Calls grow for Freedom Flotilla to launch from Egypt

on 10 Comments

From an editorial in the Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm titled “Egypt to Gaza: The road begins here“:

As part of Egypt’s conscience and its rising revolutionary fabric, we at Al-Masry Al-Youm call for a public campaign to invite the Freedom Flotilla II to sail to the Gaza Strip from one of Egypt’s ports.

While we believe the Freedom Flotilla II is better off sailing from Egypt for logistical reasons, we also think the decision gives a strong political message. This is the political message of enacting popular solidarity with the Palestinian cause and challenging the incumbent naval blockade. This is also our chance to rewrite a shameful political history of Egypt sponsoring the blockade, especially during Israel’s war on the strip during the 2009 Cast Lead operation, when over 1000 Palestinians – mostly civilians – lost their lives.

“The Audacity of Hope” is one of the flotilla ships names as well as the title of Barack Obama’s autobiography, written before he became US president. This title acknowledges the fact that regular citizens are the real makers of history. The status quo will not be changed through countries and institutions alone, but through people’s struggle against the blind clinging to power.

This was the logic behind the 25 January revolution, during which millions of Egyptians raised the slogan “dignity” to reinvent the meaning of their humanity and determine their own futures.

Now that we’re in the process of reclaiming our history and dignity, our struggle transcends borders and nation states and extends to other sagas of oppression. Gaza, as part of the Palestinian cause, has its place in our collective consciousness. The struggle of its one-and-a-half million people is one with which we identify, and we’re re-awakened to it in light of our on-going struggle. Moreover, the road to Gaza begins in Egypt, the natural point of departure for any quest to break the blockade, in force since 2007.

For these reasons, Freedom Flotilla II must sail from Egypt.

Read the entire editorial here and follow the discussion around the proposal on Twitter.

10 Responses

  1. petersz
    July 5, 2011, 10:28 am

    If the Israelis don’t allow flotillas from Egypt, Egypt can cut off their gas!

    • lysias
      July 5, 2011, 11:17 am

      I wonder if the recent sabotage of the Egyptian gas line to Israel was meant as a warning.

  2. yourstruly
    July 5, 2011, 11:04 am

    …our struggle transcends borders and nation states and extends to other sagas of oppression?

    so does our own struggle

    especially since it’s the u. s. government that’s behind so much of the terror and misery that afflicts the world

  3. talknic
    July 5, 2011, 12:03 pm

    “Israel intends to deny or limit consular access to foreign nationals if they are detained during the Flotilla”

    “Ashdod Port will be declared a closed military zone and no consular access will be possible. Participants will either be deported or transferred to one of three prisons. Limited consular access will be afforded to Australian consular officials to participants at the prison and no consular access will be permitted to participants at the airport prior to deportation. Journalists will be considered to be participating in the Flotilla and will not receive special treatment.”

    link to

  4. gloriousbach
    July 5, 2011, 3:23 pm

    Just in case link missed– Richard Falk’s “Sabotaging FlotillaII: Waging War Against Civil Society.”
    link to

  5. sycamore
    July 5, 2011, 6:56 pm

    Why does everyone assume that states such as Egypt and Greece are disinterested actors being “forced” by Israel to do anything? Greece entered into its trade negotiations with Israel a year ago, Israel has been pitching more and more aid for Greece from the EU since then. I’m sure the issue of future flotillas came up during the negotiations. Treating world leaders as if they are fellow activists in the Palestinian struggle, certainly helps them at home, as it did Erdogan. But as soon at the spotlight is off, they’re back to helping Israel, as Turkey is at this moment, throwing away its complaint against Israel for the killings on the Mavi Marmara.

    • ddi
      July 5, 2011, 8:03 pm

      Tragically so, it’s all about self-interests and the Palestinians thanks to Israel are an occupied, oppressed, stateless, powerless people who have nothing to offer these countries and Israel is cynically exploiting this situation.

  6. Pixel
    July 6, 2011, 12:35 am

    Israeli Deputy Prime Minister: Flotilla Sabotage Thanks to IDF
    – by Richard Silverstein

    “Bogie Yaalon’s actual words quoted in Ynet (Hebrew) were:

    ‘Those problems the Flotilla’s having in realizing their plans didn’t just happen. They’re thanks to the work of the political echelon whose focus was on diplomatic political issues, and operational work of the IDF to prepare for every possible eventuality.’

    The last phrase is doublespeak which both reveals and conceals at the same time, a formulation any Israeli would recognize as not just alluding to an IDF role in sabotage, but practically bragging about it.”

    link to

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