rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

We are all Gaza

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca for as little as $5 per month!

Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu asked UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to stop the International Freedom Flotilla ll from sailing to Gaza in May. He claims that the Flotilla has been infiltrated by "radical Islamists bent on violence." He also claims that the ships will be used to attempt to smuggle weapons into Gaza. These ludicrous claims only further illuminate the desperate nature of the Zionist agenda to portray Israel as victim.

As one of the founding members of the Canadian Boat to Gaza project, part of the Freedom Flotilla ll, I offer a very different narrative. I am a white, Canadian-born, middle class, educated woman. I am a mother of three, a social worker and advocate for justice and peace. I am not a radical Islamist. I have no religion. I grew up knowing very little about the struggles in the Middle East but over the years became much more aware of my dark roots linking me directly to a history of colonialism. I could say that intellectually, I found my way to social activism as a way to acknowledge and offer my personal retribution for centuries of oppression at the hands of "white people." I could say that, but the truth is much simpler.

The truth is that, thanks to the Internet, the world is in our living room 24 hours a day if we are willing to look. During Operation Cast Lead in 2009 which claimed the lives of more than 1300 Palestinians living in Gaza, haunting images of dead and maimed, trauma-stricken children flooded my psyche. As a human being, regardless of race, nationality, culture or gender, how could I NOT speak out? How could we allow this to happen? Before you dismiss me as a naive leftist bleeding heart, I invite you to ask yourself the same question. There is no rational, humane answer. The five year siege of Gaza has collectively punished the population in violation of international law, specifically the Fourth Geneva Convention. Israel continues to build illegal settlements in the West Bank, villages are demolished regularly and Palestinians are routinely evicted in East Jerusalem, all with the unwavering support of Western governments, particularly Harper's Conservatives.

In spite of facing tremendous suffering, deprivation and loss, I remain in awe of the resiliency of the human spirit. In Gaza today, children still play, dance and sing although they carry unspeakable trauma in their little bodies. Their mothers and fathers try to carve out a life of hope while literally surrounded by the rubble and destruction of this one-sided war. I do not condone violence on either side, but the disproportionate amount of violence perpetrated by Israel against Palestine is inarguable.

It is my connection to the hope and resiliency of our human spirit that compels me to act. I want Palestine to know that when it comes to justice, there are no borders. The diverse team of caring individuals who have joined together from coast to coast to launch the Canadian Boat to Gaza all understand that it is up to civil society to speak out against the illegal siege of Gaza, which confines 1.5 million people in an open air prison. We must do this because our governments are failing to do so.

We join like-minded people from more than 15 countries in the Freedom Flotilla ll, and welcome and invite the UN and any other independent bodies to thoroughly inspect our ships prior to our departure for Gaza. We are not terrorists, and we will not be terrorized and intimidated by Israel. We are all Gaza.

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.