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Freedom Flotilla II: Who's winning?

I see the Israeli media is crowing about their victories against the "mighty" Freedom Flotilla II. Due to Israel's world-wide assault on the flotilla, various countries have buckled under the pressure.

The governments of France and Cyprus have barred Freedom Flotilla II ships from their waters. Greece may attempt to prevent ships from leaving her ports. The Turkish government has stiffened their safety requirements regarding the Israeli-damaged Mavi Marmara, to the point that she can not sail in this flotilla.

The US and Canadian governments are passing on to our ship's delegates dire warnings of death and destruction, directly from the Israeli Foreign Affairs office. Israel is orchestrating a massive world wide assault against the FF2, using tit-for-tat offers, old-fashioned horse-trading and bare-knuckle political and financial threats, all to stop ten or so miniscule ships carrying a meager amount of humanitarian aid and harmless peace activists.

Obviously the FF2 poses no physical threat to Israel, it's the symbolism and positive example that is so threatening to them. The fact is that thousands of organisations in over one hundred countries, supported by the individual donations of millions of common citizens, are a powerful threat to Israel's continuing occupation and oppression of Gaza and the Palestinian people in general.

The Freedom Flotillas have shone a light on what Israel has been doing in Palestine and people world wide have taken notice and so are supporting us. Even if we don't get to Gaza, we have won, as other inspired folks will eventually follow in our wake. We've already won and we haven't even left our docks yet. Forty years of military options have not worked. It's time to try something new, something positive, something peaceful...negotiations. The whole world is watching.

Kevin Neish is a Victoria, BC activist who sailed on the Mavi Marmara last May.