"One Day you finally knew
What you had to do, and began,
Though the voices around you
Kept shouting their bad advice—"
Mary Oliver\ USA
At the time of fragmentation and division, at the time in which the compass and the priorities are almost lost; about seven hundred activists and freedom lovers from forty countries started their journey to break the siege on Gaza Strip despite the ill advice called for not to do that.
At a time of ethnic, religious and sectarian intolerance, The Freedom Flotilla witnessed a distinguished ethnic, religious, sectarian and national diversity that urges us to reconsider the camp of friends from that of enemies.
The participation of one hundred women in The Freedom Flotilla came to prove that women are equal to men in their struggle against oppression, occupation and colonialism, and act as an equal partner in the battle against injustice, tyranny and slavery. This came at a time in which we hear increasing loud voices calling for the necessity for women to go back home, to the shells they freed themselves out of, after long dark ages, using their own will.
The Freedom Flotilla was embracing the monotheistic religions, the different nations and diversity of nationalities on its board, among them: the Turkish martyr Jngs Akure, the American martyr from Turkish descendent Furkan Dogan, Bishop Hilarion Kpucci, Sheikh Raed Salah, the Jewish survivor of the Holocaust Hedy Epstein, Henning Mankell from Sweden, the American coordinator of The Free Gaza Movement Greta Berlin, Shatha Barakat from Syria, Sondos Al-abd Aljader from Kuwait, Dr. Hazem Farouq Mansour from Egypt, engineer Mahmoud Abu Ghaneemeh from Jordan, Hassan Murad from Bahrain, Munasriyya Saliha from Algeria, Fatima Mohammadi from America, the Irish Laureate Mairead Maguire who won Nobel Prize in 1976, the American Kenneth O'Keefe.
In parallel, the Turkish solidarity activists were chanting in broken Arabic accent: ‘Palestine … Palestine, the Intifada will continue until the liberation of Palestine’. This came at a time when some fanatical voices in the Arab countries are still repeating outdated slogans, such as: " Khaibar Khaibar … Jews…".
Solidarity activists from thirty-seven nationalities were raising the Palestinian flag and wearing the Palestinian black and white koufiyyeh behind the main slogan: ‘Break the siege on Gaza and end the vile Israeli occupation of Palestine’. This came at a time when the Palestinian flag is almost disappearing behind the banners of various factions with the black and white Palestinian scarf (koufiyyeh), which is considered a symbol of the struggle of the Palestinian people, is also nearly fading away behind the scarves of different colors.
In a protest reaction to the massacre of The Freedom Flotilla and the Zionist crime against peaceful international aid activists, and as a condemnation of the Zionist entity and an expression of solidarity and advocacy of the Palestinian cause, 35 members from the group of Friends of Palestine in the Norwegian Parliament participated in the Parliament session wearing the Palestinian koufiyyehs and shawls.
The martyr Rachel Corrie came back to life through the vessel which carried her name to remind the world that she will continue her resistance and will pursue the killers by land, sea and air. The British Alexandra risked her life through her participation in The Freedom Flotilla seeking to break the siege on Gaza. In parallel, Haneen Zoubi challenged her fellow members of the Israeli Knesset who sought to prosecute her following her participation in The Freedom Flotilla. She declared that Israel is the one who should be submitted to trial.
Haneen Zoubi was revealing the racist and chauvinist face of Israel. All this came at a time when we hear some fanatic voices calling for “real men” to act, reproaching Arab rulers for allowing women to take the initiative in their place: "A nation led by Alfarouq, Salah Al-Din, Muhammad the Conqueror and Abdel-Hamid deserves sincere leaders to teach America a lesson about real men who make the decision of war against all occupiers of Muslim lands, and implement it by dignified believers responding to "the call for jihad". This nation deserves men leaders to teach America that the nation is led by men, not women".
When are we going to act, and not to react?
When are we going to take the initiative for breaking of the siege on Gaza, in collaboration with our friends across the globe who took the initiative of the Flotilla?
When are we going to realize our priorities for political unity and the unification of a dissociated homeland?
When are we going to review our slogans so as to focus on what unites us, not what divides us?
How can we accumulate and invest the global and Arab momentum that was launched to support the just cause of Palestine?
How can we intensify our efforts to bring murderers and war criminals to justice?