Gaza Strip: Protests to Stop Israeli Ship From Docking in U.S. and Canada

gaza strip

Activists protesting military actions and the blockade of the Gaza Strip have set plans into motion to shut down ports along North America’s West Coast to stop an Israeli cargo ship from docking and unloading its cargo. “Block the Boat” began devising strategies after a Palestinian union put out a call to hold Israel accountable for alleged violations of human rights in Palestine.

In the first such protest yesterday in Oakland, California, approximately 500 people marched from a Bay Area Rapid Transit station in west Oakland to that city’s port. They later claimed victory, saying news of their protest made its way to the ship’s captain, who ultimately decided not to dock as scheduled on Saturday afternoon. As of Saturday night the ship remained approximately 100 miles south,  in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Monterey. Reem Assil, of San Francisco’s Arab Resource Organizing Center, said he and others involved “were really proud of this victory.”

Attempting to create a link between the current rampages and subsequent police response in Ferguson, Mo., and the difficulties in the Gaza Strip, the crowd recited chants claiming that police brutality in Ferguson is the same crime as the what has been happening in Palestine. At least one local member of the  local International Longshoremen and Warehousemen Unions (ILWU), Clarence Thomas, believes that people in Ferguson and those in Gaza have become connected. “This must be repeated elsewhere,” he said. Jennifer Sargent, a spokeswoman for the ILWU, said that her union “is not involved with any actions regarding incoming Zim ships.”

The non-support of ILWU contrasts with its actions of 2010, when the union cooperated with activists at the Port of Oakland to stop an Israeli freighter from unloading. That action was a response to the international blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Members of Block the Boat said their intent in keeping the Israeli-owned ZIM Lines ship from unloading was to protest Israel’s recent military operations in the Gaza Strip and also their contention that Israel is an occupier of Palestine. Israel disputes the claim that it is an occupier of the Gaza Strip, arguing that such occupation stopped when it disengaged from the area in 2005.

Saturday’s blockade occurred as a response to a July 31 press release from The Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU), which called upon “all governments and international bodies” to stop Israel from warring against Palestine. Describing Israel as a “heartless machine,” the document blames the country for unspecified crimes.

A Palestinian in California, Monadel Herzallah, said that he and other protestors want to hold Israel responsible for “the genocide” in Gaza. Attempts to receive comment from the Israeli consulate were not successful. Similar protests are anticipated in the coming weeks in Vancouver and Seattle and attempts to receive comment from an Israeli consulate in the U.S. were not successful.

With North American headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia, ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Limited is the world’s tenth biggest shipping company and Israel’s largest. Protestors desire nothing less than a complete lock-out of commercial shipping from Israel along the west coasts of Canada and the U.S.

A spokesperson for the Port of Oakland could not confirm that the non-docking of the Israeli ship was related to the activists’ protest against the problems in the Gaza Strip. Police assembled in a line in front of Berth 57 to restrict access to the property. Oakland Police did not make any arrests or issue citations.

By Gregory Baskin

Oakland Tribune
The Jerusalem Post
Palestinian National Information Center

34 Responses to "Gaza Strip: Protests to Stop Israeli Ship From Docking in U.S. and Canada"

  1. Ubiquitos   August 25, 2014 at 1:22 am

    The Lock out won’t work, There will be a civil suit against ILA, if they decide to cooperate and support. They will lose, because if they ban Israel vessels for “HUMAN RIGHT ABUSES” and NOT ban CHINESE vessels for “HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES” this is considered discrimination, ILLEGAL in our Land of the Free.

  2. fred   August 24, 2014 at 1:13 am

    Gaza is not occupied

  3. Mehrdad   August 23, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    Kudos to people to these people for seeing what Israel has become, a viscous killing machine and they need to be confronted by all peace loving people. Resistance against occupation is not terrorism, occupation however is terrorism.
    The Palestinians have been living under a military occupation, which is recognized by the international community for nearly 50 years now. Israel has put a total siege thru air, sea and land and are aiming to drive the Palestinians out of their home or kill them in their homes.

  4. Nader   August 22, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    There are a lot of emotions around those discussions. Reading into history, the Palestinians at one point were selling their lands back in 1948 and they got paid for it. Yes, when you build tunnels to fight Nazis; it’s considered resistance. The palestinians ( Hamas) are building tunnels to shoot rockets at innocent civilians. They always break cease fire and use the media to twist facts on the ground. Hamas is a manipulative, terrorist organizations supported financially by a country called Qatar with a hidden agenda.

  5. Summer   August 20, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    So when the Jews in Warsaw built tunnels in order to smuggle in weapons and food to fight the Nazi, they were called the resistance. Palestinian do it they are terrorist.

  6. gaeldc   August 20, 2014 at 8:04 am

    I’m curious to know how all of you, who deny that Gaza is occupied, would act if you were imprisoned in your back yard for the last 7 years with only minimal caloric requirements allowed in, simply because you voted for Hamas or live next to someone who voted for Hamas. It’s collective punishment of Palestinians. There is no justification, it is illegal. And the irony of the occupation of the Palestinians by Israel is not lost on the rest of the world.

  7. gael murphy   August 20, 2014 at 7:55 am

    Dan, How do you now Jose is from Mexico?

  8. Gregory Standforth   August 19, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    There is NO place called Palestine.

    Hamas are cowards that use children as shields and attempt to use the other side’s civility against them.

    Neutralize Hamas and you neutralize the problem

    • Satya   August 19, 2014 at 10:57 pm

      There is NO brain in your head.
      You are an AIPAC drone.
      You are an imbecile and AIPAC uses your brain as a sheeple prod.
      Neuter the sheeple and neutralize the AIPAC shills you neutralize the problem.

    • Sean   August 20, 2014 at 4:34 pm

      When the state of Israel was established in 1948, it did not get the land out of thin air. It got it by taking it from the Arabs who had been living there for countless generations. International justice forbids and regards ethnic cleansing as a crime against humanity. It is clear to the rest of the world that Israel has made millions of Arabs homeless since it created the its state.

  9. Bob StVan   August 19, 2014 at 4:43 am

    there were no human shields according to– must see BroVids . com interesting-shalom!

    • Federico   August 19, 2014 at 6:56 am

      If you want to help the people living in Gaza, then protest the firing of rockets and the attacks through tunnels into Israel. Israel has no reason to attack Gaza or to block its importing of goods if Hamas disarms. The protesters apparently object to the existence of Israel, and not its actions, since they fail to seek the one thing that will protect the Gazans, which is that Hamas disarms. They won’t agree to do that, however, since their goal is not to protect the people in Gaza but to destroy Israel. Israel’s response is perfectly rational. The protesters should be protesting against Hamas. Of course, if they were themselves in Gaza and protested against Hamas, then they would be killed or maimed by Hamas, as were the supporters of the PLF in the last few weeks as recently reported. So let’s not confuse what the protesters are protesting — they don’t have any real conviction about saving the lives of the Gazans if the Israelis can be hurt. I suppose they also feel badly that Iron Dome is effective, and saves lives, since the lives it saves are Israeli lives.

      • Seán   August 21, 2014 at 5:30 am

        Iron Dome did not protect the many Palestinian children that the IDF was shown shooting dead on YouTube. Some of them were clearly strolling past the brave IDF soldiers when they were gunned down. Others who were shot dead were engaged in peaceful protests. One US girl was casually killed by a bulldozer driver (he slowly drove over her) who thought she was a protesting Palestinian.

  10. benedetta007   August 19, 2014 at 12:26 am

    Americans will never side with Hamas, who held up their own citizens as human shields while engaging in an absolutely insane military campaign that neither achieved any objective, nor had any real objective achievable from said campaign. Instead, they offered up innocent women and children as “martyrs,” and proceeded to blame Israel after firing rockets relentlessly at an iron dome. In reality, if it were really about the people, money wouldn’t be wasted on rockets that are guaranteed to be intercepted, and spent the money on their people’s needs instead, when at the end of it all, they’re participating in peace talks with Egypt anyway, and won’t even dare to raise an eyebrow to Egypt or Saudi Arabia, but only Israel. Your logic fails and the whole world sees. We support the innocent civilians of Gaza, sacrificed and held up by their own leadership to die for their impotent military campaign.

  11. James   August 19, 2014 at 12:04 am

    Antisemitic rants by a minority hide the fact that Hamas is the real enemy here. So long as they keep sending rockets into Israel and build tunnels to commit acts of terrorism they need to be stopped whatever way is necessary. Its unfortunate that these age old hatreds still exist especially when Israel is at the fore front of the battle for the Western world. You protesters need to grow up.

  12. dev lukum   August 18, 2014 at 11:01 pm

    It is comviniently hidding the fact that Hamas has and contunuing or will continue rain of rockets on isreal territory. It is duty of Isreal Govt. to protect his citizen. Protesters, pl. answer if hamas fired rocket on territory of US, Britain, Canada asnd european countries (This will be 100%possible if you continue to support Hamas (indirectly) by protesting) then what will be reaction of these countries and what do you expect as citizen from your govt,

    • Gil Paul   August 19, 2014 at 2:31 pm

      Dev Lukum – 100% correct. We are giving every terrorist organization in the world – including the Islamic State and Boko Haram – the perfect strategy. Today it is Gaza. Tomorrow, we will all be used as human shields – including those protesting at the west coast ports.

  13. Adam   August 18, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    @ Sunny, hahaha, a jew from a neutral country

  14. sunny   August 18, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    I wonder had the rockets reached Israel then the situation would have been same???

    I am fron a neutral country and believe war has never done anything except bringing death and sorrow, but in Israel case enough is enough, i remember Israel never start a war Hamas should should think about peace they are thinking just about War.

  15. Connor   August 18, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    JIDF shills out in force today.

  16. R-Arch   August 18, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    The misery of the Palestinians is the ATM of their leaders.
    The Great Palestinian Lie.

    • Robert E. (@Chewy1954)   August 18, 2014 at 3:35 pm

      These days all the terrorists, radicals and progressives seems to be playing the propaganda game very well, it would make Nazi Joseph Minister of Propaganda Goebbels proud!

  17. Edna Edward   August 18, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    All the paid idiots and morons are out………………don’t tell the truth……….they control the media………………….

  18. James Stevens   August 18, 2014 at 6:21 am

    LOL, the israeli students are out in force towing the official line. Hamas has every right to defend against israel’s attempts at genocide. You people act like whats happening to the Palestinians is their own fault, or that they deserve to have their land taken and their homes bombed. You support oppression on a scale that is unbelievable. Almost 2 million people are being terrorized daily by the idf. There are two sides to this, the oppressor, and the oppressed. The history of israel, and the comments made by it’s leaders and people, say that genocide is the end goal in Gaza, and the west bank.They want all arabs out of “their” land.

    “Genocide is the systematic destruction of all or part of a racial, ethnic, religious or national group via the (a) Killing of members of the group; (b) Causing of serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) Deliberate inflicting on the group’s conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; (d) Imposing of measures intended to prevent births within the group; or (e) Forcible transferring of children of the group to another group. Genocide entails also the Conspiracy to commit genocide; Direct and public incitement to commit genocide; Attempt to commit genocide; and Complicity in genocide. ”

    Hamas is not on some blood lust for jews, they are trying to defend their land same as any one of us would do in their situation. It is so easy to see what israel is doing that it boggles the mind that people can’t see it, or wont see it. They wont stop with Gaza, or the west bank. They will create wars with Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, and Egypt to open up more of the “promised” land for them. That is why they are destabilizing the whole area. As soon as ISIS turns to israel the land grab will start. They will have to defend don’t cha know……

    • Dan   August 18, 2014 at 8:21 am

      You’re an idiot. Same old anti-semitism.

    • Me   August 18, 2014 at 9:08 am

      Wow you have it so backwards. Amazing. Maybe dont stand on your head anymore.

    • Robert E. (@Chewy1954)   August 18, 2014 at 3:38 pm

      You failed to mention the daily barrage of rockets terrorising the Israeli population. Bottom line, Israel should have finished the job getting rid of Hamas once and for all so they could start negotiating with the Palestinian Authority

    • Gil Paul   August 19, 2014 at 2:26 pm

      Hi James. You did take the time to share your thoughts so maybe you are willing to be honest. Surely you know that if Israel’s goal was genocide, this conflict would be over in less than a day. Israel certainly has sufficient fire power to level gaza flat and could have already every living creature there. Instead, they risk their own to minimize civilian casualties. You are correct. There are two sides. One side is a terrorist organization no different that Boko Haram or the Islamic State. Do you side with them as well? The other side is the only real democracy in the mid-east. Sadly, there are innocent people caught in the middle but to blame Israel for the plight of the Gazans is to ignore the facts and take this conflict out of all meaningful context. Meanwhile, the solution is so very simple. Dismantle Hamas. Demilitarize Gaza. Israel would be the first inline to help build the most beautiful seafront imaginable; High Rises and Luxury resorts. Instead, Hamas chooses tunnels from which to kill as many Jews as possible. James – your views and too many people like you are either absent of the facts or truly anti-Semitic. I was going to give you the benefit of the doubt but I just did read your last paragraph. Some people are simply insane and have no need for facts.

  19. Gregory Baskin   August 17, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    Monadel Herzallah speaks here of Israeli “genocide.” More on such verbal laziness here:

  20. Ana Richardson   August 17, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    Commander of British Forces, Colonel Richard Kemp, in a challenge to the Goldstone Report in front of the United Nations Security Council, stated that the Israeli army “did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare,” during Operation Cast lead. I’m sure the same can be said about the current operation in 2014.

  21. jose d. martinez   August 17, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    also protest the rockets coming in from iran. go there and protest to the iran government to stop sending rockets to hamas.go,what are you waiting for ?

    • Dan   August 18, 2014 at 8:31 am

      Jose. I would focus on your Mexico before trying to say anything about other countries.

      • Dan Maxwell   August 18, 2014 at 4:15 pm

        Bit of RACISM their EHDAN. Jose could be from SPAIN for all you twit.


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