The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Obama Urged to Go to Gaza


Obama is scheduled to meet with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia on Wednesday and to make a speech in Cairo on Thursday.

Shawa, the
Palestinian Non-Governmental Organization Network coordinator for Gaza,
said today: "Gaza is still under siege -- there's been no real movement
from the U.S. to pressure Israel to allow the people in Gaza to
reconstruct after the bombing campaign of a few months ago. It's
virtually impossible to get goods in or out."

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Jean Stevens
Wright and Rasmussen are part of "a 66-person delegation, including Americans from 18 states" now in Gaza.

Col. Wright is co-leaderr of the delegation. She is a retired U.S.
Army colonel and a former U.S. diplomat who resigned in 2003 in
opposition to the Iraq war. Wright said today: aEURoeIf President Obama
can, at the last minute, add a visit to Saudi Arabia to have a private
dinner with the King, then he certainly can go to Gaza."

Rasmussen, who is with the women's peace group CodePink, is a
coordinator of the delegation. She is sending out messages on Twitter
while in Gaza: .

The delegation states: "The group of peace activists, bringing
toys and building playgrounds for the traumatized children of Gaza, has
launched an international petition calling on Obama to visit Gaza and
see the destruction for himself. They will return to Cairo on June 4 in
time to deliver to the U.S. Embassy the petition asking Obama to visit
the war-torn region and to push Israel and Egypt to open the borders."

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