Friday, 13 February 2009

Treat Palestinians like humans

I'm setting off with a convoy of aid lorries on Saturday for Gaza via Spain and North Africa. I'm taking medicines and fire proof suits donated by the Fire Brigade Union.

There are about one hundred vehicles and we hope that the sheer weight of numbers will compel Israel to open the gates to the hell that is Gaza, and let us deliver it...

...I would like blog readers to help me raise the cash to complete this trip and if they wish to do so they can leave (or post) donations at Alexanders Bar, Rufus Court Chester CH1 2JW. A receipt will be issued.

I previously travelled to Gaza on the siege breaking boat the Dignity which was subsequently rammed and smashed by Israeli patrol vessels. That was in October just before Israel made the first small invasion that broke the ceasefire that had held for five months prior. That was on November 4th. and the Israelis killed six.

The reality of life in Israel shown in the elections by the swing to the even more extreme right and the rampant increase in racism against Arabs - 'gas Arabs' is popular graffiti - means that Israel is going to continue to do what it has always done since it was first allowed to begin colonising Arab lands by the Balfour declaration of 1917. It is going to continue to bring settlers in from foreign countries to force Palestinians off their lands yard by yard. Forcing those Palestinians to crowd into refugee camps (80 per cent of Gazans are refugees from stolen land in Israel) where it will kill them if they try to fight back.

All Israel has to do to have a ceasefire is to remove the blockade on Gaza and allow the Palestinians to live like human beings. But it will not stop killing Palestinians until it has driven them out of Palestine completely or until we stop appeasing Israel and start taking action against it.

Press Association Report 17.00 hours

A huge convoy of over 110 vehicles will leave London for Gaza on Saturday, delivering more than £1 million worth of aid, including ambulances and a fire engine.

The size of the convoy and the amount of aid it is carrying have exceeded the expectations of the organisers, grouped under the umbrella Viva Palestine and supported by many Muslim organisations as well as the Stop the War Coalition.

The convoy will travel 5,000 miles through France, Spain, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt, crossing into Gaza at Rafah in early March.

Hundreds of volunteers are driving the aid convoy, which includes 12 ambulances, a boat and trucks full of medicines, tools, clothes, blankets and shoe-boxes as well as gifts for children.

Respect MP George Galloway, who will help drive the convoy, said: "There is an intifada sweeping Britain. It is a massive and peaceful movement in support of the beleaguered population of Gaza and Palestine.

"It is happening everywhere, but is especially strong in the north of England and especially among young Muslims.

"This convoy is material manifestation of it. In barely a month, it has metamorphosed from an aspiration I threw out at the 100,000 strong pro-Palestine demonstration on 10 January to more than 100 vehicles and nearly 300 people from across Britain.

"We will lead the biggest convoy of British vehicles across North Africa since Montgomery."