Sunday, June 26, 2011

Letters Needed: Thank LA Times for op-ed by Hagit Borer

The US Boat to Gaza is a coalition member of the US Campaign, as well as a US Campaign-sponsored initiative.

The Los Angeles Times has run an important Sunday op-ed by Hagit Borer that touches on her particpation with the US Boat to Gaza.  Other op-eds about the effort to break the blockade have been receiving a ferocious response in letters to the editor and comments.  It is crucial that activists rally to support of this op-ed to show the strong support the flotilla has.

Please write your letter to the editor today, particularly if you are in the Los Angeles area.  Letters can be sent to and should be 150 words or shorter.  "Please include your full name, mailing address, daytime phone number, and e-mail address. This information is seen only by the letters editors and is not used for any commercial purpose."

Getting on board with peace in Israel

An Israeli American explains why she will be among many boat passengers trying to break through Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip.

By Hagit Borer 
June 26, 2011

Later this month an American ship, the Audacity of Hope, will leave Greece on a journey to the Gaza Strip to attempt to break Israel's blockade. It will join an expected nine other ships flying numerous flags and carrying hundreds of passengers from around the world. I will be one of those passengers.

I am an Israeli Jewish American. I was born in Israel, and I grew up in a very different Jerusalem from the one today. The Jerusalem of my childhood was a smallish city of white-stone neighborhoods nestled in the elbows of hills. Near the center, next to the central post office, the road swerved sharply to the left because straight ahead stood a big wall, and on the other side of it was "them."

And then, on June 9, 1967, the wall came down. Elsewhere, Israeli troops were still fighting what came to be known as the Six-Day War, but on June 9, as a small crowd stood and watched, demolition crews brought down the barrier wall, and after it, all other buildings that had stood between my Jerusalem and the walls of the Old City, their Jerusalem. A few weeks later a wide road would lead from my Jerusalem to theirs, bearing the victors' name: Paratroopers Way.

A soldier helped me sneak into the Old City. Snipers were still at large and the city was closed to Israeli civilians. By the Western Wall, a myth to me until then, the Israeli army was already evicting Palestinian residents in the dead of night and demolishing all houses within 1,000 feet. Eventually, the area would turn into the huge open paved space it is today, a place where only last month, on Jerusalem Day, masses of Israeli youths chanted "Muhammad is dead" and "May your villages burn."