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Jewish Boat to Gaza sets sail from Cyprus

27 September 2010
Captain of the Irene, Glyn Secker, now on board the Jewish Boat to Gaza

Captain of the Irene, Glyn Secker, now on board the Jewish Boat to Gaza


A boat carrying aid for Gaza’s population and organised by jewish groups worldwide has set sail from Cyprus yesterday (26 September) at 13:32 local time.

The boat, Irene, is sailing under a British flag and is carrying 10 passengers and crew, including jews from the US, the UK, Germany and Israel, as well as two British journalists.

At crisis point in peace talks, jews, Israelis, call to lift the siege on Gaza, and to end the occupation.

The boat’s cargo includes symbolic aid in the form of children’s toys and musical instruments, textbooks, fishing nets for Gaza’s fishing communities and prosthetic limbs for orthopaedic medical care in Gaza’s hospitals.

The receiving organisation in Gaza is the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme, directed by Gaza psychiatrist Dr Eyad Sarraj.

The boat will attempt to reach the coast of Gaza and unload its aid cargo in a nonviolent, symbolic act of solidarity and protest – and call for the siege to be lifted to enable free passage of goods and people to and from the Gaza Strip.

The boat will fly multicolored peace flags carrying the names of dozens of jews who have expressed their support for this action, as a symbol of the widespread support for the boat by jews worldwide.

Speaking from London, a member of the organising group, Richard Kuper of Jews for Justice for Palestinians, said today that the Jewish Boat to Gaza is a symbolic act of protest against the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories and the siege of Gaza, and a message of solidarity to Palestinians and Israelis who seek peace and justice.

“Israeli government policies are not supported by all jews,” said Kuper. “We call on all governments and people around the world to speak and act against the occupation and the siege.”

Regarding the threat of interception by the Israeli navy, Kuper said, “This is a nonviolent action. We aim to reach Gaza, but our activists will not engage in any physical confrontation and will therefore not present the Israelis with any reason or excuse to use physical force or assault them.”

Passenger Reuven Moskovitz, 82, said that his life’s mission has been to turn foes into friends. “We are two peoples, but we have one future,” he said.

Satellite phone on board for contact to the passengers: 00 882 166 861 0337

Media contact in London for interviewing the Boat’s organisers: Yosh, 0044 7816 448 307;

JNews contact in Israel: Miri 00972 549 270 796

Passengers and crew for interview:

Reuven Moskovitz, from Israel, is a founding member of the Jewish-Arab village Neve Shalom (Oasis of Peace) and a holocaust survivor. Speaks German, Hebrew and English.

Rami Elhanan, from Israel, who lost his daughter Smadar to a suicide bombing in 1997 and is a founding member of the Bereaved Families Circle of Israelis and Palestinians who lost their loved ones to the conflict. Speaks Hebrew and English.

Lilian Rosengarten, from the US, is a peace activist and psychotherapist. She was a refugee from Nazi Germany. Speaks English and German.

Yonatan Shapira, from Israel, is an ex-IDF pilot and now an activist for Combatants for Peace. Speaks Hebrew and English.

Glyn Secker, from the UK, is the boat’s captain and a member of Jews for Justice for Palestinians. Speaks English.

Dr Edith Lutz, from Germany, is a peace activist and a nurse. She was on the first boat to Gaza in 2008. Speaks German and English.

Itamar Shapira, from Israel, is Yonatan’s brother, and a member of the boat’s crew. Speaks Hebrew, Spanish and English.

Eli Osherov, Israeli reporter from Israel Channel 10 News.

Supporters: Jewish organisations and individuals from UK, Holland, Germany, US, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, France, Austria, Australia and Israel.

Organisers and sponsors: European Jews for a Just Peace, Jews for Justice for Palestinians (UK), Juedische Stimme fuer einen gerechten Frieden in Nahost (Germany), American Jews for a Just Peace (USA), Jewish Voice for Peace (USA), Jews Against the Occupation Sydney.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Mohamed Hassan permalink
    28 September 2010 12:01pm

    Amazing..I wonder if any of the middle eastern regimes would be ashamed considering they are participating in the siege in the first place…

  2. 15 October 2010 9:18am

    Such a sign of hope, that human recentre on our common vital essential of “mutual care” instead of sticking to divisive labels destroying humanity.
    They don’t only help to create a fair peace in that region for all inhabitants suffering from this situation, but their engagement courage is warmly shared in many hearts around the globe.

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