The people of Gaza can't wait for political leaders to decide it's in their interest to negotiate, so it's up to us -- as civil society -- to step up the pressure. That's what these waves of boats are doing.
In a Democracy Now! interview before the U.S. ship "The Audacity of Hope" left a port in Greece, Consul General of Israel in New York Ido Aharoni defends the Israeli government's campaign against the flotilla.
We have to make sacrifices to stop the crimes that are ultimately being committed in our names. In different ways, we have to risk the consequences of being where we need to be when we need to be there.
Our cargo is not humanitarian aid, as some of the other ships are carrying, but thousands of letters from the U.S. people, letters of compassion, solidarity and hope written to people living in the Gaza Strip.
The logic of the argument that the blockade of Gaza is automatically justified by the threat of violence to Israel from Hamas is essentially the same logic that the Bush-Cheney Administration used in justifying its decisions to torture detainees.
I was one of those who chose to defy Israeli forces when they attacked and took our Freedom Flotilla ships that were trying to deliver desperately needed humanitarian aid to civilian organizations in the Israeli blockaded Gaza Strip.
Rosa Parks sat down in the front of the bus. What would that look like, be like, today, in this situation between Palestine and Israel? It would be to support Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel.
Suppose Turkish and Brazilian diplomats were to demand effective Security Council action to end the siege on Gaza before they assist with Iran sanctions. Do you think U.S. diplomats would get the message? I think they would.
My dear friend Ann Wright joined the Gaza Freedom Flotilla just days before it left Greece. She posted daily blogs from her voyage, the last one written only hours before the Israeli Navy commandeered her small boat.
The Gaza Freedom flotilla is evidence of the shift that's taking place in international humanitarian aid. Since 2001, governments have declared aid organizations to be combatants when they help organizations considered to be terrorists.
If the Israeli government is convinced they took the appropriate action in this case, they can go a long way toward proving that by giving us the whole tape. If not, we have to assume they're hiding something.