Thursday, 14 October 2010

My heart bleeds in Latakia

Something seems to have unblocked the log jam and we have the go ahead from Egypt. Eight days of stand off and the intervention of several different countries has finally got us on the move. The delay has cost the booking with our original ship chartered to take the convoy from Syria to Egypt, so its a mad scramble through the shipping agents to find another ship or two prepared to travel the 'international waters ploughed by the Mavi Marmara last May on which 9 activists just like me were shot dead - some in the head at point blank range let us not forget. It is of great comfort that this case has today been accepted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague for crimes against humanity; of little comfort to the families of those young men who were so cruelly cut down. Crimes against humanity are a daily occurence for all Palestinians. The delightful family with whom I had lunch today in Latakia in Syria, have asked for three years to visit their family in Canada. They will not be allowed to go until the international community finally faces up to its human rights obligations and attends to the situation in Palestine in a fair and equitable way. This will not happen without pressure from people like you and me. People who have taken time to really understand the situation and who will not be fobbed off with disinformation from western media.

We do not know which day we will be leaving Latakia. What we do know is that many obstacles will be put in our way. Over these last few days in the refugee camp I have have come to more fully understood the situation of the polite and patient Palestinian refugees and my heart is bleeding.

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