Obama should demand an end to the Gaza blockade
before the abduction:
Free Gaza Movement, in response to Israeli warnings that they would forcefully prevent the ships from reaching the Gaza Strip:"The purpose of nonviolent direct action and civil resistance is to take risks -to put ourselves 'in the way' of injustice. We take these risks well aware of what the possible consequences may be. We do so because the consequences of doing nothing are so much worse. Anytime we allow ourselves to be bullied, every time we pass by an evil and ignore it - we lower our standards and allow our world to be made that much harsher and unjust for us all."President Obama, in his Cairo speech:"So let there be no doubt: the situation for the Palestinian people is intolerable. America will not turn our backs on the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity, and a state of their own...Israel must also live up to its obligations to ensure that Palestinians can live, and work, and develop their society. And just as it devastates Palestinian families, the continuing humanitarian crisis in Gaza does not serve Israel's security."
since the abduction:
Passenger Cynthia McKinney, a former U.S. Congresswoman and presidential candidate:
"This is an outrageous violation of international law against us. Our boat was not in Israeli waters, and we were on a human rights mission to the Gaza Strip. President Obama just told Israel to let in humanitarian and reconstruction supplies, and that's exactly what we tried to do. We're asking the international community to demand our release so we can resume our journey."Passenger Mairead Maguire, winner of a Noble Peace Prize for her work in Northern Ireland:"The aid we were carrying is a symbol of hope for the people of Gaza, hope that the sea route would open for them, and they would be able to transport their own materials to begin to reconstruct the schools, hospitals and thousands of homes destroyed during the onslaught of "Cast Lead". Our mission is a gesture to the people of Gaza that we stand by them and that they are not alone"Ann Wright, U.S. Army Reserve (retired) and former U.S. diplomat:"The Israeli Navy's actions are in violation of international law. The SPIRIT OF HUMANITY was in international waters and was not jeopardizing the security of Israel. The abduction of the passengers and crew from the vessel is an outrage and I call on the Obama administration to make a formal protest to the Israeli government concerning the abduction of U.S. citizens, including a former U.S. Presidential candidate. The Obama administration should withhold the $3 billion the U.S. gives Israel each year."
-thanks to Code Pink