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held discussions on the status of implementation of the conclusions
contained in the report of
the independent international factfinding mission on the flotilla
attack. The Freedom Flotilla II Steering Committee submitted the
STATEMENT OF FREEDOM FLOTILLA II – STAY HUMAN STEERING COMMITTEE
TO THE UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL
In September 2010 the international Fact-Finding Mission to
investigate violations of international law resulting from the Israeli
attacks on the Freedom Flotilla I concluded that the conduct of the
Israeli military towards its passengers, when it was unlawfully
intercepted on the way to Gaza on 31 May 2001, "demonstrated levels of
totally unnecessary and incredible violence... It constituted grave
violations of human rights law and international humanitarian law."
Unfortunately and incredibly, Israel is threatening to use even
greater violence against Freedom Flotilla II, which will sail to Gaza
the end of this month. Its threats have included the use of snipers
and canine units. Even more deplorable, world leaders, rather than
demanding that Israel halt its provocative behaviour towards us and
refrain from once again attacking unarmed civilians, have called the
Flotilla initiative a provocation and have asked countries on the
Mediterranean to prevent us from sailing.
In its September Report, the Fact-Finding Mission concluded that the
passengers on board our ships in May 2010, many of whom they
interviewed at length, were "persons genuinely committed to the spirit
of humanitarianism and imbued with a deep and genuine concern for the
welfare of the inhabitants of Gaza." The same spirit of
humanitarianism compels us to again take action – even at the risk of
serious injury or death – to confront massive injustice with global
nonviolent action. For too long our national and international leaders
have passively watched the tragedy of Gaza – of all of Palestine. The
grossly unjust and unlawful blockade of the Gaza Strip and the ongoing
belligerent occupation of the rest of Palestine – imposed by Israel
and tolerated by the world community - is a stark case of states
sacrificing principle and human rights for power and self-interest.
For those who have any lingering doubts that a man-made crisis
continues to Gaza, just yesterday the Palestinian Centre for Human
Rights issued an alert indicating its extreme concern over the
"running out of medications and contraction of health services in the
The Fact-Finding Mission gave much thought to and called upon the
international community to recognize some role for "humanitarian
organizations who wish to intervene in situations of long-standing
humanitarian crisis where the international community is unwilling...
to take positive action." It included in its broad definition of
humanitarianism both types of organizations involved in the Flotilla:
those that engage in activities taken to alleviate crises and those
that take action to address the root causes of the crises. The Mission
understood that "too often" humanitarian organizations, such as those
behind Flotillas I and II, are "accused of being meddlesome and at
worst as terrorists or enemy agents." Today, these same humanitarian
organisations and human rights activists are being accused of
'provocation' and Israel is threatening, once again, to unlawfully and
brutally stop them. We therefore call upon the Human Rights Council to
stand up to these Israeli threats, to defend our right to intervene in
the long-standing tragedy which is Gaza and to expose and put an end
to Israel's illegal behaviour, which has too long been tolerated by
the international community.
We are determined to sail to Gaza. Our cause is just and our means
are transparent. To underline the fact that we do not present an
imminent threat to Israel nor do we aim to contribute to a war effort
against Israel, thus eliminating any claim by Israel to self-defense,
we invite the HRC or any other UN or international agency to come on
board and inspect our vessels at their point of departure, on the high
seas, and/or on their arrival in the Gaza port. We will – and must –
continue to sail until the illegal blockade of Gaza is ended and
Palestinians have the same human and national rights those of us
Our message of peace is a call to action, for other ordinary people
like ourselves, not to hand over your lives to whatever puppeteer is
in charge this time round, but to take responsibility for the
revolution. First, the inner revolution -- to give love, to give
empathy; It is this that will change the world. -- Vittorio Arrigoni
The real heart deep down doesn't only stand up for what's right but
also helps others to learn to stand up for what's right. -- Mary Alfar
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Health effects http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fasting
Glucose is the body's primary fuel source and is essential for the brain's functioning. When denied glucose for more than 4–8 hours, the body turns to the liver for glycogen, a storage form of glucose, to be used for fuel. A process called glycogenolysis converts glycogen into a usable form of fuel. At this point, the body also uses small amounts of protein to supplement this fuel. This fuel will last for up to 12 hours before the body needs to turn to glycogen stored in muscles, lasting for a few more days. If glucose is still denied at this point, muscle wasting is prevented by temporarily switching to fat as the fuel source, meaning fat is converted into ketone through catabolism. Ketones, while not sugars, can be used by the brain as a fuel source as long as glucose is denied.
The body continues to use fat for as long as there is fat to consume. The body will generally indicate to the faster when fat levels are running extremely low (less than 7% and 10% of body weight for males and females, respectively) with an increased urge for food. Fasts are usually broken long before this point. If the fast is not broken, starvation begins to occur, as the body begins to use protein for fuel. Health complications associated with fast-induced starvation include electrolyte imbalances, thinning hair, lanugo, cardiac arrhythmia and renal failure. Death can occur if fasting is pursued to the point of complete starvation.
Research suggests there are major health benefits to caloric restriction. Benefits include reduced risks of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, insulin resistance, immune disorders, and more generally, the slowing of the aging process, and the potential to increase maximum life span. According to Dr. Mark P. Mattson, chief of the laboratory of neurosciences at the US National Institute on Aging, fasting every other day (intermittent fasting) shows beneficial effects in mice as strong as those of caloric-restriction diets, and a small study conducted on humans at the University of Illinois indicates the same results  According to the US National Academy of Sciences, other health benefits include stress resistance, increased insulin sensitivity, reduced morbidity, and increased life span. Long-term studies in humans have not been conducted. However, short-term human trials showed benefits in weight loss. The side effect was that the participants felt cranky during the three week trial. According to the study conducted by Dr. Eric Ravussin, "Alternate-day fasting may be an alternative to prolonged diet restriction for increasing the life span".
Adherence to Greek Orthodox fasting periods contributes to an improvement in the blood lipid profile, including a decrease in total and LDL cholesterol, and a decrease in the LDL to HDL cholesterol ratio. A statistically insignificant reduction in HDL cholesterol was also observed. These results suggest a possible positive impact on the obesity levels of individuals who adhere to these fasting periods.
Changes in blood chemistry during fasting, in combination with certain medications, may have dangerous effects, such as increased chance of acetaminophen poisoning. Excessive fasting for calorie restrictive purposes, accompanied by intense fears of becoming overweight are associated with mental disturbances, including anorexia nervosa.