An all-Jewish flotilla of anti-Israel campaigners which had pledged to sail to Gaza and break the blockade has been delayed due to an £18,000 shortfall in funding.
Captained by British sailor Glyn Secker, of Jews for Justice for Palestinians, the flotilla was announced in the wake of the incident in June in which nine people were killed when Israeli commandos boarded a convoy of ships travelling to Gaza.
The all-Jewish boat is supported by European Jews for a Just Peace, an umbrella organisation of groups from 10 countries.
JfJfP had planned to set sail this month to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza, including schoolbooks, medicines, fishing nets and musical instruments.
But JfJfP chairman Arthur Goodman wrote to supporters last week on behalf of the “boat committee” in an effort to secure additional funding.
He wrote: “We are well advanced with practicalities. In particular Glyn Secker has identified a suitable vessel at a reasonable price.
“We already have several very generous donations from individuals and groups towards purchasing and kitting out the boat. We are now on our last push — to raise £18,000 — and we will be on our way.
“We would be immensely grateful if you could contribute to our final funding effort. We really need some large donations, as quickly as possible. However, any amount — large or small — will be greatly appreciated.”
Mr Goodman said the flotilla was now likely to depart in late August or September.
Jewish community organisations reacted with outrage when the flotilla plan was announced. Stephen Kramer, secretary-general of Germany’s Central Council of Jews, said the activists had become “naïve and willing tools of the terrorists and enemies of Israel”.