5 August 2008
Foreign Affairs Minister, Israel
Dear Foreign Minister Livni:
On behalf of the Free Gaza Movement, we would like to formally invite you to join us on our upcoming voyage from Cyprus to the Gaza Strip. We feel that your presence on this important mission would help alleviate concerns that have been expressed in the Israeli media about our objectives. More importantly, we believe that it would be extremely helpful for you to see firsthand the horrific effects of Israeli policies on the people of the Gaza Strip, as well as to witness firsthand the effectiveness of non-violent action in bringing about positive change.
While we disagree with many of the statements and policies you have made as the Israeli Foreign Minister, we wholeheartedly agree with a portion of something you wrote two years ago when you said:
“For too long, the Middle East has been governed by zero-sum logic. One side's loss was seen as the other's gain. This thinking has brought much suffering to our region” (Tzipi Livni, "The Peace Alternative," Asharq Alawsat, 18 June 2007).
This is absolutely correct. We seek an end to this suffering. We find ourselves, and you must be feeling this intensely yourself, in truly difficult times. The one thing that is clear is that violence has not worked for anyone in this conflict. As a group of avowed non-violent, peace activists, we hope that you will accept this opportunity, move past the zero-sum logic of your government’s blockade, and join us on this historic voyage to break the Siege of Gaza.
Your government's siege on the people of Gaza has been deemed illegal by numerous human rights organizations, has lead to the death of over 200 patients in the last year as a result of being denied adequate medical care, and has caused a man-made humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip. Clearly this is not the behavior of a civilized government, nor can these policies ever lead to peace for Israel.
Our voyage may seem to be a quixotic endeavor and therefore easily dismissed, but as a group of individuals who fervently believe that such moves can be vitally transforming, and that individuals do indeed each have the power to change our world for the better, we hope that you will take our offer seriously. We set sail for Gaza in the next few days. Please join us.
The Steering Committee for the Free Gaza Movement, Cyprus
Tel. +357 99 081 767
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Letter of peace activists to Tzipi Livni
5 August 2008