Tag Archives: Freedom Sailors

Shut In, Shut Down, Shut Up: Three Years after Mavi Marmara

20 May 2013
Passengers on the Mavi Marmara were attacked by heavily armed Israeli commandos.
Passengers on the Mavi Marmara were attacked by heavily armed Israeli commandos.

By Greta Berlin

Three years ago, the Free Gaza movement was wrapping up final preparations for a flotilla of eight ships to head out to Gaza, determined to break Israel’s illegal siege on 1.5 million Palestinians shut into an open-air prison. Most of us were already in Cyprus or Turkey or Greece, as we were the primary organizers, having already sent eight voyages, five of them successful in 2008.

Why a flotilla of boats?

Video: Bill Dienst & Greta Berlin – Freedom Sailors

March 15, 2013

Talk by Dr. Bill Dienst and Greta Berlin, co-editors of the book "Freedom Sailors: The Maiden Voyage of the Free Gaza movement and how we succeeded in spite of ourselves" recorded March 7, 2013 at the Common Good Cafe at University Temple United Methodist Church in Seattle, WA.  http://www.freedomsailors.com/


Sailing for freedom

Compelling accounts of Gaza solidarity activism
JANUARY 17, 2013

Freedom Sailors book coverFreedom Sailors defies conventional narrative and adherence to globalist media by aligning itself with a narrative resounding with internationalism. The book provides an account replete with contrasts, highlighting the many facets of history and identifying the differing dynamics between activism and foreign policy.

Despite Israel’s alleged military withdrawal from the Gaza strip, air space and territorial waters are patrolled by the Israeli military, thus ensuring a continuity of the siege. Apartheid practices have rendered Palestinians spectators of their own dependence, as foreign policy continues to ignore the illegalities of an occupying power. Sailing on board Free Gaza and Liberty, international activism brought the Palestinians’ plight to media attention, breaking the siege on Gaza for the first time and setting the scene for further humanitarian missions.

Media Advisory: Book launch Canadian tour


** en anglais seulement **

Media Advisory

September 26, 2012

New book tells harrowing, yet uplifting story of the first boats to break the Gaza blockade 

Book launch Canadian tour

Free Gaza Movement co-founder Greta K. Berlin is embarking on a multi-city tour in Canada to launch Freedom Sailors, a new book about the international efforts to end the blockade of Gaza.

Freedom Sailors, co-edited by Berlin, tells the story of 44 passengers on two dilapidated boats that sailed to Gaza in August 2008. The boats, launched by the Free Gaza Movement, were the first international boats to land in the port of Gaza in 41 years to breech the illegal blockade.

Michael Jansen: Protest without violence


September 14, 2012

Posted in The Gulf Today 

“Free Gaza” is unique in world history. It is almost certainly the most international and innovative Gandhian liberation movement to ever operate on the world stage. Free Gaza activists, who range in age from 22 to 86, come from all four of the globe’s continents. Most adhere to the three largest regional religions — Islam, Christianity and Judaism. Both men and women are involved and share burdens in equality.

Mahatma Gandhi himself could not have imagined such a collection of  well-meaning, dedicated humanitarians and would have been mightily proud to know that they continue to be inspired by his example and follow his strategy of non-violence.

Blockade Busters – Activists and Ships Attempting to Break the Israeli Blockade of Gaza


By Ann Wright (about the author)


After two years of continuous demands to the Israeli government and pressure on the Greek government for assistance, in mid-June, 2012, Greek activists succeeded in getting released from Israel two ships that had sailed in the 2010 Gaza Freedom Flotilla.


The passenger ship “Sfendoni” and the cargo ship “Eleftheri Mesogeios,” or “Sofia” had to

be towed out of the Haifa, Israel harbor due to damage caused by Israeli commandos and intelligence agents when they attacked the ships on May 31, 2010. The “Sofia” was towed to Turkey and the “Sfendoni” was towed to the Greek port of Piraeus arriving on June 20, 2012. See here.Israeli commandos attacked all six ships in the flotilla and murdered nine persons on the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara and wounded 50 more passengers. Activists on each of the six ships were beaten up, tased, put in Israeli prison and eventually deported from Israel.

From Flotilla To Ark-Radio interview


Sandra Ruch is a veteran Canadian Boat to Gaza and Freedom Waves organiser. She explains Greta Berlin’s new book tour in Canada. The book Freedom Sailors: The Maiden Voyage of the Free Gaza movement and how we succeeded in spite of ourselves is about the first two boats that managed to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza. She also introduces the new international project ‘Gaza’s Ark’ and why we still need to raise awareness about the situation in Gaza.


You Will Never Make It

By Greta Berlin


London, UK, August 23, 2012

Four years ago, 44 bedraggled passengers on two rickety boats sailed into the port of Gaza. They were the first international passengers to enter this tiny port in 41 years. Members of the Free Gaza movement, these sailors had spent two years, over $700,000 and untold hardships to land that day, met by over 40,000 cheering Palestinians standing on every piece of rock, sand and grass that dotted the coast near Gaza City.

Cynics said they would never make it. The Israeli military had been threatening their organizers for weeks, stating they would never let the two fishing boats enter the port of Gaza. The group had raised money from around the world; women on social security sending their checks, sailors from the USS Liberty donating their pension checks, a swelling grassroots movement determined to break Israel’s illegal siege on 1.5 million Palestinians.

Now the book, Freedom Sailors (www.freedomsailors.com), has been published; a love story to the people of Gaza and a confirmation they will not be forgotten. The story is told by 24 people who were either passengers or were waiting in Gaza for the boats to arrive. Proceeds from the book will go to Gaza’s Ark http://gazaark.org/, a new project where Palestinians will build the boat in Gaza and sail out to Europe loaded with products from the people there. Other proceeds will go to the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme, http://www.gcmhp.net/en/

Mahfouz Kabariti, head of the Palestine Association for Fishing and Marine Sports and project manager for Gaza’s Ark stated, “Really it was the nicest dream for us to receive these two ships coming into Gaza without having to ask permission from Israel occupation force.  For the first time since 1967, boats appeared on the horizon, a signal to us that we were not forgotten. Now we will build a boat to sail out of Gaza.”


Greta Berlin, +33 607 374 512 Freedom4Sailors@gmail.com

Bill Dienst, MD, +1 509 322-2595, Freedom4Sailors@gmail.com

Mahfouz Kabariti +970599745666, kabariti80@hotmail.com

Ehab Lotayef, Gaza’s Ark & Canadian organizer +1.514.941.9792, lotayef@gmail.com