On Friday night June 4, I was on the satellite phone with the MV Rachel Corrie, the latest boat setting sail for Gaza with desperately needed humanitarian supplies. I was interviewing Nobel Laureate Mairead Maguire for JVP's blog, TheOnlyDemocracy.org, when the Israeli naval vessel following them suddenly sped in their direction.
Maguire was brave and upbeat, and she remained calm and hopeful they would successfully complete their mission, which unfortunately was not to be. From then on, they had only intermittent contact with the outside world, as Israel attempted to seal them off from the world, first by jamming their communications, then by taking control of their ship, towing it to Ashdod, and holding them incommunicado.
Israel did not want us to hear their stories, but those stories will come out. Despite horrific bloodshed, despite the fact that activists are still missing and injured, despite a massive and poorly implemented propaganda campaign complete with doctored video and audiotapes,the mission has already succeeded.
It was not about that one delivery of aid, but inspiring people everywhere to oppose the siege of Gaza. Now the whole world is watching Gaza, and speaking out.