Monday, December 21, 2009

Action Request!

Thanks to all of you who have offered your support (emotionally, spiritually, financially...) and well wishes for our trip to Gaza. We must again ask for your help.

Can you send a fax, an email or make a phone call to help break the blockade of Gaza?

Using the pretext of escalating tensions on the Gaza-Egypt border, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry yesterday informed those traveling to Gaza for the freedom march that the Rafah border will be closed over the coming weeks, into January.

We responded that there is always tension at the border because of the siege, that we do not feel threatened, and that if there are any risks, they are risks we are willing to take. We also said that it was too late for over 1,300 delegates coming from over 42 countries to change their plans now.

This is frustrating, but not entirely unexpected: no delegation, large or small, that entered Gaza over the past 12 months has ever received a final OK before arriving at the Rafah border. Most delegations were discouraged from even heading out of Cairo to Rafah. Some had their buses stopped on the way. Some have been told outright that they could not go into Gaza. But after public and political pressure, the Egyptian government changed its position and let them pass.

The efforts and plans of the Michigan Peace Team will not be altered at this point. But we need your help! Public Pressure does work!

We have set out to break the siege of Gaza and march on December 31 against the blockade. We are continuing in the same direction.

Egyptian embassies and missions all over the world must hear from us and our supporters (by phone, fax and email)** over the coming crucial days, with a clear message: Let the international delegation enter Gaza and let the Gaza Freedom March proceed.

Contact your local consulate here:

Contact the Palestine Division in Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cairo
Ahmed Azzam, tel +202-25749682 Email:

In the U.S., contact the Egyptian Embassy, 202-895-5400 and ask for Omar Youssef or email

Thanks friends! (sample letter below)

In Peace and Solidarity
Sheri (for the MPT Gaza Team)

* * Sample text **

I am writing/calling to express my full support for the December 31, 2009 Gaza Freedom March. I urge the Egyptian government to allow the 1,300 international delegates to enter the Gaza Strip through Egypt.

The aim of the march is to call on Israel to lift the siege. The delegates will also take in badly needed medical aid, as well as school supplies and winter jackets for the children of Gaza.

Please, let this historic March proceed.
Thank you.

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