The Canadian Boat to Gaza

The Canadian Boat to Gaza

January 25, 2011 06:00 ET

REMINDER: As Israel Acquits Itself of Flotilla Massacre, Canadian Boat to Gaza Prepares to Sail

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Jan. 25, 2011) - As they move closer to their goal of sending a ship to break the siege, Canadian Boat to Gaza (CBG) campaigners find the Israeli report on the murders of international activists aboard the Mavi Marmara on May 31, 2010 completely unconvincing and unworthy of the widespread coverage it has received. "This is like criminals investigating their own crime and the world treating their investigation as if it were credible," said Ehab Lotayef, spokesperson for the Canadian Boat to Gaza.

"I find it disturbing how much attention is given to this Israeli investigation in Canada, compared to the previous investigations on the subject by the U.N. Human Rights Council, Turkey and International Bureau of Humanitarian NGOs (IBH) & Friends of Charities Association (FOCA), all of which placed blame on Israel," said Sandra Ruch of the CBG Steering Committee.

"If any of the Mavi's passengers were even inclined to violence, how come there were no firearms with them and how come the guns they captured from the Israeli invaders were never used, even when the Israelis started killing unarmed civilians?" commented Kevin Neish, a Canadian activist who was on board the Mavi Marmara last May.

Even before this report was issued, Canadian Foreign Affairs spokesperson Pierre Florea said that the Canadian government stands by Israel and strongly advised Canadians against attempting to break the naval blockade of Gaza.

"The Canadian Government continues its shameful, unconditional backing of Israel, rather than defending justice and human rights for all, which makes civil society groups like us more determined than ever to continue our work," said Lotayef. "We, the Canadian people, have to act where our government is failing to do so, on the international stage."

The Canadian Boat to Gaza has now raised more than half of its $300,000 goal, and has the endorsement of over a hundred Canadian organizations, including faith groups, trade unions and NGOs. Hundreds of Canadians have endorsed and financially contributed to the project as well. It is scheduled to sail to Gaza within the second Freedom Flotilla this spring, along with boats from up to a dozen countries, equally determined to break the illegal siege.

"It's outrageous that Ottawa would side with a foreign power against a humanitarian aid mission aimed at breaking a siege that is illegal under international law -- we'll sail as part of the next Freedom Flotilla, whether Harper's minority government likes it or not," said David Heap, a London peace activist.

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