Ambassador Peck Shares Firsthand Account of Freedom Flotilla

July 1, 2010

"It Was Worth the Effort," Ambassador Peck told hundreds of people at two recent "Set the Truth Free" events hosted by MPAC in Los Angeles and Washington, DC. Peck's moving eyewitness account as a member of the Freedom Flotilla, which was the subject of a deadly raid by Israeli commandos on May 30, is now available online.



The Los Angeles event, which also featured a performance of "In Palestine" by Jewish American pianist and songwriter Rich Siegel, BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanctions) student organizer Leena Barakat, MPAC Senior Advisor Dr. Maher Hathout, and MPAC President Salam Al-Marayati.

Last week, MPAC-DC and the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) co-hosted Peck for a candid and eye-opening conversation about the Freedom Flotilla and the future of Palestine.

Ambassador Peck's engrossing personal narrative of how the Israeli commandos intercepted the Freedom Flotilla with deadly force enabled the audience to envision the injustices they faced. Through his sense of humor and honesty, Peck shared stories, encounters and anecdotes that stood in solidarity with his message -- one of creating understanding and advancing the struggle for justice. He emphasized the idea that everyone has the same objectives, and the only thing that divides us is the approach we choose to use.

According to Amb. Peck, the challenges include overcoming ignorance, overcoming arrogance, and overcoming the power of the Israel lobby.

"Too many of us have been too quiet for too long," Peck said. "MPAC wants us to participate, explain, talk to people and educate people. It is not going to be easy, safe nor quick, but it will be worth the effort."

Once the we have been silenced, then the opposition has already won. Thus, we need a long serious effort to make this world, particularly the Middle East, a better place to live in.

Moreover, Amb. Peck suggested that some of the ways to pressure Israel to end its inhumane siege on Gaza is via boycott, divestment and sanctions. He added that American Muslims need to be more "coordinated" and united in order to elect the right candidates to power.

This inspiring event gathered an impressive turn out of members from civil society, academia and all walks of life who not only listened to Amb. Peck's account of what happened, but also continued to engage in a conversation about what needs to be done individually, as well as collectively to end the ongoing injustices in the Occupied Palestinian territories.

- Saaliha Khan (
MPAC-DC Intern



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