No boarding

The helicopter or whatever left. We were about to distress a lıttle bit. The guy with the che guevara look showed us his new t-shırt showing a group of Indians from the New World, the text saying Fighting terrorism since 1492...

Then messenger from the captain saıd there are five ships - four on the side and one behind - on the radar and they are approaching. No verbal contact. We are 72 mıles from the Israel shore and 100 miles from Gaza. We can already see some lights at a dıstance

Still online

Because of the experıence durıng the war on gaza and of course Iraq too we think we wıll shut out so that we cannot report. It is said that Israel intended to have inbedded journalısts who could report on the orderly way in which they conducted their mission. It is doubtful though that their strategy was to their advantage.

Now the İsraelis are calling our captain and other people from the IHH by name. People who have been working in Afghanistan are afraid of the use of use they will make of theır drones

Now it is four helicopters

They seem to use lots of force power agaınst our nonvıolent fleet. Now there are three navy mıssıle shıps and four helıcopters around and above us

They have deployed the Masada unit, the prison service's commando unit that specializes in penetrating prison cells; naval commando fighters with backup from the special police anti-terror unit and the army's Oketz canine unit and buılt a special detention facility set up at the Ashdod port

And all of thıs for what kınd of threat? A peaceful humanıtarıan fleet brıngıng cement, desalınatıon plants, generators and medıcal and school supplıes to Gaza....

Helıcopter over our shıp

A helıcopter encırcle our shıp at thıs moment. Thıs may be yet another ıntımıdatıon or maybe a boardıng from the sky

Three navy missile ships about to confront the Freedom Flotilla accordıng to Haaretz

Report: Israeli warships make contact with Gaza aid flotilla

Israeli navy operating on assumption that activists aboard aid ships will not heed their call to turn around, refrain from breaking Gaza siege.

By Anshel Pfeffer, Avi Issacharoff and The Associated Press Tags: Gaza aid Freedom flotilla

Israeli warships have made contact with a six-ship aid flotilla headed toward Gaza carrying 10,000 tons of humanitarian aid and supplies, Al Jazeera reported late Sunday. The Israeli navy is operating on the assumption that the activists manning the boats will not heed their calls to turn around, and in response, the troops are prepared to board the ships and steer them away from the Gaza shores and toward the Israeli port city of Ashdod.

Boats at the Gaza port a day before a flotilla of aid ships is expected to try to sail into the bloc

Boats at the Gaza port a day before a flotilla of aid ships is expected to try to sail into the blockaded territory May 30, 2010.

Photo by: AP

Huwaida Arraf, one of the flotilla organizers, said the six-ship flotilla began the journey from international waters off the coast of Cyprus Sunday afternoon after two days of delays. According to organizers, the flotilla was expected to reach Gaza, about 250 miles (400 kilometers) away, on Monday afternoon, and two more ships would follow in a second wave.

The flotilla was fully prepared for the different scenarios that might arise, and organizers were hopeful that Israeli authorities would do what's right and not stop the convoy, one of the organizers said.

"We fully intend to go to Gaza regardless of any intimidation or threats of violence against us," Arraf said. "They are going to have to forcefully stop us."

After nightfall, three Israeli navy missile boats left their base in Haifa, steaming out to sea to confront the activists' ships.

Two hours later, Israel Radio broadcast a recording of one of the missile boats warning the flotilla not to approach Gaza.

"If you ignore this order and enter the blockaded area, the Israeli navy will be forced to take all the necessary measures in order to enforce this blockade," the radio message continued.

The flotilla, which includes three cargo ships and three passenger ships, is trying to draw attention to Israel's three-year blockade of the Gaza Strip. The boats are carrying items that Israel bars from reaching Gaza, like cement and other building materials.

The activists said they also were carrying hundreds of electric-powered wheelchairs, prefabricated homes and water purifiers.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said that after a security check, permitted humanitarian aid confiscated from the boats will be transferred to Gaza through authorized channels. However, Israel would not transfer items it has banned from Gaza under its blockade rules. Palmor said that for example, cement would be allowed only if it is tied to a specific project.

This is the ninth time that the Free Gaza movement has tried to ship in humanitarian aid to Gaza since August 2008.

Israel has let ships through five times, but has blocked them from entering Gaza waters since a three-week military offensive against Gaza's Hamas rulers in January 2009. The flotilla bound for Gaza is the largest to date.

Some 700 pro-Palestinian activists are on the boats, including 1976 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire of Northern Ireland, European legislators and an elderly Holocaust survivor.

The mission has experienced repeated delays, both due to mechanical problems and a decision by Cyprus to bar any boat from sailing from its shore to Gaza. The ban forced a group of European lawmakers to depart from the breakaway Turkish Cypriot northern part of the island late Saturday.

Israel and Egypt imposed the blockade on Gaza after Hamas militants violently seized control of the seaside territory in June 2007.

Israel says the measures are needed to prevent Hamas, which has fired thousands of rockets at Israel, from building up its arsenal. But United Nations officials and international aid groups say the blockade has been counterproductive, failing to weaken the Islamic militant group while devastating the local economy.

Israel rejects claims of a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, saying it allows more than enough food and medicine into the territory. The Israelis also point to the bustling smuggling industry along Gaza's southern border with Egypt, which has managed to bring consumer goods, gasoline and livestock into the seaside strip.

Israel has condemned the flotilla as a provocation and vowed to block it from reaching Gaza.

Israeli military officials said they hope to resolve the situation peacefully but are prepared for all scenarios. Naval commandos have been training for days in anticipation of the standoff. Military officials, speaking on condition of anonymity under official guidelines, said the forces would likely take over the boats under the cover of darkness.

Palmor said foreigners on the ships would be sent back to their countries. Activists who did not willingly agree to be deported would be detained. A special detention facility has been set up in Ashdod.

Rallies ın support of the Freedom Flotilla

Reports stream ın from various cıtıes wıth rallies or call for rallıes ın cıtıes across Europe. In Istanbul more than 5000 people took to the streets enraged by the Israelı mılitary threat against the non-violent humanitarıan mıssıon of eıght vessels that sends badly needed reconstructıon materıal and medıcal supplıes to the besıeged populatıon of Gaza. Rıght now. a couple of thousand protesters gather ın Ankara.

People ın London, Barcelona and Madrıd call for rallıes tomorrow. Monday, and ın Sweden, demonstratıons are planned ın Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmoe.

We urge people across the world to organıze rallıes ın support of our mıssıon and demand that theır respectıve governments take a stand for ınternatıonal publıc law agaınst the curreng mılıtary aggressıon of Israel.

On the shıp we are at, there are representatıves from 32 countrıes, from all contınents

Gaza and our mıssıon need your solıdarıty

For the moment there are no new news

I wıll rest for some hours if possible. We will report later. Demonstratıon in Athens and Chıcago tomorrow

Thousands of demonstrants in Istanbul

surroundıng the consulate

see it happening at

Fler demonstrationer pa gang

I Grekland och ı London. Folk blır valdıgt glada. Mattıas kommer snart lıve

Lagesrapport fran Frihetsflottan

Horde att de stangt ner bade ihhs och ship to gazas hemsida for att forsvara var kontakt med omvarlden. Men det sands fortfarande live streaming vilket betyder att den ısraelıska flottan inte tanker sla till an. mannıskor over hela varlden foljer oss. det kanns bra. Vı har fort Frıhetsflottans fartyg narmare varandra. en tat formatıon for att gora det svarare att komma ın med tystgaende zodıaks med kommandosoldater for att borda fartygen. vı har styrt ıvag fran de ısraelıska krıgsfartygen och forsoker lugna ner dem lıte. Vı soker ınte ul konfrontatıon. De foljer oss dock pa varje flank. An sa lange pa avstand. Demonstratıoner pagar just nu ı bade Istanbul och Ankara. Erdogan har gatt ut ı medıa och manat Israel att ınte ta tıll mılıtart vald mot en fredlıg flotta. Det vore bra om andra statsoverhuvuden foljde hans exempel

lagesrapport fran Freedom Flotilla och Ship to Gaza

Allt ar fortfarande lungt. Tva militarfartyg foljer oss hela tiden. men pa avstand/ En helikopter och eller en dronare cirkulerar mellan vara fartyg/ vi far nyheter om demonstrationer i istanbul/ det vore klokt om ni kunde kontakta vara folkvalda representanter och be dem lugna ner israelerna lite. vi kommer i fred med ateruppbyggnadsmaterial till Gazas instangda befolkning och utgor inget hot/ Varfor de moter en humanitar hjalpinsats med militara medel ter sig gatfullt


Problemet med meddelandet om de 68 sjomilen gar inte att losa ikvall tyvarr. Jag forsokte hela eftermiddagen men av okand anledning har vi bara fatt se det och inte kopiera det. Det ar dessutompa ett obegripligt teckensystem. Nu ar kaptenen isolerad i sitt sakerhetsrum och oatkomlig. Forsok hitta det med maritim message nanting, som ar tydligen ett internationellt kommunikationssystem mellan skepp. Eller fraga israelerna

We have been asked to go to sleep

Not the media of course but all other passengers have been asked to take some rest. We will have a long day tomorrow. Mattias laughed when I told him about what you asked Amandla. 

Citizens of the world go out to demonstrate!

This is the first time in history that a humanitarian flotilla will be met by military force! You should go out to say to our governments that they must act according to their official statements that they are working to end the inhuman siege of gaza. You should go out all over the world and show that the people of the world will not accept the suffering caused to the civilians in gaza anymore. Madrid and Barcelona have already announced a big rally tomorrow at 19 hours European time. Follow this initiative! We demand that the siege end

Israel urges us to change course

We expected this but later. They say we are heading to the security zone and urges as to change course. They are communicating with every ship separately. We have answered that we are on international waters and do not intend to enter Israeli waters. We will continue our course. They are still beside us but calm is spreading as they are acting as expected

live streaming

Linus the address is wrong. Can you send it again

Some things in English

Other things not

I can tell you

Lubna is reporting. She smiles now and is completely concentrated. Before she was nervous and crying which considering she is a Israeli citizen isn't strange. She risks a lot more than we others

I can also tell you that Israel already lost. All sieges in history have eventually come to an end. Even the last outpost of colonialism will end. Best thing to do is to let us go to Gaza and quietly accept that it was a misstake

A letter for tomorrow

As I have said before. it is important to keep in mind why we do this even tomorrow. The important question is the siege of Gaza. It must come to an end. Secondly we should keep in mind that the Palestinian and Israeli citizens will be charged of breaking Israeli law and risk severe punishment. Specially the situation for the 48 Palestinan parlamentarian at Israel's paraliament is important to draw attention to as Israel is trying to take away her immunity in order to be able to judge her for treason.

As for the people in Gaza. Again. We are coming to you. No matter what. Israel has already lost

Mattias kommer snart

Pa live streaming. Adressen finns i senaste kommentaren fran Linus

All karlek till dig Amanda och till Linus och till Kim och talar ni med Ina kram fran mig

Nu kan vi se batarna

Vi har en bat pa varje sida
Vi kan se dem
Det som fanns ovanpa challenger var inte exakt ett helikopter, men en pilotlos sak

Communication about Israeli plan

It is told to us from source inside Israel that their plan is to come with divers silently
We will not let them in

A letter for tomorrow

As I have said before. it is important to keep in mind why we do this even tomorrow. The important question is the siege of Gaza. It must come to an end. Secondly we should keep in mind that the Palestinian and Israeli citizens will be charged of breaking Israeli law and risk severe punishment. Specially the situation for the 48 Palestinan parlamentarian at Israel's paraliament is important to draw attention to as Israel is trying to take away her immunity in order to be able to judge her for treason.

As for the people in Gaza. Again. We are coming to you. No matter what. Israel has already lost

free gaza has communication with the other ships

We have Greta Berlin on skype and she communicates with the other passenger ships

On the live broadcasting they are repeating in all languages that we find ourselves in international waters

Light moving above Challenger one

Could be a helicopter. The light is moving to the cargoship. We can still see all our ships around our boat. The satellite signal is being intercepted. It comes and goes.

Is not possible for me to send you a copy of the 68 miles thing

We are going to resist them

We were surprised as we expected the interception much later. We have a communication with the Challenger that they have an helicopter just above them. I cannot go out to see if this is true but Mattias is checking it up for us. Trained people is going to resist the Israeli entering our ship.

Nu lamnar jag over datorn till andra journalister

jag kommunicerar sa fort jag kan

var inte oroliga for tystnaden

They are coming fast at a constant speed

Security personel says they probably won\t try to bord us but to damage the commnunication system so that we will not have daylight images to send

Keep trying our phones

If we get closer to shore we will get signal

They asked who we are

We said that we are the Mavi Marmara and that we come with humanitarian aid and intend to go to gaza
they interrupted the conversation

we can see three ships behind us on the radar

Israelerna har kontaktat var kapten

De har borjat varna oss men haller avstandet for ogonblicket

Var kapten har svarat att de har ingen ratt att stoppa oss

Alla andra batar ar Ok so far

Vi har haft kontakt med de andra batarna alla ar Ok till nu

Vi befinner oss 75 sjomil fran Israels kust just nu

Search IHH homepage

We are still able to send life broadcast from the boat


We think they hacked our web but all journalists onboard are working fevereshly

journalisterna som rapporterar till oss

befinner sig i ashtod

de tanker interceptera oss pa internationellt vatten precis som det annonserades i haaretz idag

vı forfoljs av israeliskt fartyg we are being hunted

i detta ogonblıck forfoljs vi av israelıskt fartyg vı ar 90 sjomil utanfor israels kust

Three boats are coming to intercept us
We are 90 miles from İsraels coast
On international water

We are moving

We have just started to move in direction to Gaza. Just a couple of hours before departure we learned that the Israelis have declared that they enlarge their security zone to 68 miles. This of course is completely illegal and can only have a rethorical meaning in case they attack us in international waters. People on the boat seems happy to be finally moving. Nobody seems afraid. We sail on a wonderfully sunny Mediterranean. All friend boats tightly together.

The two German parlamentarians omboard held a pressconference at two where they urged their government to break their silence about Israel's illegal blockade of Gaza and support the Flotillas humanitarian mission.

We think that we will eventually loose connection. So good work during the next step of this operation

Situationen just nu

Nagra fa forflyttnıngar ager rum nu medan Challenger repareras och fylls med olja. Den foljer alltsa med! Mehmed, Victorıa och Henning kommer att flytta tıll Sofia under dagen. De mar bra. Mattias talade med dem nar deras bat lag precis bredvıd var. Det betyder att vı ar for narvarande sex batar. Tre passagerarbatar och tre lastfartyg. Det var tyvarr endast de svenska passagerarna och tva fran Tyskland av de som vantade pa Cypern som lyckades ta sıg hıt. Det star nu klart att Rachel Corrıe ınte kommer att hınna med. Det vıll saga att det ar sex fartyg som aker tıll Gaza i eftermıddag. Vı kommer att genomfora sakerhetstrannıngar med alla passagerarna under dagen.

Vantetiden har varit bra pa vissa satt. Fragan har fatt mer uppmarksamhet i media. Samidigt forstar vi att det ar pafrestande for alla ı Sverıge som hallıt vaka att uppratthalla beredskapen vid en eventuell konflikt. Men det ar valdıgt viktıgt att reagera snabbt. Demonstrationer vid Israelıska ambassaden eller/och utrıkesministeriet ar bra. Det haller pa att organiseras sadana i flera lander, ınklusıve Israel.

Det viktigaste ar att utnyttja tillfallet for att fora ut budskapet om blockadens orimlıghet och pressa for att den upphavs. Vi maste undvika fokusering pa aktivisternas risker eller mıssoden eftersom de riskerar att skymma sikten for  det egentlıga problemet.

Vi har diskuterar vad vi gor om israelerna tar oss och deporterar oss, nagra av de andra organisationerna som ar pa baten anser att vi borde vagra deportering. Det ar inte var position. Omm vi kommer tıll Israel ar vi dar mot var vılja och har inget intresse av att vara kvar. Vi kommer daremot att tala om for varlden att vı blev kidnappade av den israelıska staten och gora allt vi kan for att fora process mot dem for detta brott.

Sunday morning

It is a shining morning when we wake up and see that the Challenger has arrived. Yestarday I had the first controversy with another passenger. a man from the Kuwaıt delegatıon. He got furious when he saw İ intended to sleep outside and told me to go downstairs to the women quarters. I really did not longer want to sleep right beside him after that so I changed place some few meters. This was also the first time I expeienced that the idea of separate spaces was used to limit my movements on this boat. Until now it has funtioned like anarchist feminist separatism: women have their own spaces and the rest of the spaces are for women and men. The other men from the Kuwait delegatıon kept silent during the quarrell and a man from the IHH intervened dıscretely to remind the aggressive man that he also was a guest on thıs boat and that he had the responsability not to aggress other passengers. We slept ın peace. But I thought before falling to sleep that if we had been united in a revolutionary struggle this man and me had become enemies from the first day of victory.

Dror och grekiska ganget

Har har det varıt en dag av vantan och av valkomnanden. Dror var over pa vart skepp och var med pa presskonferens. Vı sover over har i vantan pa challenger som kommer med vipasarna fran Cypern och raknar med att aka imorgon tıll Gaza. i glads at all press som stoder oss.

Eftersom vi hade tid over sa passade jag pa att intervjua nagra av de intressanta kvinnorna pa baten. Det ar politiskt engagerade och troende kvinnor med mycket intressanta berattelser.

Annars borjar det blı lıte besvarlıgt att ınte kunna duscha. Jag tvattar mıg som en katt pa toaletten. Men jag marker att jag ar alldeles for van vid rınnande vatten. Det ar varm har pa dagarna.

Still waiting

We are waiting for the parlamentarians that are left in Cyprus

working diplomatically to get them here

life in the boat is quiet

sofia decided to head for Cyprus in order to put political pressure

time in internet is very limited

i will come back later

Sofıa och andra nyheter

Efter Sofıas fantastıska ankomst under solnedgangen och tıll Drors saxkonsert har det blıvıt klart att vı inte aker inatt utan invantar skeppet med vara passagerare fran Cypern och hoppas kunna borja farden mot Gaza vıd mıddag imorgon. Det betyder vı kommer fram sondag formıddag.

Vı fortsatter fa stort stod fran manga hall. Bland annat fran EUs hoga kommısıonar for humanıtara fragor som for nagra tımmar sedan skıckade en kommunıke dar hon uppmanar Israel att sluta med blockaden.

Vi ska snart forsoka hıtta en golvplatt att sova pa. pa denna bat dar privategendomen standıgt utmanas

I pressrummet sıtter en man och spelar piano valdıgt stılla och over vattnet lyser fullmanen

Letter to our Israeli friends

When it is fınally our turn to have the computers half an hour we find your preparations to receive us and support us. I must say İ feel moved to tears. So you want to be arrested with us in order to give us more media attention and more moral rigth? I stıll hope that we are going to make it. Otherwise see you there. Love to you

Flottan samlas

Idag blev vi en flotta. Vi seglar bredvid två stora lastfartyg som IHH har organiserat. Vårt lastfartyg syns på radar och vi möts snart. Det känns mäktigt. Egentligen skulle vi ha varit åtta fartyg nu med det har tillstött komplikationer. Rachel Corrie, det irländska lastfartyget, ligger någon halvdag bakom oss. Free Gazas två mindre passagerarbåtar fick tekniska problem (ytterligare sabotage?) och kunde inte fortsätta.  Vi lyckades dock plocka upp deras passagerare till havs innan båtarna tog sig in i hamn för reparation, så nu finns ytterligare spännande passagerare på vårt fartyg. Vad värre är har Israel satt Cyperns regering under så stor press att Mehmet Kaplan, Henning Mankell, Victoria Strand och ett dussin europaparlamentariker som skulle resa från Cypern stoppades av polis. Två gånger, från två olika avreseorter. Cypern har en vänsterregering men den beter sig lika undfallande för israeliska påtryckningar som Mubarakregimen. Att en europeisk stat ingriper för att hindra en svensk riksdagsledamot att lämna landet för att delta i en solidaritetsaktion är anmärkningsvärt. Det blev knappast mindre generande för den cypriotiska regeringen att våra Gazaresenärer blev tvungna att resa från den turkiska sidan. En smärre politisk skandal som cypriotisk politik kommer att leva med länge.


Vi har kommit fram till motespunkten och seglar bredvid tva lastbatar. Vi ar pa vag till Sofia men har inte sett henne an. Vi har tagit foton och forbereder en gemensam blogg. Allt ar normalt an sa lange


Because of problems with one of the ships from Free Gaza/ one of the Challengers, we have now taken over their passengers on our Ship. Sofia is alright. We are waiting for the parlamentarians that are in Cyprus trying to join us. It seems there has been a sudden change of Cyprus policy. It is important to work on that politically and through opinion. So far no interception

Forsta dagen

Vaknade av bönerop klockan fyra. Folk samlades på däck bredvid oss för att be. Jag somnade om. Den engelska hjälparbetaren med den colombianska flickvännen sov bredvid mig på golvet, på var sin bänk sov Mattias och Dimitris, den ena utan underlag och den andra utan sovsäck.

 På morgonen insåg vi att vi har tappat kontakten med det andra skeppet. Satellittelefonen ringer men ingen tar upp det. Så har det varit från ungefär mittnatt. Cypern har bestämt att ingen båt för åka från dess hamnar och att ingen utländsk båt får närma sig mer än 24 sjömil från dess kust. Det betyder att alla viktiga personer som satt på Cypern för att åka med sista sträckan får svårt att komma med. Det tyder på tillslag. Victoria, Mehmed och Henning är på Cypern.

Här på båten saknar vi mötesplats. Det är svårt att försvara tomma stolar. Men vi behöver något slags sambandscentral. Bara en av oss får behålla presskortet och Mattias måste få tillgång till pressrummet, så min funktion blir att sitta och vänta. Inte bra på det.

Tänker: Dror kanske bara sover. De kan inte gärna gått så långt in på internationellt vatten och tagit dem. Eller så har de interfererat telefonen. Varför gör Cypern detta? Finns det någon möjlighet att komma förbi dem, till exempel i små båtar? Och vad tänker Israel göra?


Saker loser sig. Sofia svarar. Vi far ater tillgang till internet. Israel annonserar att de tanker interceptera oss om tre timmar. Alla rykten sprider sig som eld.  

Lubna, representanten från Free Gaza, säger att de kommer att ta oss och ge oss två val. Antingen undertecknar vi papper på att vi går med på att deporteras, eller så väljer vi att få vårt fall prövat av israelisk domstol. Hon vill att vi ska vägra deporteras så att de tvingas pröva fallen i domstol. Men vare sig vi går med på att deporteras eller om fallet prövas i domstol tvingas vi underkasta oss en auktoritet som vi inte erkänner. Att kastas ut från Israel är ju ingenting vi egentligen vill vägra. Vi blir ju tagna dit mot vår vilja och har inget intresse av att uppehålla oss där.



Manniskans kamp om plats satter igang omedelbart. Har fungerar det inte att markera sitt territorium med saker. Folk flyttar pa dem helt enkelt. Man maste helt konkret besitta platsen. Men inga arga klagomal. Vi ar alla fulla med overseende.

Nagot valdigt pafallande ar att den har aktionen samlar valdigt mycket vanligt folk. Pa det har fartyget finns det grupper pa nagra tiotals personer fran varje land som inte pa nagot satt ar professionella aktivister. eller kandisar. eller nagot annat an vanliga manniskor som ville gora nagot konkret for Gazaborna. Det gor den har aktionen unik.

Mat och dricka finns i varje sal for var och en att ta vid behov. Vi ater brod och burkar av goda bonroror direkt fran burken. Sova gor man antingen i den sal som man blir tilldelad eller varhelst man far plats med en matta och en sovsack. Jag tror inte jag vill braka med damen som tog bort mina vaskor fran det stalle jag lamnade dem pa utan satsar pa att hitta en lugnt stalle utomhus.

Olika scenarior diskuteras i synnerhet i pressrummet. Vad gor vi om si och vad gor vi om sa. Vad ar det ratta att gora. Ingen verkar dock sarskilt orolig. Istallet pratar alla med varandra pa det sprak man kan, vissa ber, andra filmar och fotar och intervjuar varandra. De flesta sover redan som sagt.

Jag tanker ocksa pa hur det blir i overmorgon. Jag hade garna haft mer ovningar med passagerarna, det verkar farligt om det skulle utbryta panik nar vi ar sahar manga. Men IHH har satsat pa valtranade ledare som ska guida folk och diskret vakta. Och jag har sett tillrackligt pa de har fa dagarna for att ha lart mig att lita pa dem. de vet vad de gor. Ovningar for alla sexhundra personer kanske ar svara att administrera eller kanske oroande.

Nu ska jag forsoka hitta en sovplatt. Mattias har varit ute pa dack hela kvallen och intervjuats av bland annat malaysisk och indonesisk tv och aljazeera.

Boat is leaving

The press facilities onboard are very good. I'm writing from there. Exactly at this moment our ship is leaving the port. People on the fore are shouting Free Palestine! Most of the passengers are sleeping already.

Letter to the Palestinians

The stadium is full as we meet for departure. I don’t understand a word but I hear enthusiasm and determination. It seems that some people in Gaza wait for us but others that have become pessimistic through their long experience of Israeli occupation think it is impossible to succeed. But you see, no matter what, this is already a success. We may be kidnapped by Israel, and deported. They may take our cargo. Then the whole world will witness not only that they are transgressors of international law but most importantly that they don’t use force to defend themselves but to defend their power to dominate defenceless people.

 We will come to Gaza, we are on our way. It doesn’t matter if it takes two days or many years. We will come to you.

Last pressconference in Antalya

The pressconference this morning showed the rainbow that is our coalition. It was sended by live broadcasting but the information came late and there was some missunderstanding about the time. I hope anyway that Swedish media could profit. We are on our way to embark. We are goint to meet the other boats tomoroow afternoon. It was announced at the press conference that the Irish boat is delayed one day but that it will catch up with us.

Every member of the coalition presented his och her organization. For Sweden it was Mattias Gardell who spoke. He said that he came to show solidarity from the people of the Northern Sea and that Ship to Gaza Sweden was a grassroots organization where many people worked hard to make it possible to buy a cargo ship and last it with cement and other needen equipment and that what we wanted to say by this was "you are not alone" to the Palestinian people.

The conference was held in different languages. The IHH president said that we have no intention to give away our brothers and sisters who are Palestinian or Israeli citizens. He also mentioned Carl Bildts support for our humanitarian action.

Delegates from among others Belgium, Spain, Malaysia and Algeria talked about their respective campains.

Freedom flotilla is for me a concrete experience of political concepts that I only have intellectually known: "pueblos del mundo", "citizens of the world", multitude.,, 

Sista presskonferensen i Antalya

Vi var här under presskonferensen som också skickades som live
broadcasting, jag hoppas några svenska medier brydde sig. Vi är på väg
ikväll, vi kommer att mötas söder om Cypern imorgon eftermiddag med de
andra skeppen. Det irländska skeppet Currie är försenat ett dygn men
kommer att möta oss. Vi har flera palestinska och israeliska medborgare
ombord som enligt de senaste uppgifterna riskerar att straffas enligt
israelisk (militär) lag. Det är viktigt att mobilisera opinion om dessa

Var och en av medlemmarna i koalitionen presenterade sig. Free Gaza påminde om första båten de skickade 2008. Mattias skickade hälsningar från "the Norden sea" och ett meddelande till palestinierna från Ship to Gaza
Sweden att "you are not alone". 

Dimitris från Ship to Gaza Grekland talade om stödet som majoriteten av grekerna visar i alla opinionsundersökningar för palestiniernas sak. Han talade också om Medelhavets frihet.

Konferensen hålls på flera olika språk: engelska, arabiska, turkiska, franska. Ibland med översättning och ibland inte.

IHH underströt att vi inte har några intentioner att överlämna våra brödrar och systrar som är israeliska eller palestinska medborgare. Han lyfte också fram Carl Bildts stöd för vår humanitära aktion.

Delegater från bland annat Belgien, Spanien, Malaysia och Algeriet talade om sina respektive kampanjer.
Det fortsätter att vara fantastiskt uppmuntrande med folksamlingen. Har aldrig upplevt än så konkret erfarenhet av begrepp som "pueblos del mundo", världens folk eller till och med om jag blir pressad multituden.


We have been waiting for Sofia to come to Rhodos because it will determine the exact time when we are leaving from Antalya (she arrived just an hour ago). While we waited we went to our computers to try to update. It is really good service to get all press on the mail. The article in the tabloid Expressen seems absurd. Usually I try to take people seriously, meaning that I consider their position as understandable from some perspective. But the arguments for the use of force against a peaceful action carrying building material and wheel-chairs to a population devastated by war and siege are incomprehensible to me. They are so contradictory that they defy interpretation. Actually they seem to move from one perspective to the other, the only constant being that Israel is right.

Anyway, the meetings at the sport hall where most participants are staying are very interesting. People wait patiently and they talk in different languages that they sometimes not even share. Mattias told me that during the meeting this morning the representative of IHH finished his speech saying that maybe Israel is on its way to isolate itself from the rest of the international community and he promised that if Israel at some point would suffer a siege like the one suffered by Gaza, he himself would organize a help flotilla to deliver some aid to the Israeli people. Considering IHHs commitment all over the world with people in need, there are all reasons to believe. I keep wondering how it happened that Israel decided to criminalize this organization?

A diplomatic success

We feel really supported by the people working back in Sweden and winning diplomatic battles like getting the Minister of exterior relations to pronounce himself in support of our cause. I know that many of us would have liked a stronger formulation. But the reaction to his statement in Israel has been strong. Carl Bildt implicitly states that what we do is legal according to Swedish law and that Sweden considers Israel’s embargo illegal according to international law. This is a message that doesn’t get lost in this part of the world. For a politician this little gesture can cost a lot – and the pro-Israel lobby has already threaten him with retaliations – so we should appreciate this statement as a very important support that demonstrates a certain amount of courage. Greetings to all for this success!

Los compañeros españoles

Hay una gente muy simpática que está reportando en español en

Síganlo, está buenísimo

Citizens of the world

Hundratals delegater från fem kontinenter möttes igår kväll i Antalya

Yesterday we met with the other passengers. Hundreds of people united in the will not to leave the people of Gaza alone. It gave me joy to sense so much love and determination. The Turkish organization is impressive. I was trying to imagine how it must be to coordinate all these people with so many different needs and expectations comparing it with the work it takes us to coordinate the little Swedish group. Nalan, the Turkish coordinator, is a very small woman with a great sense of humour and nerves of steel. When I first saw her I thought that she looks as I use to imagine Teresa of Avila both in her looks and in her way to be at the same time flexible to circumstance, firmly determined, sweet and discreet.

There are always very different reasons why people do what they do. Yesterday I talked for instance to Ken O’Keefe who has tried to leave his American citizenship since many years in support of Hawaii’s right to self-determination, but the United States refuses and keeps sending new passports to him. To contribute to break the Gaza siege is for him to support people’s right to self-determination.

Many of the passengers of this boat come from Muslim countries: Indonesia, Algeria, Malaysia, Morocco, Egypt, Kuwait and Turkey of course. There is also a Catholic archbishop. It seems to me that religious belief is especially effective in uniting diverse wills and structuring action. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why in our post-political world Islamism is perceived as so threatening. It is also represented as being less “tolerant” than modern liberalism. I wouldn’t be so sure. The president of IHH-The Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief, which is a Muslim organization talked yesterday to all of us, reminding the Muslim passengers that there will be people from different religions and people who don’t believe in God on the boat and that our action is a humanitarian action not a Muslim one. What we have in common is concern for the situation for the people in Gaza. And that this is our point of departure when we embark on this boat. He also made it clear that it is not our intention to support or take sides for Hamas. We all showed our agreement with his words in different vogues as the translations came.

Today I read an interview by Cecilia Uddén in which an Israeli official says that this is a “Hamas-led operation”. That is a blunt lie. Among the citizens of the world that act in solidarity with Gaza’s people there are certainly Muslims. All Muslims are not Hamas. That is only true in the minds of Islamofobs.

Hope for a better Israel

Some friends have requested that we write in English so we will do that. (And sometimes we will write some things in Spanish too).

We are in Antalya now, waiting for our Ship that is coming from Istanbul. There are still some details to be arranged, not least with our phone and internet connection onboard. Otherwise we are ready and eager to depart.

Antalya is a beautiful city which was founded as a seaport in the 2nd century BC by Attalus II, a king of Pergamum. The old city reminds us of Cartagena de Indias, a city in Colombia’s Atlantic coast from where we have pleasant memories.

At breakfast we discussed the idea, common among the right wing pro-Israel zealots, that Ship to Gaza and Freedom flotilla wants to destroy Israel. It is so bizarre! On the contrary, the struggle for human dignity for Palestinians is a struggle for all human dignity. It includes a dream of a future for Israel when it will be a political system grounded on a democratic constitution and a free political life instead for an ethnocratic war machine ruled by state of exception.

Cartagena de Indias and other charming cities on the Colombian coast witness of the harm that this violent and unjust military regime is doing to the Israeli youth. After three years military service they are no more than shades of human beings, desperately trying to have fun in a country where the addiction to drugs they acquire during military service is cheap to maintain. One cannot build a good society on the ground of oppression on others.

Olika båtar och samma båt

Lite sorgligt tycker Mattias att det är att inte befinna sig på den svenska lastbåten som åker snart. Han var ju med om att välja den, inspektera den och köpa den och har under alla dessa turer utvecklat starka band till Dror, som han saknar, och en hjärtlig vänskap med de grekiska kamraterna som han tycker har precis rätt förhållande till god mat och gott vin. Livsglada människor med lång politisk erfarenhet. Många av dem var med i motståndsrörelsen under diktaturen och det uppror som slutligen fällde juntan.

På gatorna i Aten är kampviljan fortfarande påtaglig. Affischer pryder väggarna och möten och storstrejker mot de politiker som vill använda det arbetande folkets löner och pensioner för att betala den kris eliten försatt landet i äger rum varje dag. Ändå finns solidariteten med palestiniernas kamp för självbestämmande och mänsklig värdighet. Hamnarbetarna gjorde till exempel undantag för Ship to Gaza, som de adopterat, både när det gällde att leverera varor och att lasta fartyget.

Grekland är ett litet land och har gått igenom både ockupation och diktatur under den nära historien. Men det historiska minnet sträcker sig längre bakåt i historien. I de överfyllda bokhyllorna i aktivisternas hem såg Mattias inte bara socialismens klassiker utan också de grekiska och arabiska filosoferna. Här vet man tydligen att araberna inte endast passivt förmedlade antikens tänkare till det såkallade väst utan de läses som viktiga författare i sin egen rätt. I den grekiska och arabiska historien möter vi många århundraden då Medelhavet inte var en gräns utan en viktig förbindelseled. 

Känslan att Medelhavet är fritt och att de inte tänker acceptera att en nykomling skall få bestämma var greker skall få färdas i det hav man har seglat i under årtusenden bidrar till den grekiska Ship to Gazas beslutsamhet: ingen stoppar Odysseus. Något liknande finns kanske närvarande även hos den turkiska organisationen i vars båt vi åker. Det är ju ändå fantastiskt att Freedom flotilla förenar turkar och greker i en gemensam politisk aktion. Och det är bra att det finns folk från de olika organisationerna i koalitionen på varje båt för att ytterligare bryta mot nationella imaginära gränser och stärka banden mellan båtarna för en samordnad och enad aktion.

Edda och Mattias


Medelhavet ar turkos här vid kanten, där vi förbereder oss. Israelsupportarna för en förvirrad juridisk diskussion där de plötsligt försöker åberopa Osloavtalet. De är otroliga! Osloavtalet stipulerade inte att Israel har rätt att i ett urskiljningslöst angreppskrig mot palestinska civila mål totalförstöra hela infrakstrukturen, elverket, vattenssystemet, avloppen, industrierna, hantverksstädera, skolorna, sjukhusen, bostäderna och sedan vägra palestinierna att importera medel till återuppbyggnad och aktivt förhindra FN, Oxfam, Sida och andra internationella hjälporganisationer att bidra till återuppbyggnaden.

Men vi gläds åt att den israeliska vänster kvicknat till liv. Första majdemonstrationen i år var den största på årtionden och nu strömmar stöduttalanden för Freedom Flotilla från många israeliska vänster- och fredsorganisationer och man förbereder sig för att agera om den israeliska militärmakten försöker angripa den fredliga aktionen med våld.

Välkommen till min nya blogg!

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