Creating people's geographies
CommonDreams.org Monday, August 7, 2006
An international call for a peace ship to break the Israeli blockade and bring relief supplies to civilians in Lebanon, Israel and Gaza
In 1973, the Israeli peace activist Abie Nathan sailed from New York to the international waters of the Israeli coast, with an international crew, and for twenty years broadcast as a “pirate” radio station featuring music, news and commentary that Israelis and their neighbours weren’t being exposed to through official media outlets. He did this in order to challenge the militaristic mentality of Israeli society and the oppression of its neighbours. John Lennon and Yoko Ono, and numerous well known newspeople supported the endeavour, which continued until 1993, when blinded by the signing of the Oslo Accords in Washington and running out of money, Nathan had the ship sunk in international waters. He hoped his work was done.
Now that Oslo has been revealed to have been an empty dream, and Israel has re-invaded Lebanon, it is time to resurrect the Peace Ship, but in a much more proactive form.
We are calling for progressives world wide, particularly public figures who whose presence would provide both media coverage and security from Israeli attack, to come together, charter a ship filled with medical and other relief supplies, and sail from Cyprus or another coast close to Lebanon, either alone or with accompanying ships, into the Beirut Harbor, thereby breaking the Israeli blockade.
We will use the time on the ship to educate ourselves and the world community through broadcasts via the web and the media on board, about the history of the region and its contemporary dynamics, bring in leading artists and newspeople to perform and discuss events, do trainings in non-violent resistance led by the Christian Peacemaker Teams, Ruckus Society, Code Pink, Non-violent Peace Force and other groups with experience doing this kind of work, and otherwise prepare the ground work for a “peace invasion” that would mark the entrance of a new and powerful force into this war in the same way that the “D-Day” invasion changed the course of World War Two.
We will then go to Haifa Harbour to bring supplies to Israeli civilians – Jews and Palestinians – affected by the war, and finally break the blockade of Gaza Port and bring aid and solidarity to the million plus Palestinians imprisoned there.
Any one who would like to contribute to this effort in any way, please contact Mark LeVine at [email protected] or (US) 949 394 7772.
Mark LeVine is a Prof. of History at the University of California, Irvine, and the author of “Why They Don’t Hate Us: Lifting the Veil on the Axis of Evil.” For more information see: www.culturejamming.org