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Group: Sane government won't hinder Jewish boat

Sept. 27, 2010 6:09 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 28, 2010 7:49 P.M.)
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma'an) -- Israeli peace groups on Monday applauded Jewish activists on board an aid ship sailing to Gaza.

In a statement, Gush Shalom applauded the courage of activists on board the Jewish Peace Boat who were "working to end the Gaza Siege and get for its inhabitants the natural right to come and go, like everywhere else in the world."

The boat was "a reminder of the isolation which we in Israel bring upon ourselves," the group said, adding that Israel was "increasingly losing the support of world Jewry."

A "sane Israeli government" would not hinder the boat's passage, as "Nobody could possibly argue that the arrival of ten peace activists in Gaza could in any way endanger Israel's security," the statement continued.

A raid on a Turkish-flagged aid boat on 31 May became the subject of a UN investigation, after Israeli forces killed nine civilians on board as the boat approached Gaza.

The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions wished activists "safe sailing," and said the boat would attempt to unload its cargo at a port in Gaza as "a non-violent, symbolic act of solidarity and protest."

Cargo would include "symbolic aid," including children's toys, text books, and prosthetic limbs, ICAHD said, and the boat would fly multicolored peace flags carrying the names of dozens of Jews worldwide who expressed support for the initiative.

Richard Kuper of organizing group Jews for Justice for Palestinians told ICAHD that passengers would not engage in any physical confrontation with Israeli forces, and "will not present the Israelis with any reason or excuse to use physical force."

Passenger Reuven Moskovitz, 82, said turning enemies into friends had been his life's mission, adding "We are two peoples, but we have one future."

The boat, named Irene, left Cyprus at 13.32 local time on Monday and is carrying 10 passengers including Jews from the US, UK, Germany and Israel under a British flag, ICHAD said.
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