It rained today in Cyprus, a rain that the Cypriots really need. Those of us who were getting ready to send another delegation to Gaza worried that the weather would prevent us from leaving. But, by 3:30 pm, the rain began to stop and the sun came out, the late-afternoon rays shining through the flags that draped our new boat, the SS Dignity. We had worked so hard over the past two months to keep the boat safe.
Several times over the past week, people had said that Israel was looking for the Free Gaza, asking port authorities where it was and when we were going. So today was another triumph for the human spirit.
Twenty-seven passengers and crew were on board, grinning and waving at the media gathered below on the docks. All of the hard work and all of the frustration were worth it as they crowded around the upper deck of the new boat, posing for photos. Joe Fallisi, one of the passengers on board and an Italian tenor, sang as the boat pulled out. Once again, the Cypriot authorities escorted the boat out and on its way to Gaza.
Israel says they will stop us and not allow us into Gaza. How cruel of them to threaten to stop a boat full of nonviolent people like Mairead Maguire and Dr. Mustafa Bargouthi. Why would they want to send doctors away from injured children? What are they so afraid of that they would want to shoot instead of talk? Mairead Maguire said it perfectly today, when she said, “If we had continued to fight instead of talk, Northern Ireland still would have no peace.”