The article & photo below were submitted to the Editor of the London Free Press on July 11/11 who informed Mr. McHale the same day that it would not be published. Hyperlinks in body text added for publication here.
(Feel free to reprint article & use photo w/link-back, please)
Blue Berets for Peace vigil in London
David Heap, a UWO professor, and Muhammed Hamou, a teacher, chaplain, and former operations manager at the London Muslim Mosque are part of an international team who attempted to travel to the Gaza Strip aboard a 10-ship flotilla in an attempt to break Israel’s blockade of weapons to Hamas. While it was promoted as a humanitarian effort, the trip now appears to have been more about embarrassing Israel then helping people.
While there are true humanitarian disasters in the world, Gaza is not one of those places. In April 2011 Mathilde Redmatn, Deputy Head of the Red Cross stated, “There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza.” Recent news stories tell of how Gaza is opening luxury hotels, a large water park, schools, large malls and how food is abundant. Khalil Hamada, a senior Hamas official with Gaza’s Ministry of Justice stated, in June 2010, “There is no starvation in Gaza. No one has died of hunger.”
Mark Vandermaas, a Londoner who served in the Mid-East as a United Nations peacekeeper in 1978, has been conducting a daily Blue Berets for Peace vigil at the mosque on Oxford St. since June 23rd. to call attention to the fact that the mosque held a fundraising dinner for the Canadian boat to Gaza, which is under the control of Hamas, labelled as a terror organization by the Canadian Government.