By Debbie Menon

Greta Berlin - Co-Founder of Free Gaza Movement

A few things are quite obvious, which I think the world is ignoring! Based upon the history of Israeli-Palestinian relations over the past sixty years, it is apparent that Israel is not interested in Peace or sharing anything with Palestine or Palestinians. Their goal and they will settle for nothing less, than total victory and domination over Palestine and Palestinians. Talk of Peace is a ploy and meaningless.  It is a sham and a pretense! It is a good delaying tactic. Every time a “peace” accord is reached, or a “cease fire” brought about , they will have to attack Palestinians to break it, and then find or create some justification for doing so, which lays the blame on the Palestinians. Therefore, no Peace accords are going to work unless some third, fourth, fifth or sixth countries enter the equation, in force and with persuasive and credible threats against Israeli security and survival, which are dire enough to force them to give up their intransigent deceits, and stop their aggression. I do not see why the western media pundits, the Israeli left journalists included, who disseminate pipe dreams and distractions about single state and/or two state solutions, settlements, Peace Accords and such , which is merely playing the Israeli game, do not see this or, if they do, why they go along with it.
The facts on the ground is proof evident, Israel has made substantial gains in the past sixty years and continues “uninterrupted” to construct and build settlements on Palestinian land as a result of concerted deceit and aggression. In the meanwhile, to discuss anything other than a forceful effort brought against Israel which denies them the opportunity to pursue further aggressive activity, as they have for the past sixty years, is in vain, and a waste of time to write about, read about, or discuss. Everyone knows who is under the boot. The Palestinians are prisoners in their own land.
Edward Said reminded the world shortly before his death in 2003 that it is easier for the West to demonise the Palestinian – through ‘the vicious media and government campaign against Arab society, culture, history and mentality’ – than actually attempt to humanize what they don’t fully understand. The Gaza imprisonment in the summer of 2005, which was paraded as an Israeli generous withdrawal, produced the Hamas and Islamic Jiahd missile attack and one capture of an Israeli Occupation soldier. Even before the capture of Giald Shalit, the Israeli army bombarded indiscriminately the Gaza Strip.

Putting a human face to the Palestinian people and explicitly saying Israeli policies towards Palestinians is immoral should be acceptable in democratic mainstream news media. It is Not.

Why is it controversial to advocate Palestinian human rights and an independent homeland?

After all, the Jews already have Israel.

“Palestinians count on us internationals to help,” explained the successful businesswoman, whose leg is scarred by a wound from an Israeli rubber-coated steel bullet. “They ask us why the U.S. is paying the Israelis to bomb them. I told them I would come back and tell every American I could what is truly happening. I’m mad and sad, and I don’t know what else to do.”

Greta Berlin is an American. She walks the talk in more ways than one. She is deeply involved in organization on the streets and in public forums; fund-raising, demonstrating, lobbying, etc. She has been to Palestine a number of times with delegations, protests, demonstrators, and those ‘valiant’ who stand in front of bulldozers and dare them!

Now, she and a small group of human rights watchers have put to sea in small boats!

They started a couple of years ago to put together a “flotilla” of boats, crewed by well-known names, who would land on the shores of Gaza, demonstrating the sovereignty of Gaza in defiance of the Israeli blockade.

This is the culmination of their efforts.

More than 40 of them from 16 countries, amongst them Prof. Norman Finkelstein and Prof. Jeff Halper of the Israeli Committee against House Demolitions, Anne Montgomery, a retired 81-year-old nun, Hedy Epstein, herself a Holocaust survivor and several others who wait until the launch to have their names announced, are leaving in August to break Israel’s siege of Gaza. They will sail in two boats to challenge Israel’s authority over an occupied people. Many have been working on this project for two years, and have risen close to $225,000 to buy the boats and set sail. Here is their ad that will be shown in the Middle East in the next few weeks. It’s on www.freegaza.org.

They have set up a list serve used exclusively to keep friends and members of the press informed of the voyage of the two boats, the S.S. FREE GAZA and the USS LIBERTY (in honor of the 34 sailors murdered by Israel in 1967 while on board the USS Liberty) during their journey. If you are interested in following their progress, go to lists.riseup.net/www/subscribe/gazafriends. They will be posting press releases, updates and announcements there.

You can also watch the voyage in real time at www.freegaza.org after August 5 as they set sail from Cyprus. Give the ‘Free Gaza Movement’ thumbs up! And, stay tuned!

Debbie Menon is a Dubai-based freelance writer.  Her articles have been published in several print and online publications. She can be reached at: debbiemenon@gmail.com. or visit her web page at: My Catbird Seat

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