Tuesday, 28 September 2010

DEMONSTRATE! TODAY, 5pm - Support the 'Jewish Boat to Gaza'!



Jewish Boat to Gaza - on a highly publicised humanitarian aid mission to the besieged and embattled people of Palestine in Gaza, and supported by many Jewish organisations and celebrities from around the world - has been boarded illegally in international waters by Israeli armed forces off the Gaza coast of Palestine.

Two British Citizens on board - the captain, Glyn Secker, and photojournalist Vish Vishvanath - have been siezed and their whereabouts and welfare are unknown. The Israeli military have stated that the boat, the Irene (a british flagged vessel) is being towed to the Israeli port of Ashdod. However, this has not been confirmed by the boats' supporters since all communication with the boat's passengers and crew has been cut by the Israeli military.

The British Foreign & Commonwealth office has been alerted to the plight of the two British citizens by UK supporters, and are now in liaison with Mr Secker and Mr Vishvanath's next of kin.

However, as yet, no official comment from the UK Government has been made. This despite the thorough and detailed news coverage in the UK and international media throughout the day, and the substantial knowledge of the current situation by UK diplomats. This latest act of piracy is a further grave insult to international law by the Israeli Government, and yet another instance of UK Citizens' rights being violated by that belligerent foreign power.

We call on the British Government to:
* ensure full consular access by UK diplomatic staff to the two British citizens currently being kidnapped by Israel.
* ensure the health, safety and well-being of the British citizens is made of paramount concern to their Israeli kidnappers.
* ensure none of the British citizens' possessions or personal effects of any kind are stolen by Israeli kidnappers, including ensuring that passports are left untampered with and identities are protected.
* uphold international law* actively defend the rights of its own UK citizenry to champion human and civil rights in accordance with international law wherever those rights are violated anywhere in the world
* enact its own policies of redress for previous violations and protection from current violations of humanitarian and civil rights for all Palestinians
* formally and actively hold the Israeli Government to account for its countless examples of blatant disregard and disrespect of international law.

The UK Government has long stated its humanitarian and civil rights commitments both to the Palestinians and its own British citizens.

Now is the time to act on those commitments to the full, and bring the Israeli Government to book. Enough is enough.

Further information:
Jewish Boat to Gaza -
- Vish Vishvanath, Freelance photographer and reporter.
- Glyn Secker, from the UK, is the boat’s captain and a member of Jews for Justice for Palestinians Executive Commitee.
Jews for Justice for Palestinians -

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