U.S. Department of State Middle East Digest 01 Jul 2009 briefing on the kidnapped passengers (with the U.S. State Department). The sheer stupidity of the answer boggles your mind.
QUESTION: Erin Connors from Press TV. Former congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and members of the Free Gaza Movement were intercepted by the Israeli army when they were on a humanitarian mission over there. What’s being done about that? Are they on their way home? Will they be deported? What’s the next step there, and will their supplies ever get to where they’re going?
IAN KELLY: On that last question, I don’t know the answer, actually. I think I have to refer you to the Government of Israel. We can confirm that the Israeli navy did arrest those on board this – the ship which is known as Spirit. We can’t comment on any of the individuals or the number of individual American citizens on board because of Privacy Act concern.
Can you *imagine* what would happen if Iran intercepted a vessel and/or incarcerated a former congressperson and Nobel Prize winner?
PLEASE GIVE GENEROUSLY AND HELP US BREAK THE SIEGE OF GAZA
“The landing of two wooden boats carrying human rights activists in Gaza is an important symbolic victory … Above all, what is being tested is whether the imaginative engagement of dedicated private citizens can influence the struggle of a beleaguered people for basic human rights, and whether their courage and commitment can awaken the conscience of humanity to an unfolding tragedy.”
– Richard Falk, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the OPT (August 2008)
On Tuesday, July 30 the Israeli Navy forcibly boarded our boat, SPIRIT OF HUMANITY, confiscating the ship and abducting 21 human rights workers and journalists, including Nobel laureate Mairead Maguire and former U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. Israel’s violent actions temporarily prevented us from delivering much needed humanitarian and reconstruction supplies to besieged Gaza.
All of us in the Free Gaza Movement have been overwhelmed with the support and well-wishes we have received in these past days. All of us are deeply grateful for the thousands of phone calls and emails that you have sent, the demonstrations that have been organized around the world, and the pressure you have brought to bear on Israel and your own governments to free the ‘Free Gaza 21.’ Thank you.