Ramsey Clark leads Solidarity delegation in Gaza visit two years after Israeli assault

 International human rights activist Ramsey Clark led a delegation that, after a day-long struggle for admission, crossed into Gaza on Jan. 4 to show solidarity with the blockaded population of the strip. Two years ago the Israeli military invaded and bombed Gaza two years ago, killing 1,450 Palestinians, almost all civilians, including many children. Among those with Clark is Co-director of the International Action Center Sara Flounders. Both are veteran solidarity activists with the struggle of Palestinians for self-determination and the right to live in peace and freedom in every part of Palestine..
 
The solidarity trip’s importance is underlined by the Israeli military’s threats to launch a new invasion. Israeli planes have aggressively attacked inside Gaza on Dec. 18, Dec. 24 and Dec. 25. The courage the Palestinians of Gaza showed confronting that assault has made Gaza a symbol of the determination of all Palestinians, whether in Gaza, the West Bank or in the Diaspora, to free their country.
 
The movement of solidarity with the people of Gaza has grown rapidly since the Dec. 27, 2008, bombing and invasion of Gaza. The ongoing Israeli blockade of the 1.5 million people living in the small territory and the continued Israeli threats have accelerated this movement’s growth. Behind this development is not only the exposure of the crimes of the Israeli occupation regime, but also the courage of Palestinians both in Gaza and the West Bank who keep on struggling against all odds.
 
Many young people and also older activists have organized aid delegations by land caravans and sea flotillas that bring material assistance to Gaza. Currently the Asian aid ship Salam, which started in India, is making its way toward Gaza, tracked by two Israeli warships. The caravan called Asia 1 entered Gaza yesterday. The new understanding of the oppressive character of the Israeli state has also given rise to the struggle for “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” against the regime there and in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle.
 
“All these actions are part of a global movement,” said Flounders, but “even more must be done. It is especially urgent at this time to speak out, write, demonstrate and take all kinds of actions in every possible way in defense of the still blockaded territory of Gaza. That Israel outrageously continues to bomb and Israeli officials talk openly of a new offensive call for a determined response.”
 
Flounders also called attention to the solidarity activists in Minneapolis, Chicago and other Midwestern cities who the FBI has targeted, subpoenaing them to appear before a Chicago grand jury: “The efforts by the U.S. government and its repressive forces to shut down solidarity with the heroic Palestinian struggle must be met by ever stronger solidarity actions.”
 
The delegation will be visiting with representatives of the Palestinian people in Gaza and to see the situation on the ground there. They plan to speak at public meetings when they return to the United States — which should be the second week of January — and to help bring the truth about Gaza to the people of the United States.
 
Clark was the U.S. attorney general during the Lyndon Johnson administration in 1967-68. He will take part in the first such meeting, scheduled for Jan. 12 at 55 W. 17th Street at 7 p.m. in New York, which will coincide with a release of the new book, Gaza: Symbol of Resistance.

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