RAMALLAH, June 18 (JMCC) - Pulitzer-prize winning author Alice Walker is preparing to join a flotilla to the blockaded Gaza Strip through contemplation, she tells the
Israel has said it will stop the flotilla scheduled for later in June. Nine activists were killed last year when Israeli commandos raided a similar fleet carrying aid to the Gaza Strip.
AA: In recent weeks we’ve seen a number of protests take place of Palestinian refugees marching to the Israeli-controlled frontiers of Palestine and people being shot at by Israel. The Israelis have said that they are making preparations to stop the flotilla. There have been intense diplomatic efforts to try to persuade those organizing the flotilla not to go. What do you think needs to happen? How can we raise awareness in a way that we can mobilize that kind of support for this flotilla and its goal of lifting the blockade?
AW: I think that we are dealing with people of high irrationality, to put it really kindly. So there is no way of really assuming that anything that we can do will stop them from doing what they have done for sixty years.
The facts are that we are dealing with some very brutal people; people indoctrinated over a long period of time. And a military that obviously is insensitive to the sufferings of other people. That’s the reality. So it would be great if with The Electronic Intifada, you do what you can do, you know, and if other media outlets run by people of conscience raised the hue and cry.
But at the end of the day I think all of us who are committed to being on the boat have the task of soul-searching that Martin Luther King Jr. went through during his time in jail in Alabama, when he wrote his Letter From a Birmingham Jail.
There was no way that he could know what would happen because customarily he would have been taken out of there in the middle of the night and beaten to death or lynched or hung from a tree. He had to, in his own soul, acknowledge this very real possibility.
So the people who are going to be on these boats I hope are using these last days — hopefully not the final last days — but the last days before the journey to really determine if this is worthwhile: that if they have to lose their lives, if they have to suffer in some horrible way, that they are ready. That they are as ready as they will ever be.
One way I like to think of it is that a tornado could come and suck me out of my car. A person could be lost in a flash flood. A tsunami could drown you in your sleep. A fire could burn down your entire community. These are all realities of how people transition from this existence. You could die miserably from cancer.
So these are ways of looking at it realistically because we are moving into a situation where you cannot tell what will happen.
And that is why I am steeping myself in the words of the people before me who have been in the same position and who have decided: “Well I love this world. I love it. I love these little children. They don’t deserve this. They don’t deserve to be abused; they don’t deserve to be frightened. I’m an adult. I’m an elder. So, how can I let this happen to them without some kind of resistance?”