Gaza has been under siege since mid-2006, depriving 1.6 million people of their liberty and basic human rights. Although the siege has been condemned by the United Nations, the Red Cross, and many national governments, little has been done to ease the plight of these civilians. Civil society has had to act where governments would not. Two ships with 27 passengers from 5 countries are sailing to Gaza to confront the Israeli naval blockade, and to bring medical supplies and letters of support.
As Americans, who give Israel $3 billion in military aid every year, we are demanding our government insist Israel permit the ships’ safe passage and end its illegal blockade of Gaza. There are many alternatives for Israel to ensure its security without subjecting 1.6 million people to collective punishment.