Why I’m going to Gaza

“For heaven’s sake, why are you going back on another flotilla to Gaza?!”

I’ve heard this comment/question repeatedly since I returned from an Israeli prison after the attack on my ship, the Mavi Marmara, in May 2010. In a nutshell, I’m returning because the illegal blockade of Gaza is still in place. The job is not done.

I gotta go back or I couldn’t live with myself. And it’s all my mom and dad’s fault. As a little kid, I remember my mother and father repeatedly standing up for just causes. They would stand, almost alone in the 1960s, for Cuba, unions and peace, and against the Vietnam war, nuclear bombs, apartheid South Africa, fascist Spain and book-burning McCarthyites here in Victoria. They risked financial loss, political and social banishment and physical assaults. And in the end, they usually, eventually, were proven right.

When I was on the Mavi that night last May, I thought about them a lot: while watching fellow aid workers be shot, bleed, and die all around me, while having Israeli guns put to my head, while watching others get beaten and while everyone was deprived of human dignity and basic rights for three days.

I don’t remember being scared, I remember being outraged, all the more so when I returned to Canada, to hear Israeli scripted questions from the main stream media. It was a horrific three days, even though I expected that my Canadian passport and white skin would likely get me home safe. All I could think about, was that the Palestinians have gone through all this, and much, much worse, for years and years on end.

Once you know something, “taken the red pill” (to give that Matrix movie reference), you can’t go back. You can’t “take the blue pill” and ignore what you’ve seen and walk away, at least I can’t. Sometimes, I feel that I’d give anything to take a blue pill and move into blissful ignorance, just for a while, but this isn’t a movie, it can’t and shouldn’t happen.

In a high school political science class, which I not surprisingly failed, I remember a quote from a Nuremburg WWII war crimes judge. He said that when citizens are faced with an immoral law, they have not only the right, but an obligation, to disobey that law. So when Rosa Parks refused to obey the law and not move to the back of the bus, or when Gandhi milled his illegal salt, or when Greenpeace illegally sailed into atomic bomb test zones, they broke the State’s laws, but they were all morally right and history absolved them all.

The flotilla against the blockade of Gaza has been deemed illegal by Mr. Harper and we are being sued by Canadian Zionists to try to bankrupt and stop us, but we are doing the right thing. Someone has to do something to make it end, and 40 or so Canadians aboard the Tahrir will try to do the right thing, with a ship full of medicines, witnesses and hope, regardless of Mr. Harper and his Zionist supporters. Hopefully, some Canadians feel the same way and will support us and be a part of our effort. Contact your MP and the media and tell them how you feel. Demand justice. Do the right thing.

To keep track of the Canadian Boat to Gaza or make a donation, please visit Tahrir.ca

Bookmark this blog to read my updates from the flotlla.

And for info on the Freedom Flotilla 2 in general, click here.

Thank you!

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by EsRaa AhMed ElRefaey on August 24, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    I have read what you wrote . I support you Significantly ,especially becuase I’m an arab from Egypt and I feel badly of this issues.I don’t hope some Canadians only feel this issue.I really hope all of people around the world feel this and support us against Israel’s massacres .

    Reply

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