Why we sailed to Gaza

Rabbi Brant Rosen and I have just organized a very exciting phone conference to take place next week on Thursday, October 21,  the monthly fast day of Taanit TzedekJewish Fast for Gaza, with two very prominent peace activists who have sailed on the boats to Gaza: Maireed Maguire, the Irish Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, and Yonatan Shapira, the Israeli peace activist.

It should be an amazing conversation.  Below are all the details with links to more information about our speakers.

I hope you can join us.

Taanit Tzedek – Jewish Fast for Gaza

invites you to join a phone conversation on

Why we sailed to Gaza”


Maireed Corrigan Maguire

Irish peace activist, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, passenger on two boats bringing aid to Gaza


Yonatan Shapira

Israeli peace activist, Former Israeli air force pilot, passenger on the “Jewish boat to Gaza”

Thursday, October 21 at 12 noon EDT

To participate in the call:

Dial the Access Number: 1.800.920.7487

When prompted, enter your Participant Code: 92247763#

There will be a question and answer period during the call.

Co sponsors: Jewish Voice for Peace, Shalom Center, Shomer Shalom (list incomplete)

Additional Information about Maireed Maguire and Yonatan Shapira

Internationally known peace activists, Maireed Maguire and Yonatan Shapira, have both sailed on boats attempting to break the siege and bring symbolic amounts of humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza.

Maireed Corrigan Maguire

Maguire won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1976 along with her colleague, Betty Williams, for bringing thousands of Catholics and Protestants together to call for an end to the violence in Northern Ireland. Along with Williams she founded The Peace People, an organization dedicated to nonviolence.

Maguire is an advocate for peace around the world and helped found the Nobel Womens Initiative, a group of six women Nobel Peace Laureates devoted to strengthening women’s rights and being a voice for justice and peace around the world. She helped organize the recent visit to Israel and the Palestinian Occupied West Bank by the Nobel Women’s Initiative but was denied entry to Israel.  After several days in detention, the Israeli Supreme Court upheld the decision to deny her entry and she was deported from Israel earlier this month.

Maguire has sailed on two boats to Gaza, first in June 2009 and then on the MV Rachel Corrie in June 2010.  On both occasions the boat was intercepted by the Navy and she was arrested along with all the passengers on the boats.

“If we want to reap the harvest of peace and justice in the future, we will have to sow seeds of nonviolence, here and now, in the present.”

You can read a profile of Maireed Maguire here.

Yonatan Shapiro

“Yonatan Shapira was an officer in the Israeli Air Force and flew hundreds of missions over the Occupied Territories in a Blackhawk helicopter squadron during the course of his eleven year career. Following a targeted bomb assassination of a Hamas leader that killed fourteen civilians in Gaza, he became a prominent Israeli “refusenik,” authoring the Pilot’s Letter – a 2003 statement signed by 27 Israeli pilots who publicly refused to fly missions over the Occupied Territories.

Since that time, Yonatan has gone on to co-found “Combatants for Peace

This is an excerpt from an inspiring blog post by Rabbi Brant Rosen, co-founder of Taanit Tzedek – Jewish Fast for Gaza.  You can read the complete post here.

Earlier this month, Yonatan was one of the passengers on the “Jewish Boat for Gaza.”  You can read his account of the experience on the boat here.


  1. Gavriel Smith says:

    what is the objective of doing this? (fasting)
    i believe you should be fasting for issues of much higher significance such as the genocide in Darfur where people are being murdered daily or the great human rights violations of women in Iran or Saudi Arabia. why do people always pick on Israel as a human rights abuser as she is quite the opposite to that discription. she is the one of the true and most progresive democracies in the middle east arguabley more democratic the England or America. things just don’t up. Israel is never compared to countries such as these Israel is always compared to someones figmant of ones imagination of an ultimate pure and no problemed state. reality check guys there is no country like that in this world. Israel unilaterally disengaged from the Gaza strip as well as disengaged and dismantled all settlements in the Gaza area known as Gush Katif. at a huge expense. Jewish lives were torn apart. their houses were demolished and their lives were broken. i was one of those lives. Israel left on 2 conditions that they have air control as well as sea control for security reasons which hopefully you can understand that logic as Gaza is run by a terrorist organisation know as Hamas. who’s founding charter calls for the destruction od the state of Israel and all Jews. how is this fast going to achieve anything? next week on the 24th of november, me and dozens of people are fasting for peace and stability in Darfur. i feel this cause can actually achieve something. any takers for this cause. the fast is known as “PEACE in Darfur” spread the word.

    1. Chris Berel says:

      There is truly no reasonable explanation for the continuance of such virulent antisemitism. As for Darfur, I understand that many Arabs believe that any Jewish protest about the genocide in Darfur is merely made to lessen the protest over Israel’s actions against the Palestinians. It would seem that even Jimmy Carter, a supposed humanitarian, support’s that antisemitic outlook.

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