What did the women want when they set sail towards Gaza? Did they expect to reach its shores in peace?
The women wanted to break the siege on Gaza by sailing to its shores. They were longing for the sea’s generosity and flow, but were expecting the sea’s ebb. That’s why they prepared video messages to be broadcast in case those women were forcefully prevented from entering Gaza. These messages condemn maritime piracy through which Israel violates international laws and parliamentarian immunity, as there were women parliamentarians on board the boat.
These women from all over the world sailed on a small boat, brought together by one dream and one goal, the dream to achieve freedom and justice, and the goal to break the siege on Gaza.
Those women in solidarity on board Zaytouna were not able to reach their destination, but they hit the target, fulfilled the mission and kept the dream alive.
They shed the light on the exacerbating suffering of the people of Gaza, and the suffering of the people of Palestine as a whole. They showed the huge role the Palestinian women play in their fight for freedom.
They regained the popular momentum supporting the Palestinian cause, and announced that they will continue to expose the Occupation’s policies, and that the dream of freedom will live on.
Despite the calls and cries of activists from the civil society from countries all around the world to ensure Zaytouna reached its destination after Amal’s stumbling, the Israeli navy fighters took control of the boat before it reached Gaza Strip. A statement issued by the Israeli Occupation, which implemented the operation, said that it was “short and without casualties.” The General Israeli Radio, as stated by a navy officer, said that the boat was intercepted at 35 nautical miles off the shores of Gaza Strip and that the operation did not involve any violence. But civil society organizations and activists round the world had a different thing to say: what happened was a distinctive act of violence as well as maritime piracy.
The Arab Organization for Human Rights in the UK confirmed that the Occupation practiced maritime piracy by attacking Zaytouna on its way to break the siege on th Gaza Strip, and considers the continuing siege on Gaza a “war crime”.
The Organizations’ President said that “piracy is forbidden by the international criminal law, and can even progress to be considered a war crime. The Occupation is still practicing piracy unsanctioned at sea. The continued siege on the Gaza Strip is a war crime, and forbidding any activity aiming to break the siege is also a war crime.” He called for the need to act against the Occupation in international forums, for prosecuting the Occupation for piracy and for extracting a decision from the United Nations to lift the siege on Gaza.
The women who sailed on board the boat were represented by the Media Organizer for Zaytouna’s campaign, Wendy Goldsmith, who confirmed that “the attack and capture of the boat was not peaceful, the captivity of 1.9 million Palestinian people in Gaza is not peaceful, and what Israel did taking a boat of unarmed civilians and peace activists was an act of war and maritime piracy.”
Commenting on the challenges those women faced on board Zaytouna, leading activist and retired US Army Col. Ann Wright said, “The challenges those women are facing are nothing compared to the arduous circumstances the women in Gaza have to endure.” She added that her country’s government is a participant in the crime that is the siege on Gaza, since it provided Israel with aids worth billions of dollars in the past ten years.
Those women from all over the world, who set sail to break the siege on Gaza, announced their goals very clearly. So what about the sincerity of the Palestinian intent to break the siege on Gaza with actions not words? And what about our clear goals, near and far? And our means to achieve these goals?
If we knew that breaking the siege could be achieved only by ending the division, and if there were several popular efforts to end the division, then what is really preventing achieving that?
What is preventing achievement is the absence of a political program that is agreed upon, which can never be clearly defined until after re-identifying the national project as a liberation project that is the antithesis of the Zionist project.
The policies of generalization, expressing goodwill, or having each party blame the other for the continuation of the division did not and will not work.
Everybody’s responsible for the problem, and everybody’s responsible for solving it. As for the civil society, it is responsible for liability, oversight and accountability.
The country does not belong to one party, nor is it another party’s farm. The country is the country of the Palestinian people, and the Palestinian people are responsible for determining its fighting strategy within the principle of political partnership, based on Arab and international support to achieve national independence.
The sea has a rhythm\ the sea has song\ the sea is eerie/ the sea is dreamy
The sea has the language of life
The sea tells its own tale: the ebb and flow
The sea has its people
The sea has its lightening, madness and compassion
The sea is vast; the sea has its whispers
The sea has its mermaids
The sea smells like freedom; the sea is full of memories