Group drops claim Carter Center backing plans to send ship to Gaza
Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA 23 July 2008
On 19 July the Palestinian Ma'an news agency ran a story about a boat that
is going to challenge Israel's security control of access to the Gaza Port
in which the article reported that "support for the initiative was provided
in part from Carter Center in the US..."
IMRA check the organizer's website and reported that same day that their
" Backing our Effort
The Carter Center, www.cartercenter.org "
IMRA contacted the Carter Center several times asking for them to verify
that they indeed back this operation, but no one for the Carter Center
return IMRA"s calls.
In the meantime, the website has been edited and the page
is now blank
Instead there is
which does not include mention of the Carter Center
In addition, the organization notes on their website:
"Note by the Free Gaza Movement: there is no ship sponsored by anyone and we
are still collecting money for the final payments on both boats. We do,
however, receive solidarity from Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace
Laureate Mairead Maguire and many other individuals and institutions, see
list of endorsers on freegaza.org)
On the other hand, the Carter Center is mentioned as a supporter on another
page of the website
. The Carter Center, Atlanta GA, www.cartercenter.org "
[If they erase it, it is save by Google:
They have also erased another item in which they claimed the support of the
Carter Center for the project:
[Which is still recorded by Google:
AL Jazeera Satellite Station refuses to air paid AD produced by the Free
Al-Jazeera's Betrayal of the Free Gaza Movement
"Al Jazeera stands for freedom of speech, fearless journalism and...a voice
for the voiceless." -Hedi Smirani, Al-Jazeera Global Sales Manager
by Paul Larudee and Greta Berlin, the Free Gaza Movement
It seemed a simple enough idea: to enter Gaza by sea without asking
permission from Israel. It had never been tried, and the advantage was that
Gaza is accessible through international waters without ever going through
territory claimed by Israel or any other country. In addition, Israel told
the world that it no longer occupied Gaza. Why not put their claims to the
For two years, the group raised funds, postponed its sailing date and
planned the logistically-ambitious voyage to take passengers to Gaza, along
with a cargo of hearing aids and water filters. They got the endorsements
of the Carter Center and Archbishop Desmond Tutu and a host of religious,
humanitarian and social justice groups. The passenger list would include
diverse ethnicities, nationalities and ages, as well as Nakba and Holocaust
survivors and clerics. Sixteen countries would be represented.
As the August 5, 2008 sailing date approached, a final push was needed, so
the group decided to advertise for donations and support on the Al-Jazeera
Satellite Network. In an impossibly short time, a beautiful commercial was
created by their production company and it was submitted to Al-Jazeera.
At first, Al-Jazeera's response was enthusiastic, supportive and helpful, as
we had hoped and anticipated. They set a date for the first ad placement to
run on June 21 and for the campaign to continue until the end of July. The
only remaining requirement was payment.