Freedom Flotilla III, consisting of four boats, the converted fishing trawler "Marianne of Gothenburg" and the supporting sailing vessels “Rachel”, “Vittorio” and “Juliano II”, carrying 47 people from 17 countries, has been sailing since Saturday morning (Gaza time) to challenge the blockade of 1.8 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Our primary goal is to break the illegal and inhumane blockade of Gaza and to call on opening the port of Gaza, the port of Palestine to the world.
We, Palestinian and Jewish organizations and activists in Israel, oppose the Israeli policy of ongoing human rights violations, a policy that seeks to maintain its control through the siege that is strangulating the Palestinian people. The siege undermines the development of an independent economy and keeps Gazans under occupation, dependent on Israel for their most basic humanitarian needs. We support the struggle to end the occupation in the Palestinian territories, as well as the besieged Gaza strip. We support international solidarity, including the Gaza flotilla.
I served 29 years in the U.S. Army and retired as a Colonel. I was also a U.S. diplomat for 16 years and served in U.S. Embassies in Nicaragua, Grenada, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Sierra Leone, Micronesia, Afghanistan and Mongolia.