Wednesday, August 20, 2008

18 Aug.

By Yvonne Ridley

Israel’s Foreign minister Tzipi Livni has warned the Free Gaza Movement that she will not tolerate plans by the international peace campaigners to sail in to Palestine.

In a long message sent to the peace activists yesterday, the foreign minister’s department was responding to an open invitation to Ms Livni to come on board either the SS Liberty or Free Gaza.

As you know, I am on board the Free Gaza which is presently heading for Cyprus where around 20 other international peace activists are waiting to join the floating peace mission.

Organizers are now confident of reaching Gaza, the world’s largest open air prison, by the weekend and were last night undeterred by the warning signals coming out of Livni’s office.

According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Zionist military officials say they will forcefully block our two boats if we try to break the medieval siege.

I can say with growing confidence, that the mood on board is defiant, but peaceful, and we will use the tactics adopted by Ghandi to repel any violence or aggression shown towards us.

I mentioned this to an old friend of mine, intelligence expert and acclaimed author of Gideon’s Spies, Gordon Thomas. After making a few calls himself he told me that Israel is in “no mood to put up with a group of peace activists who are trying to embarrass them.

“I am afraid Yvonne, if you and your friends do not comply then they will get tough. If you don’t turn back into international waters they will board your boats and tow you into Haifa.

“They are aware that Press TV, an Iranian broadcaster is on board, and you will not be treated like the BBC.”

According to the Foreign Ministry, Israel is within its rights to use force against us.

Well, all I can say is: “Bring it on”! We are not sailing into Israeli waters and therefore do not need or seek the permission of the Zionist State to enter Gaza.
Our boats will be checked by the relevant authorities before we sail and they will confirm we are armed with nothing more than goodwill and humanitarian aid for our Palestinian friends.

This is not a political mission and therefore we are not supporting any political groups.

However, I can tell you that the whole world will be watching the behaviour the Zionist State and how it treats peaceful people.

And we will have a web cam on board so you will be able to see for yourself what happens.

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