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The Dove and Dolphin

Why The Voyage To Gaza?
1st February 2003 12.00 hrs

The Voyage of The Dove and The Dolphin

I have been asked many times why we are making this voyage to Ashdod and Gaza.

Firstly we know that many families there live in crushing poverty. The malnutrition rate in the children is reported to be 50% and rising. We are taking about 55 tons of essential foodstuffs. We are also of course taking ourselves and thus demonstrating our common humanity.

Secondly we are pointing the ship at a country which has been the centre of conflict and bitter dispute for 55 years. This demonstrates the bankruptcy of political institutions, both in this country and abroad. The priority should be to bring justice and peace to the
Palestinian people and not to wreak yet more havoc in countries like Iraq.

Thirdly, we will sail a course which is almost the same as the warships being sent by the bombers Blair and Bush. Our little ship represents all that is opposite. We stand for justice and peace and against the irrational and the destructive.

In the weeks following 11-9-01 and when the high altitude bombing of the Afghan people was starting, there were bumper stickers on cars in Florida which read "Nuke them till they glow". Millions of people in the UK are repulsed by such violence and hatred. Instead they would agree with the surgeon who says that "We should do our best to heal and not to harm".

David Halpin

Copyright © by David Halpin. All Right Reserved.

What Has Moved Me To Speak And Act For The Palestinian People?

  • We have two beautiful grandchildren – Isobel 6 and Nel who is 4. I look at their lustrous blond hair and into their happy blue eyes. I see in them the two billion other children in the world. They are all equally precious. I believe that not one of them should be harmed; you believe that too. We differ in that from most, so-called world leaders. Eternal shame be on them.

  • I was brought up by a Mother who said "share and share alike" to the four of us. My father said "do your best"and "stand up for yourself". That
    often seemed harsh to a sensitive lad. Above all, lying was a cardinal sin.

    All this in my nurturing has meant that I cannot stay quiet when the underdogs are being kicked around.

    I do believe Edmund Burke';s adage applies - "It is only necessary for good men to stay silent, for evil to triumph".

  • I qualified as a doctor in 1964. I started repairing folk with broken skeletons and the torn flesh from road accidents. Less often I straightened the crooked limbs of children. Always we worked together to relieve pain and distress. Blowing people apart should be rejected robustly by the so called caring professions. What is happening in Falluja and in Occupied Palestine is evil and beyond the law. I say this as a human, and especially as a doctor and surgeon.

  • One has to be a sceptic to be a good doctor; that is part of the scientific training. That quality is part of the forensic approach, the ability to focus down and yet still weigh the evidence, especially the words. This is the basis of good diagnosis and I was taught and taught many others that the history was 70% the diagnosis. An innate scepticism, combined with my medical training, has lead me to measure everything that is handed down to me. I have looked beneath the Western propaganda that is pumped out in favour of the Zionist State and which demonises and marginalizes the Palestinian. I have looked beneath, smelled the stench and I must speak out. If we do not speak out then we are complicit. "When truth is replaced by silence, the silence is a lie" ~ Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Soviet dissident.

  • Copyright © by David Halpin. All Right Reserved.