Last week, the Franciscan Coalition for Justice and Peace Sojourns for Justice Speakers Series hosted two men who sailed on the Jewish Boat to Gaza in May 2010 – Glyn Secker and Reuven Moskivitz. 

Glyn Secker

Secker, the captain of the boat, told us why, as a Jew, he felt compelled by his moral calling to protest the collective punishment of Gazans by the policies of the Israeli government.  Mr. Secker also gave an account of the civil disobedience actions from sailing the boat into the Israeli restricted waters, the boarding of their sail boat by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), to their arrest and deportation.  

Reuven Moskivitz

 Dr. Moskivitz, an 82 year old holocaust survivor, emphasized how we cannot continue to look backward at history, but evaluate what is currently happening in Israel/Palestine and work for justice and liberation for an oppressed people, the Palestinians.  He also expressed that he does not like to be thought of as a hero.  Rather, he said the Torah calls us to turn our enemies to friends; this is God’s holiness.  He led the participants in a couple meditative musical interludes on his harmonica as well.   

 Secker and Moskivitz had several other speaking engagements in the Triangle area last week as part of this speaking tour sharing their stories and continuing their work to protest against and challenge the continuing blockade of Gaza.  They believe that this blockade constitutes an illegal, collective punishment of the whole population and a grossly immoral act.  See their website here.  
 
 Sixty-five individuals attended this event at St.  Francis. It was clear that not all participants were of one mind. Some were clearly opposed to the message, some received hope that others are working for the same cause that they have been working on for years,
 and some were hearing about the situation for the first time.  All observed the passion and knowledge of these two amazing individuals.   This event was also sponsored by Coalition for Peace with Justice.