Join reporter Yudit Ilany as she spends a week with the Women’s Flotilla to Gaza, while it makes port calls in southern Europe, and ultimately attempts to break Israel’s blockade on Gaza.
For eight years now, international activists have attempted to symbolically break Israel’s decade-long blockade on the Gaza Strip. In 2008, the Israeli Navy let two sets of boats through. Two years later, Israeli commandos killed 10 activists on the ‘Mavi Marmara.’
Every year since, activists have attempted new flotillas, all of which have been stopped by Israel. This year, the Freedom Flotilla Coalition is sending a ‘Women’s Boat to Gaza,’ a flotilla of two boats named Amal-Hope and Zaytouna-Oliva. Israel Social TV reporter Yudit Ilany is sailing on the Zaytouna-Oliva. This is her travelogue from the first week.
We have edited the Yudit’s diary for length. The full multimedia series can be found on Social TV’s Facebook page.
Day 1 —Barcelona
It’s hot and humid. The sun is scorching but it’s easy to forget, as Barcelona is amazing. Not because it is a gorgeous city (well, that too) but first and foremost because of the city’s inspiring group of activists. People who give you hope not only with their words, but with their actions and dedication. And their friendliness.
The festival surrounding the launching of the flotilla, with its artists, musicians and performers, is a happy noisy mix of art, ideology and knowing how to live. The public is a fantastic mixture of locals of all kinds and creeds as well as random tourists, many of them visiting the city during the Eid al-Adha holiday.
And then there are the others, living in Barcelona after having travelled a less easy route: Muhammad, a young refugee born in Yarmoukh Camp in Syria, whose grandparents were born in Yaffa and lived in the Manshiye neighborhood, and his girlfriend from Aleppo, whose roots go back to Nazareth. Or Dr. Muhammad, a medical specialist working at a local hospital whose parents also came from Manshiye (Yaffa).
There is a fairly substantial Palestinian community in Barcelona that extends its hands to the refugees, in cooperation with many other groups of activists; One group specializes in finding good squats for refugees. They know where to look, how to go about it and are successful at what they are doing. Problem solved. They volunteer. The festival has been organized by volunteers, with incredible care, dedication and professionalism....Read More