A Jewish peace ship heading for Gaza was intercepted by the Israeli navy today and towed to Ashdod, a cargo port in Israel 40km south of Tel Aviv.
The London-based Jews for Justice for Palestinians had organised the aid voyage. Among those on board were Holocaust survivor Reuven Moskovitz, 82, and Rami Elhanan, an Israeli whose daughter was killed in a suicide attack by a Palestinian in 1997. Also on board were American and British peace activists.
The Israeli peace group Gush Shalom reports on a demonstration by peace activists at Ashdod Port to protest the capture of the ship:
Dozens of peace activists gathered on the beach near Ashdod port, to which the Jewish Peace Ship is being towed by the Israeli Navy, to protest the capture of the ship and the continued blockade of Gaza, which has turned it into a huge prison with no entry or exit. The activists held signs with the captions: “Medicines – A Security Risk?”, “Let Gaza Live,” The blockade and the construction on settlements destroy us all,” “Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies.” Later the demonstrators moved to the gates of Ashdod Port where they currently remain.
The government does not miss any opportunity to present to the world the ugly, aggressive and brutal face of Israel. Israel’s security would not have been damaged in the least – quite the contrary – if the peace activists on the ship had been allowed to reach Gaza as the respected guests of its Palestinian residents. The sailors who are now shackled and led to detention for their support for peace, save a small measure of the dignity of the State of Israel and of Judaism, whose name Binyamin Netanyahu bears in vain.