AFP reports that the Jewish boat to Gaza, Irene, (pictured at left) set forth from Cyprus some hours ago:
A boat carrying Jewish activists from Israel, Europe and the United States set sail Sunday from Cyprus bound for Gaza, in a bid to run Israel’s blockade of the Palestinian territory, an AFP reporter said.
The boat, named “Irene,” left the port of Famagusta in the Turkish-held north of the divided eastern Mediterranean island in the early afternoon carrying eight activists, three of whom are crew members, and two journalists.
Here is the account we got from passenger Lillian Rosengarten–a New Yorker who escaped Nazi Germany as a little girl– yesterday, embargoed till now. Rosengarten is pictured left, apparently with Edith Lutz behind her:
The small saılboat wıth engıne saıls under a British flag. Our captaın ıs Glyn Secker, Brıtısh human rıghts actıvıst. 3 crew ıncludıng wonderful Yonatan Shapira. Two other passengers are Israelı: Reuven Moskovıtz, 82 year old camp survıvor, and Ramı Elhanen (husband to to Nurıt Peled-Elhanen), father of Smadar, who was killed by a suıcıde bomber in Jerusalem in 1997. Next ıs Edıth Lutz who ıs a German Jew and co- coordınator of the Jewısh boat, which is also being coordinated by the Brıtısh group Jews For Justıce For Palestıne. I left my computer ın London for securıty reasons. We hope and belıeve there ıs some possıbılıty that we can get to Gaza. We are nonvıolent but wıll practıce passıve resıstance, for we wıll not turn the boat around…
It’s a remarkable, small catamaran. I and another woman, and seven men. three crew. Yonatan Shapira is one of the crew with his brother Itamar. All the people are fantastic!
Update: JPost reports that the mother of newly-elected British Labour Party leader Ed Miliband– Marion Kozak– is a member of the Jewish group in England that has backed the Jewish boat to Gaza.