Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Gaza’s Ark Mission Statement (#GazaArk #FreePalestine)

Originally posted by Gaza's Ark at http://gazaark.org/2012/07/05/gazas-ark-mission-statement/

Gaza’s Ark, will build a boat in Gaza, using existing resources. A crew of internationals and Palestinians will sail it out of Gaza carrying Palestinian products to fulfill trade deals with international buyers.
Gaza’s Ark will be constructed in Gaza by Palestinian hands and expertise, with international assistance where requested.
Gaza’s Ark will help revitalize the dwindling ship building industry in Gaza and help ensure the transmission of this disappearing expertise (another effect of the blockade) to the younger generations.
Through Gaza’s Ark and trade deals secured between Palestinian producers in Gaza and international businesses and NGOs, a channel will be established to export Palestinian products from Gaza that are available despite the blockade.
Gaza’s Ark will provide training to Gaza’s sailors in the use of up-to-date electronic sailing equipment and techniques, which they have been denied for years as a result of the blockade.
Although it will help in a very limited manner to alleviate Gaza’s unemployment crisis by paying wages to the boat builders and providing business opportunities to traders, Gaza’s Ark is not an aid project. It is a peaceful action against the blockade which Israel unilaterally and illegally imposes on Gaza.
Gaza’s Ark stands in solidarity with the Palestinian fishers in Gaza whose ability to operate in territorial waters and to derive a livelihood is threatened by the same illegal Israeli blockade which our campaign is challenging.
Gaza’s Ark challenges the blockade by building hope on the ground in Gaza. It affirms our confidence that the Palestinians of Gaza can rebuild their economy through outbound trade that threatens no-one’s security.
Important points relevant to this post that can be found at http://gazaark.org/faq/
When do you expect Gaza’s Ark to be ready to leave Gaza?
Our initial goal is to raise US$400,000 US dollars to purchase and renovate a used boat that can be refurbished to meet the needs of Gaza’s Ark, and then pay for the renovations. The funds will provide materials and parts — which are in short supply due to the blockade. Support of international donors is urgently needed. Once the boat is purchased, we will get it ready to sail and negotiate contracts to purchase products to ship. We estimate that the boat will sail in Spring 2013.
How can I get involved in Gaza’s Ark?
What we need most right now is funds in order to purchase the boat in Gaza so it can be renovated. Please consider making an online donation now, via the links on this website, either as an individual or from your organization. You can donate in Australia, Canada, and the U.S. or via an international link (http://gazaark.org/donate). If you pay taxes in the United States, your donation will be tax-exempt, through the fiscal sponsorship of Nonviolence International. A confirmation letter of your donation will be sent to the email address you list.
In addition, we are looking for individuals willing to organize a fundraiser, develop relationships with businesses and other organizations interested to purchasing Palestinian products via Gaza’s Ark, or have other skills to donate. Please contact us through the email address listed on this website for your country. We also are looking for individuals who would like to establish a Gaza’s Ark team in countries not yet represented– please contact us at info@GazaArk.org .
You will find answers to many questions about past boats to Gaza, humanitarian law and the blockade of Gaza here (http://www.tahrir.ca)
Will you be accepting volunteers who would like to be on the Gaza Ark?
That has not yet been decided, but those who have worked on the project will be given priority. Watch this website for updates.

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