PNN – Palestine News Network – 19.07.11 – 17:11
The French yacht Dignité-Al Karama, boarded by the Israeli Army just 60 miles away from Gaza, carried representatives of the Canadian, French, Greek and Swedish Boats from the Freedom Flotilla II. Along with the activists and three journalists, two crewmembers, Yannick Voisin and Hilaire Folacci, man the ship, which brings the total number of people on board the Dignite-Al Karama to 16, from 6 different countries.
The seven French activists onboard include:
Honorary Deputy (previous Deputy at French parliament) Jean Claude Lefort, member of the French Communist Party and Parliamentary Delegate of the Val-de Marne area from 1988 to 2007; now President of the Association France-Palestine Solidarité (AFPS).
Member of the European Executive Ecological Board (The Greens) Jérôme Gleizes, also head of the Transnational Commission of Ecology in Europe (Ecologie – Les Verts) and Director of publication of the magazine “Ecorev”.
Claude Léostic, Vice-President of AFPS (Association France-Palestine Solidarité), and representative of both the French campaign “a Ship for Gaza”, and of the French campaign on the International Coordinating Committee of the Flotilla. As previous experience towards the Palestinian cause, she joined a group of Internationals, at President Arafat’s residence in Ramallah in 2002, when he was under siege; for what she was denied entrance to Palestine. In 2009, she also coordinated the Freedom March to Gaza, which was stopped by the Egyptian authorities at the Rafah entry into Gaza.
Shipmaster and politician Jo Le Guen, head of the ecological association “Keep it Blue”, who has sailed the Atlantic Ocean several times, twice alone, and is well-known for his commitment to ecology.
Publisher Yamin Makri, member of “Collective 69”, in support of the Palestinian people, and one of the organizers in 1983, of the March of the Beurs (the North African residents in France).
And Thomas Sommer-Houdeville, reached on board the boat on Monday evening, who is the Coordinator of the International Civil Campaign for the Protection of the Palestinian People (CCIPPP), and also representative for the “A French ship for Gaza” campaign. In 2002, he coordinated CCIPPP’s civil missions in Palestine. In 2003, he spent several months in Iraq to co-found “Occupation watch” to monitor the American occupation. In 2006, he was part of a delegation to Lebanon, monitoring Israeli aggression during the invasion. In 2010, he also participated in the first Freedom Flotilla which earned him a few days in Israeli jail. He published a book describing his experience, “The Flotilla: International Solidarity and State Piracy on Gaza Shores”
Together with them: Stéphan Corriveau, coordinator of the Canadian ship “Tahrir”. Dror Feiler, a Jew born in Tel Aviv but with Swedish nationality who is the representative of the Swedish campaign “Ship to Gaza” and also the President of the organization “European Jews for Peace”. He is an internationally acclaimed musician and an artist in plastic art. The Greek sociologist Vangelis Pissias, representative of “Ship to Gaza-Greece”, who was one of the organisers of the first Freedom Flotilla and was also on board last year when, according to Haaretz, was heavily bet by Israeli militaries at Ashdod Port. And Oummeya Naoufel Seddik, member of the Tunisian Federation for Citizenship on Both Shores of the Mediterranean Sea (FTCR) who fought actively against Tunisian President Ben Ali’s dictatorship, and is very involved in the rights of refugees, with whom he has worked on the island of Lampedusa, Italy.
The journalists onboard are Ayyache Derradji and Stéphane Guida, Al Jazeera’s correspondent and cameraman, as well as renowned Israeli journalist Amira Hass, reporting for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, in which she has printed countless articles over the years about the living conditions of Palestinians under occupation. Haas has written 2 books about her experience in Gaza and the West Bank, and has received several media awards, including UNESCO’s World Freedom of the Press Award in 2003.