The power that we have to make change when our governments are silent

Huwaida Arraf, Gaza Freedom Flotilla organizer, interviewed by PalestineStudiesTV:

I’ve talked a lot with the Israeli media and told them that for their viewers/listeners/readers, this should not be perceived as anti-Israel or anti-Jewish. There are Israelis on our action; there are Jews from different countries. Part of our action — a quarter of the American boat are Jewish Americans that are participating, because this is about equality of people — respecting everybody’s human rights irrespective of race, religion or ethnicity, and so we reject Israel’s efforts to make it about “us” or “them” as if we want to attack Israelis in any way. No, they can very much stand with us and it’s for their future as well as it is for Palestinians’ future…

While we are sailing towards Gaza, this action is not just about Gaza. Yes we want to open it, we want to end this prison-like closure of Gaza, but what’s happening in Jerusalem — the ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem, Palestinians being kicked out of their homes so that Jewish families can move in — that’s not any less severe. The continued confiscation of property in the West Bank; the demolition of large areas of land; the building of the apartheid wall — this is illegal, this is also repressive. And the situation of Palestinians inside Israel, inside the 1948 territories where — I also am an Israeli citizen, a Palestinian-Israeli — I am not treated as an equal because I am not Jewish. This is all part of what I call a colonial apartheid regime, and this needs to be dismantled if we are going to ever see peace in the region.

So while we are sailing towards Gaza, this more than just about Gaza. And I’ll go so far as to say this more than just about Palestine — it is about what people can do. Because this is very much a grass-roots, global civil society action. It is the power that we have to make change when our governments are silent. It’s about what we do every single day to create the kind of world that we want to live in. And so I hope that everyone that listens or sees what we are doing can recognize that and can decide in their own way how they can contribute.

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