As we sail from one secret location in the Greek islands to another I must say I am a wee bit concerned about the color of my lifejacket.
Now I know you would think my mind might be more focused on other burning issues ... like are we ever going to get to Cyprus to pick up the rest of our group? Or will we ever get to see Gaza's coastline and if we do, will we make it to the beaches? But the reason for today's particular focus is that news has just reached me on yet another shameful excuse the Israeli military has used for
firing upon a news team. First of all, let me remind you about the death of a Reuters cameraman.
Israeli military officials who investigated his death have now decided to take no further action against the tank crew that killed Fadel Shana and wounded his soundman Wafa Abu Mizyed in Gaza in April 2008.
Arab Media Watch, the International Federation of Journalists, the Committee to Protect Journalists and other media watchdogs are calling for a full, independent inquiry. But what is really sad, is that most of the Western media has failed to report this latest shocking development. As AMW says, this is surprising given its life-threatening implications for all journalists reporting from the occupied Palestinian territories.
I certainly hope it does not deter the media from joining our venture to report our progress in breaking the siege of Gaza. Anyway, if I can return to the color of my lifejacket - it is navy blue and the reason I am slightly concerned is that the Israeli military claim that the tank crew which attacked the Reuters news team, was justified in its actions because the blue flack jackets worn by Shana and Abu Mizyed were "common to Palestinian terrorists." So I am today giving fair warning to the Israeli Navy, the peace activists on board the Free Gaza and the SS Liberty will all be wearing navy-colored lifejackets. Fire on you and us are firing on a peace-loving group of activists who are not armed, or dangerous and present absolutely no threat to the fourth largest military in the world.
Should we be unlucky enough to end in the sea our blue jackets will then inflate to reveal a bright orange color. Each jacket has a whistle which by anyone's standards is not a weapon. I just want to write this down for the record because it seems that Israel can silence the media with bombs and bullets and then come out with the most ridiculous defense for its disgusting actions. And for those more interested in the progress of our trip, I can say it has now taken on a new momentum since we left Chania in Crete.
For my landlubber friends waiting so patiently in Larnaca I can say with confidence that we are only days away from being reunited. And then, dear readers, we will be Gaza bound to smash the medieval blockade. By the way, to those of you who have responded so generously to my calls for funds to continue the Free Gaza project, thank you very much. And to those of you who want to support us further please check out the www.freegraza.org website.