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Unprincipled position on Gaza one reason Canada lost UN Security Council vote

The Canadian Boat to Gaza (CBG), a pan-Canadian effort to send a Canadian-flagged aid boat to break the Israeli blockade of the Gaza strip, has raised $100,000 -- one third of its target budget.

Meanwhile, in Geneva, Switzerland last week, national representatives of "Boat to Gaza" projects from a half-dozen countries met to discuss sailing together to Gaza as Freedom Flotilla II (FF2), a larger sequel to the spring, 2010 Freedom Flotilla.

On May 31, 2010, under the cover of darkness and using sophisticated naval- and helicopter-borne commandos, Israel overpowered six Freedom Flotilla aid ships resulting in the deaths of eight Turkish and one American nationals, actions which provoked widespread international condemnation of Israel. It was decided in Geneva that FF2 will sail in the spring of 2011.

"With growing support coast-to-coast, Canadians have indicated their commitment to see a Canadian-flagged boat within Freedom Flotilla 2," said Sandra Ruch of the CBG. "It is important to challenge the blockade and send a clear message of Canadians' commitment to human rights and the protection of civilians living under military blockade as mandated by the Fourth Geneva Convention."

The CBG is a Canadian initiative supported by over one hundred Canadian grassroots organizations which span community groups, religious organizations, trade unions and political parties.

"One of the goals of the Canadian Boat to Gaza is to take a principled position regarding the Israeli blockade of Gaza which the Canadian government has failed to take time after time," said Ehab Lotayef, spokesperson of the CBG. "We believe that this unprincipled Canadian foreign policy was one of the reasons Canada failed to win a seat in the United Nations Security Council."

The Canadian Boat to Gaza calls on all Canadians to support the campaign and to participate in naming the boat at http://canadaboatgaza.org/cms/sites/cbg/en/suggest-name.aspx.

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