July 1st, 2015
On June 29th, the Israeli navy assaulted the Swedish boat “Marianne” in international waters, seizing its crew of human-rights activists and its cargo of humanitarian supplies in what can only be called an act of piracy. The passengers were dragged against their will to the city of Ashdod in Israel.
The Freedom Flotilla aims to break the siege on the Gaza Strip, which the Israeli government has turned into the world’s largest open-air prison. The activists are unarmed. They seek to break the siege in a symbolic action by sailing to Gaza, in order to call attention to the incarceration of almost 1.8 million people, who are denied their basic rights to travel and to trade, being cut-off from the world by the Israeli military.
The chairman of European Jews for Just Peace, Dror Feiler, is among the seized passengers on board “Marianne.” We learned from him that just a few days prior to it departure for Gaza, the boat “Juliano” which was to accompany it was sabotaged while in Greek coastal waters. We have to assume that Israeli armed forces were responsible in an attempt to prevent the boats from sailing. Juliano Mer Khamis was the founder of the Freedom Theater in Jenin, assassinated on April 4th, 2011.
European Jews for Just Peace is a coalition of European Jewish organizations, committed to peace and to justice. We demand of our European governments to act to release the captive passengers, among them European Parliament member Ana Miranda. We strongly condemn the inhuman siege of the Gaza Strip.