Statement by the Peace and Freedom Party

If any other country were to capture a ship carrying humanitarian supplies, and assault and imprison a Nobel Prize-winner and a former U.S. Member of Congress under terrible conditions, surely the U.S. media and even the U.S. government would speak out. The Spirit of Humanity was boarded and seized, and all 21 human rights workers and crew were taken prisoner, on June 30th. But the pirates in this case operate under the flag of the I.D.F., the Israeli military, and the seizure of medical supplies, toys, and olive trees intended for the suffering people of Gaza appears to have the quiet approval of the United States government. Hardly a word has appeared in any of the billionaire-owned newspapers, the case is not mentioned on television, and no statement of condemnation or concern has issued from the White House.

Sadly, as activists for peace know all too well, the U.S. mass media cannot be trusted to tell the truth, or indeed anything at all if they can avoid it, about the actions of U.S. proxies and allies in the Middle East. The prison cells, torture chambers and secret police that prop up the utterly despised regime of Mubarak in Egypt are all financed by U.S. aid. The bombs and shells and bullets and tanks that killed so many, including so very many children and non-combatants, in Gaza in January, are financed by U.S. aid that was even increased during the massacre. And now the I.D.F., using U.S. aid again, has captured a humanitarian relief ship and its crew by violence off the coast of Gaza, where the I.D.F. has no legal and legitimate authority, and the brave aid volunteers are being treated abominably - with no outcry from the U.S., and the world-wide outcry not even reported to Americans.

Around the world, it has been reported that Nobel Peace Prize-winner Mairead Maguire of Northern Ireland, and former US Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, along with 19 others, are being held prisoner while being told they must sign confessions (in Hebrew, a language they do not understand) before being deported. They have refused, and are still in jail. Around the world, millions are concerned as vital medicine is being withheld from Mairead Maguire by her jailers. But the White House is not concerned. In Congress, no one from either corporate party, the Democrats or the Republicans, has taken to the floor to demand their release. Imagine the uproar if the ship had been captured by Iran! But because the lawlessness is committed by the Israeli allies of those Democrats and Republicans, the silence is deafening.

The Peace and Freedom Party joins in the demands of hundreds of millions of people around the world: that the aid workers be released unconditionally, with all their notes, recordings and personal belongings; that the ship, the Spirit of Humanity, be released after its dismantled navigation equipment is repaired; that the I.D.F. stand away and allow the cargo (that was security-checked at the dock in Cyprus before the voyage) to be offloaded in Gaza; and above all, that the cruel embargo of humanitarian aid to the suffering people of Gaza be lifted by the Israeli government. We further ask that all aid of any kind from the United States to Israel cease until the Israeli government agrees to these conditions.

While this statement is being provided to the usual media, having no confidence in the willingness of the corporate media to tell the truth about the Middle East, we are also circulating it by other means.

Adopted by the California State Officers of the Peace and Freedom Party, 6 July 2009.
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