Monday, September 27, 2010

The Locked Sea

Gaza is closed and locked. By land, and by sea, and by air. Gaza residents may not go out, and those who live elsewhere may not enter.

Those who attempt to defy the ban may come to a bad end. A few months ago, nine Turks returned home in coffins. The reasons why and how it happened this way are now investigated by no less than four commissions of inquiry in different locations around the world. Three days ago the 20 year old Gazan fisherman Mohammed Baker tried to sail into the Mediterranean, away from the shores of Gaza, and got slightly beyond the limits set for him and his fellows by the Navy of the enlightened State of Israel. The gun boats opened fire, and Baker will never again sail anywhere.

Nevertheless, this night a small boat is sailing on the Mediterranean waves, en route to Gaza. A Jewish Peace Boat. Its passengers and crew are all Jews who don’t endorse the policies of a state which insists upon being recognized as a Jewish state, the Jewish State. Jews from Britain and Germany and the United States, as well as Jewish citizens of Israel.

Yonatan Shapira, a former helicopter pilot in the Israel Defense Forces – and whose former colleagues had carried the naval commandos who raided the previous Gaza Flotilla - called from the boat on them to refuse this time.

What will happen when the boat gets near the coast of Gaza? In a few hours we will probably know.