, being a ceasefire violation monitor and maybe repairing a Canadian built children’s playground, which was destroyed in the 08-09 Israeli assault on Gaza.  

Although none of this sounds very terrorizing, it all has to be done with the approval or acquiescence of the Hamas civilian government, which in the eyes of our Conservative government, may deem my work to be officially supporting terrorism.  Needless to say I disagree. George Galloway went to court regarding his being barred from entering Canada, because the government felt he supported Hamas terrorists.  In his ruling, federal Judge Richard Mosley stated that he felt that making donations to the civilian Hamas government, was not supporting terrorism.  And I fully agree with Judge Mosley and I will act accordingly.  I feel that if we can help keep the ceasefire going, it will protect lives in Palestine and Israel, and prevent terrorism from either side.

If I am detained or arrested when I try to leave Canada, I’m hoping my friends across the country will take a moment to let their government know their feelings, about such an anti-democratic action.

Stay tuned.


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