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Gaza Rejects Greek Government Charity

The following letter was delivered to the Greek Government on July 12, 2011 making it clear that the people of Gaza seek freedom and respect for their human rights, including their right to lead a dignified life, not charity. Seemingly deaf to their call, yesterday a spokesman for the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Delavekouras, repeated the Greek Government’s “generous offer” to deliver limited humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza – instead of helping them gain the freedom that Israel continues to deny them.

12 July 2011

Dear Prime Minister Papendreou,

Dear Foreign Minister Lambrinidis

We, members of Palestinian civil society in Gaza, have been watching the actions your government has taken to block Freedom Flotilla 2 from setting sail towards the biggest open air prison – the Gaza Strip – to challenge Israel’s criminal blockade. Israel’s closure of Gaza has deprived us of things that most people take for granted, first and foremost, our freedom of movement. We are not allowed to pursue adequate health care or educational opportunities because we cannot travel freely. We are cut off from our families in other parts of the occupied territory and abroad; and we are not allowed to invite people to visit us in Gaza. Now, you have imported this restriction on the people whose main mission is to stand in solidarity with us.

The people of Gaza are not only in need of humanitarian aid because we are prevented from building our economy. We are not allowed to import raw materials or to export; our fishermen and farmers get shot at when attempting to fish or to harvest their crops. As a result of deliberate Israeli policy, 80% of our people have become food aid dependent, our infrastructure is in shambles, and our children cannot imagine a day when they will know freedom.

Your offer to deliver the cargo of the Freedom Flotilla entrenches the notion that humanitarian aid will solve our problems and is a weak attempt to disguise your complicity in Israel’s blockade.

We are so sorry not to accept your charity. The organizers and participants of the Freedom Flotilla recognize that our plight is not about humanitarian aid; it is about our human rights. They carry with them something more important than aid; they carry hope, love, solidarity and respect. Your offer to collude with our oppressors to deliver aid to us is totally REJECTED.

While it is clear that you have been under enormous political pressure to comply with the will of the Israeli regime, to collaborate with Israel in violating international law and legitimizing the siege, we refuse to accept your breadcrumbs. We crave freedom, dignity and the ability to make choices in our daily lives. We urge you to immediately reconsider and to let the Freedom Flotilla sail.

Finally we recognize the historical relations between our people and your country’s support for our legitimate rights. With this history in mind and your previous acknowledgment of the freedoms denied to us, we are calling on you to allow the freedom flotilla boats to leave for Gaza, thus challenging Israel’s illegal blockade of the Gaza Strip and illegal occupation of Palestinian land.

Sincerely,

Palestinian Network of NGOs (PNGO)

Representing over 60 non-governmental organizations in Gaza

www.pngoportal.net

Palestinian International Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza

General Society for Rehabilitation

Deir Al-Balah Cultural Centre for Women and Children

Maghazi Cultural Centre for Children

Al-Sahel Centre for Women and Youth

Rachel Corrie Centre, Rafah

Rafah Olympia City Sisters

Al Awda Centre, Rafah

Al Awda Hospital, Jabaliya Camp

Ajyal Association, Gaza

Al Karmel Centre, Nuseirat

Local Initiative, Beit Hanoun

Beit Lahiya Cultural Centre

Al Awda Centre, Rafah

Middle East Children’s Alliance – Gaza office

Alshomoa Club for Women

General Union for Public Services Workers

General Union for Health Services Workers

General Union for Petrochemical and Gas Workers

General Union for Agricultural Workers

General Union of Palestinian Syndicates

General Union of Palestinian Women

Palestinian Congregation for Lawyers

Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU)

Union of Health Work Committees

Union of Synergies—Women Unit

Union of Women’s Work Committees

Palestinian Association for Fishing and Maritime

Palestine Sailing Federation

Fishing and Marine Sports Association

Palestinian Women Committees

Progressive Students’ Union

www.freegaza.org

www.witnessgaza.com

www.freedomflotilla.eu

July 15, 2011 - Posted by | Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture

4 Comments

  1. The people of Palestine are proud and courageous and it is heartwarming to read this letter that was sent to the Greek Government. Blocking the Freedom Flotilla from sailing out of the Greek ports is a shameful act and against International law. Greece will regret this move and by sucking up to the criminal Zionist Entity will not save Greece from bankruptcy.
    Papendreou does not serve the Greek people but is a puppet of the fascist regime in IsraHell.

    Comment by B.Benhamid | July 15, 2011

    • The sad and shameful truth :(

      Comment by Ketty Papadima | July 16, 2011

  2. Marian Larsen: Khalid Tuhraani, an American-Palestinian activist whose ship was stuck in the port of Corfu, told Al Jazeera: ”Many of the Arab countries have, like Greece now, become hostages of the political will of the United States and Israel.

    “We chose Greece because this country has a history of support for the Palestinian struggle for freedom,” he said. “Unfortunately we did not expect the Greek government to just roll over and die. But the Middle East Quartet issued a statement against our flotilla, so I think the pressure on the Greek government just might have been too enormous for it to bear.”

    Comment by Marian Larsen | July 16, 2011

  3. Up until Greece joined the EU it was one of the staunchest supporters of the Palestinian people and their basic human rights. Unfortunately, just like Spain, Greece has sold its soul to the devil…and look where this has landed both countries!! Greece is bankrupt and Spain will soon follow….

    Comment by Mazen El-Khairy | July 16, 2011


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