Elder of Zion points out that last week alone, 2491 people managed to escape "the world's largest prison". The easing of travel restrictions to and from Gaza has not escaped the notice of the notorious International Solidarity Movement (ISM), who have begun earnestly recruiting for the next Rachel Corrie wanna-be:
Their appeal follows:
The International Solidarity Movement is appealing for volunteers to join our team in the besieged Gaza Strip. In recent weeks people have managed to cross into Gaza so there is at present a rare window of opportunity to enter - and more activists are always badly needed, as attacks by Israel are incessant.
ISM Gaza was reinstated in August 2008, when volunteers traveled aboard the historic, siege-breaking voyage of the first FreeG aza Movement boat.
ISM Gaza has maintained a continuous presence since then and joined fishermen to witness the illegal enforcement of a 3 nautical mile blockade by Israeli naval forces.
ISM volunteers refused to leave when Israel began bombing Gaza in December 2009. They accompanied ambulances and provided vital testimony to the international media as the assault unfolded.
At present ISM activists in Gaza are engaged with grassroots initiatives against the siege. Volunteers accompany Gazan farmers in the 'buffer zone', make frequent solidarity visits to Palestinians affected by the blockade, write reports about the situation on the ground, and film, photograph and document the illegal use of live ammunition against demonstrators and farmers.
As the international community becomes more critical of Israel's policies, it is vital to have individuals on the ground that can attest to the conditions inside the open-air prison of Gaza. Their voices lend strength to efforts abroad, as BDS campaigns gain momentum and freedom flotillas become pandemic.
For further details, please contact gazaism at gmailcom
The requirements for joining the ISM Gaza team are that applicants must:
a) have at least two months previous experience of non-violent direct action solidarity work in the Middle-East, preferably with ISM, including intervention in critical situations;
b) have a good understanding of the history and current political situation in Palestine;
c) have at least fair Arabic language skills (preferred but not required);
d) sign a contract agreeing not to engage in behaviors contrary to Gazan cultural/social norms
e) sign a contract agreeing to remain with ISM Gaza for the length of their stay
f) prepare a written statement outlining their personal wishes should they be kidnapped, injured, or killed.
Item "D" particularly intrigues me. Is the ISM pandering to Hamas? What are these social and cultural norms? For women, is submitting to rape and sexual abuse included?