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Press Release

updated: May 22, 2020 11:00 EDT

On May 31, 2010, filmmaker Iara Lee (director of the Cultures of Resistance Network) was on the Mavi Marmara, part of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, when the boat was attacked by Israeli military forces. The flotilla was an effort to bring humanitarian aid to the illegally blockaded Gaza Strip, and the largest boat in the flotilla was the Mavi Marmara. In the early morning hours of May 31, Israeli commandos boarded the Mavi Marmara and opened fire on civilians, killing nine passengers (a tenth passenger died later from his injuries) and wounding dozens more. Despite Israeli attempts to confiscate all video taken during the attack on the boat, Iara Lee’s film crew smuggled out footage of the assault, which she later screened at the United Nations.

Watch the Israeli Attack on the Mavi Marmara – Iara Lee Testifies to the UN (3-minute short film) or the raw footage of the attack, courtesy of Cultures of Resistance Films.

On May 30 at 10 am PDT, the Gaza Freedom Flotilla Coalition will mark the tenth anniversary of the attack on the Mavi Marmara with a Q&A discussion. Lee will be joined by fellow passengers, as well as by internationally renowned author Norman Finkelstein. This event is a part of a series of webinars to commemorate those killed in the attack and to remember the thousands of Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank, and Israel who have been killed by the Israeli military.

This webinar will feature the firsthand remembrance of what happened on the Mavi Marmara, a discussion of the blockade of Gaza and its impact on all aspects of life in Gaza over the past decade.

The Israeli naval blockade was broken in 2008 when several boats of the Free Gaza Movement entered Gaza City Harbor, the first international boats in 41 years to arrive in Gaza. But since 2008, the Israeli government has stopped boats in 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2018 in international waters, arrested passengers, taken them to Israel, imprisoned, and deported them. Nevertheless, the Gaza Freedom Flotilla Coalition is committed to keep sailing to break the illegal Israeli naval blockade of Gaza until Gaza/Palestine is free.

Iara Lee, founder of Cultures of Resistance, collaborates with agitators, artists and changemakers to make social justice documentaries and to promote global solidarity.

Norman Finkelstein, Ph.D., Princeton University Politics Department, is an author dedicated to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and the politics of the Holocaust.

For interviews in advance of the event, contact Iara Lee’s press liaison Tamara Shvelidze [email protected] and for Dr. Finkelstein, contact Sana Kassem [email protected]

When: May 30, 2020 at 10:00PDT/13:00EDT/18:00 BST/19:00 CEST/20:00 Palestine

Access: Zoom webinar registration https://bit.ly/3brBQqZ

Source: Cultures of Resistance Network