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Statement for USS Liberty memorial service

7 September 2011 | International Solidarity Movement, Gaza

This statement was submitted for tonight’s memorial service off the coast of the Gaza Strip.

We join Larry Toenjes, Joe and Sherrie Wagner, Rusty Glenn, and all supporters of the s/v Liberty in remembering the deaths of 34 USS Liberty servicemen killed by the State of Israel on June 8, 1967, and the wounding of 174 more.

As crew members of the Oliva, a civilian craft monitoring Israeli naval crimes against fishermen off the coast of Gaza, and as observers on board Palestinian fishing trawlers, we have observed, and at times endured, Israel’s unprovoked use of live gunfire, water cannons, and other military aggression against peaceful vessels. These violent attacks often produce lethal results.

We also remember the nine Turkish citizens, including one Turkish-American, killed on the MV Mavi Marmara by Israeli naval commandos during their May 30, 2010 aerial assault on the first Freedom Flotilla, and the brutality endured by survivors of this attack on a humanitarian mission.

As we mourn the casualties of this aggression, we call on the governments of the world to join the Republic of Turkey and the State of Qatar in imposing meaningful sanctions for Israel’s ongoing crimes against humanity, and for global civil society to organize boycotts and divestments demanding Israel’s compliance with international law and respect for human rights.