Wednesday June 19, 2013
Free Gaza's New Board - We Support Justice in Palestine not Demonizing Each OtherSalem-News.com
"It’s time to continue all united supporting Palestinian people instead of trying to find any flaw among us..." - Maria del Mar Fernandez, Board Member
(WASHINGTON DC) - In the past few days, Free Gaza and Greta Berlin have been viciously attacked for a mistake that Greta made when she posted a video to her Facebook page instead of sending it to her small group for discussion. During that time, dozens of people have come to the defense of Greta and Free Gaza.
We, the new board of Free Gaza II would like to add our comments and support for Greta’s work and for the ongoing work we need to do to keep the illegal blockade of Gaza front and center. For, after all, our work has always been about freedom and justice for the Palestinians
It’s time we got back to work and stopped battering one of the leaders of the non-violent direct action Palestinian solidarity movement.
Statements from the new board of Free Gaza II
I have known Greta Berlin and have worked with Free Gaza for several years. In neither word or action have either Greta or members of the Free Gaza movement been anti-semitic. They challenge Israeli policies, but that is not anti-semitic.
Lately our friend and colleague, Greta Berlin, has been attacked for mistakingly posting an anti-Semitic video to the FG twitter feed. Greta apologized for this mistake, and said that she doesn't agree with the material that was posted. In the meantime, many groups and individuals have continued their attack on her without considering her apology.
I, and many of my Palestinian friends have known Greta Berlin for years, and appreciate her work and activism for the Palestinian cause and for human rights in general. Greta has never been a racist nor anti Semitic. We stand by her and to take into consideration all the many years she has given for the human rights cause. We are not going to make this one mistake blind any of us to what she has done to break the siege in Gaza.
I was a member of the old FGM Board and am a member of the newly formed Board. I worked as a human rights lawyer in Jerusalem and the West Bank for six years before being deported by Israel in 2008, after participating in the second successful attempt to break the blockade of Gaza. Greta Berlin is a comrade, an inspiration and a good friend. As the child of a Holocaust survivor, I am particularly sensitive to anti-Semitism. I have some political differences with Greta (for example concerning Gilad Atzmon), but in all the time I have known her I have never seen nor heard any signs of anti-Semitism.
I’m not on FaceBook or Twitter and therefore it took me a while to realize and react to the uproar over the posting of the vile video on FG’s Twitter account. But I totally accept her explanation and apology.
I am shocked at the lack of solidarity by some members of the Palestine solidarity movement. Folks interested in justice are remarkably quick to be unjust to someone who has invested so much time, energy and love as a leader of the non-violent direct action campaign for Palestinian rights. I hope we can keep our eyes on the prize and all get back to the serious work of supporting the struggle of the Palestinian people for justice, dignity, and their national and human rights.
I am a retired Spanish lawyer. I have been a nonviolent activist for Palestine for some years now. In 2005 I was hurt by the Israeli army in Bil’in during a demonstration with Palestinian, Israelis and other internationals. As a consequence, I underwent surgery and have 11 pins in my shoulder. Really nothing compared with the attacks that Palestinians are undergoing on a daily basis. Afterwards I continued going to Palestine to support the nonviolent struggle of my Palestinians brothers and sisters, both in the West Bank and Gaza.
I met Greta in 2008 in Cyprus where we spent some weeks preparing the voyage of “Free Gaza” and “Liberty” which broke the siege of Gaza for the first time in 41 years on August 23, 2008. It was a good opportunity to know Greta and my other comrades well, in such a situation of real danger. It was really great to know personally and through others the amazing task she has been doing on behalf of Palestinian people. I can assure that during the long time we spent altogether nor afterwards, I never suspected of anti-Semitism or racism at all neither in her nor in any other of the team.
Ever since I’ve been linked to the Free Gaza Movement and have been added to the new board some weeks ago. I know all Greta’s efforts to break the siege of Gaza together with Palestinians once and many times through FG, participating in Flotillas… Anybody that reads the book “Freedom Sailors” can feel Greta’s amazing personality.
Really I can’t believe that a single anti-Zionist person can believe anything bad of Greta Berlin. She is a human being who is working hard, very hard and she made a mistake. It’s as simple as that. Is it so difficult to believe? Has anybody not made a mistake in his or her life? I cannot really understand why her explanations have not been enough. I fully believe her.
There was no need for many Zionists to attack Greta for her mistake. Why? Maybe because some good pro-Palestinian folk have done it. Please let us be serious and put an end to this story. It’s time to continue all united supporting Palestinian people instead of trying to find any flaw among us. As an end, I want to express my full support to Greta Berlin, a great person and activist.
Additional comments from board members will be posted.
Special thanks to Gilad Atzmon
Gilad Atzmon was born in Israel in 1963 and had his musical training at the Rubin Academy of Music, Jerusalem (Composition and Jazz). As a multi-instrumentalist he plays Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Baritone Saxes, Clarinet and Flutes. His album Exile was the BBC jazz album of the year in 2003. He has been described by John Lewis on the Guardian as the “hardest-gigging man in British jazz".
Gilad Atzmon's essays are widely published. His novels 'Guide to the perplexed' and 'My One And Only Love' have been translated into 24 languages.
As a member of the Blockheads, Gilad has also recorded and performed with Ian Dury, Robbie Williams, Sinead O'Connor and Paul McCartney. Gilad has also recorded with Robert Wyatt, the Water Boys and many others. Learn more about Gilad by visiting his Website
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