Nada for Gaza: The McKinney Israel trip

by Mumia Abu-Jamal

Ramle Prison, Israel.Cynthia McKinney, the outspoken former congresswoman and Green Party presidential candidate, recently got out of jail.

Yeah. That’s right. Jail.

It’s possible that you had no idea she was in jail.

That’s because she was in detention for almost a week in Israel.

Her offense? She accompanied a group from the Free Gaza Movement bringing medical supplies, olive trees, cement and children’s toys to the beleaguered and occupied Palestinians in Gaza.

McKinney and 21 other people were blocked from landing on the Gazan coastline and seized by the Israeli Navy in what she called “an outrageous violation of international law.”

McKinney was part of an international humanitarian mission to support an oppressed population – not with weapons, but with toys and medicines – and was thrown into jail!

In a recent call, when I was told about this, I was quite surprised, for I hadn’t heard or read a thing about it.

A major U.S. ally, which receives more U.S. military aid than any other nation on earth, blithely tosses a former U.S. congressperson, a past presidential candidate, and a Black civil rights activist into a jail cell, and few major media sources deem it worthy of reportage!

Was the wall-to-wall Michael Jackson coverage too impenetrable?

According to a later published account – aired first on her MySpace page – McKinney wrote the following, shortly after her release:

“We were in international waters on a boat delivering humanitarian aid to people in Gaza when the Israeli Navy ships surrounded us and illegally threatened us, dismantled our navigation equipment, boarded and confiscated the ship … All of us on board were then taken off the ship and into custody and brought into Israel and imprisoned. (Philadelphia Tribune, 7/7/09)

Umph! Cynthia McKinney in jail – in Israel – for bringing medicine to the sick, for bringing toys to children, for bringing succor to the oppressed and occupied!

(Oh! By the way, the name of that ship? It was the “Spirit of Humanity.”)

And it ain’t news?

© Copyright 2009 Mumia Abu-Jamal. Read Mumia’s brand new book, “Jailhouse Lawyers: Prisoners Defending Prisoners v. the U.S.A.,” available from City Lights Publishing, www.citylights.com or (415) 362-8193. Keep updated at www.freemumia.com. For Mumia’s commentaries, visit www.prisonradio.org. For recent interviews with Mumia, visit www.blockreportradio.com. Encourage the media to publish and broadcast Mumia’s commentaries and interviews. Send our brotha some love and light at: Mumia Abu-Jamal, AM 8335, SCI-Greene, 175 Progress Dr., Waynesburg PA 15370.