Jewish ship to Gaza 'ready to sail' - organisers claim

By Jessica Elgot, September 15, 2010
The Jewish-organised boat to Gaza was inspired by the Mavi Marmara Gaza flotilla

The Jewish-organised boat to Gaza was inspired by the Mavi Marmara Gaza flotilla

The organisers of a Jewish-run ship which aims to break Israel’s naval blockade claim the boat is now ready to sail on the eve of Yom Kippur – but refused to name the port it will depart from.

Jews for Justice for Palestinians claimed on its website this week “the boat preparations are proceeding in readiness for the passage to the final port, from where the boat will depart to Gaza.

“The boat now has a full inventory of safety equipment, including global systems of communication, and thus has the capacity to trigger pre-prepared safety bulletins from London at a moment’s notice, for both the crew’s safety and the success of the mission.”

British sailor Glyn Secker of JFJFP has previously said he will captain the ship. He said it would show "not all Jews support Israel and say emphatically: not in our name".

The boat has been organised by the umbrella group European Jews for a Just Peace, which encompasses 10 pro-Palestinian Jewish groups. More than 40 activists are expected to join the ship.

Kate Katzen-Leiterer of German Jewish Voice told Ha’aretz that the boat was ready to depart and Jewish activists were “on board”.

The ship, which was originally intended to set sail in July but were delayed by an £18,000 funding shortfall. Katzen-Leiterer said loans and donations had been received to fund the trip.

Jewish community organisations reacted with outrage when the flotilla plan was announced.

A Board of Deputies spokesman said the stunt was "the clearest indication yet that fringe groups such as JfJfP are more concerned with publicity stunts than genuinely working towards a sustainable peace for both Israelis and Palestinians.”

Last updated: 9:37am, September 16 2010