The Canadian Boat to Gaza, in cooperation, with international initiatives in the US, Australia and other countries, is launching a new initiative to challenge the illegal and inhumane Israeli blockade of Gaza, the only Mediterranean port closed to shipping. This new initiative: Gaza’s Ark, will build a boat in Gaza, using existing resources. A crew of internationals and Palestinians will sail it out of Gaza carrying Palestinian products to fulfill trade deals with international buyers.Gaza’s Ark will be constructed in Gaza by Palestinian hands and expertise, with international assistance.
Gaza’s Ark will help revitalize the dwindling ship building industry in Gaza and help ensure the transmission of this disappearing expertise (another effect of the blockade) to the younger generations.
Through Gaza’s Ark and trade deals secured between Palestinian producers in Gaza and international businesses and NGOs a channel will be established to export Palestinian products from Gaza that are available despite the blockade.
Gaza’s Ark will also provide training to Gaza’s sailors in the use of up-to-date electronic sailing equipment and techniques which they have been denied for years as a result of the blockade.
Although it will help in a very limited manner to alleviate Gaza’s unemployment crisis by paying wages to the boat builders and providing business opportunities to traders, Gaza’s Ark is not an aid project. It is a peaceful action against the blockade which Israel unilaterally and unreasonably imposes on Gaza.
Gaza’s Ark also stands in solidarity with the Palestinian fishery in Gaza whose ability to operate in territorial waters and to derive a livelihood is threatened by the same Israeli blockade which our campaign is challenging.
Gaza’s Ark challenges the blockade by building hope on the ground in Gaza, and affirms our confidence that the Palestinians of Gaza can rebuild their economy through outbound trade that threatens no-one’s security.
With your support, the work on Gaza’s Ark will start this summer. You will be able to follow its progress with regular updates on the web (www.GazaArk.org), on Facebook (www.facebook.com/GazaArk) and Twitter (@GazaArk).
Ann Wright and Jane Hirschmann are the US points of contact on the international steering committee: firstname.lastname@example.org