Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Teresa Forcades 2: Going towards Gaza

Religión Digital (English translation by Rebel Girl)
June 1, 2015

Sister Teresa Forcades will be one of four Spanish women who will sail towards Gaza on one of the boats of the "Freedom Flotilla III" [for Spanish participation in the flotilla, see Rumbo a Gaza], which is scheduled to arrive in Palestinian waters in late June in order to "denounce and break the blockade" by Israel against the Palestinians.

Forcades' name was announced on Monday during a press conference in which this Benedictine nun, who has denounced Spain's actions not only for its silence about the "blockade" but because it is giving "support" to the Israeli military industry of which it is a client, was present.

The Spanish boat "Marianne", which is carrying a symbolic cargo of solar panels and medical supplies, leaves this Monday from the port of Bueu (Galicia) for Lisbon, from which it will begin its trip towards Motril (Granada), where it will arrive on the 7th and leave two days later for Italy. Two other boats will leave from the Mediterranean, so the flotilla will include at least three vessels.

This is a joint action by an international coalition involving citizen initiatives in Canada, Greece, Spain, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Turkey, South Africa and associations bringing together activists from other European countries.

Forcades was introduced as "a nun, a doctor by profession, a theologian" and "her confrontation with pharmaceutical companies" was highlighted in her resume -- the nun is known for her activism against [the H1N1 and HPV] vaccines.

The activist nun explained and criticized the arms trade between Spain and Israel, emphasizing that our country serves as an "entry point" to Europe and Iberoamerica for Israel's arms industry.

In her speech, Forcades noted that in Gaza the population of Christians has settled down to "one percent" when it was 10% for years. The nun blames Israel despite acknowledging that in that country the percentage is much higher -- 2.5% according to her own data.

"Most Palestinian Christians are outside of Gaza," she said, then lamenting that "people who could serve as a bridge are being eliminated," before commenting on the actions of "the Israeli soldiers."

In presenting the initiative, journalist Olga Rodríguez highlighted the situation in which more than 1.8 million Palestinians live -- in the "biggest open-air prison."

Another journalist, Teresa Aranguren, spokesperson for Rumbo a Gaza, said that the work of the Flotilla is not only trying to reach Gaza, but "the most important journey is towards the minds and consciences of the people of the West" so that Israel "ends the systematic violation of the rights of the Palestinians."

Palestine's ambassador to Spain, Musa Amer Odeh, characterized the blockade as "illegal" and deemed that the Palestinian people "need a solution based on international law."

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