Pro-Palestinian Activists Protest US Aid to Israel Amidst MV Cape Orlando Controversy
Protesters Rally Against US Aid to Israel Amidst Ship Controversy
According to source, in Oakland, a group of pro-Palestinian activists, organized by the Arab Resource Organizing Center, staged a non-violent demonstration aimed at blocking the departure of the U.S. military supply ship, M/V Cape Orlando, amidst concerns about the vessel’s cargo potentially being US aid to Israel. The protesters claim that the ship may be carrying arms and munitions destined for Israel, while experts suggest it could be part of a standard military exercise or redeployment linked to US aid to Israel. The demonstration followed the House of Representatives’ decision to allocate $14.3 billion in federal assistance as part of US aid to Israel, resulting in some tension, and a few protesters attempting to board the ship were detained by the U.S. Coast Guard.
The MV Cape Orlando, owned by the Department of Transportation and operated by a U.S. Merchant Marine crew found itself at the center of the protest, with activists locking themselves to the ship, causing a delay in its scheduled departure and raising questions about US aid to Israel.
The demonstrators, numbering around 200, displayed Palestinian flags and signs decrying U.S. military aid to Israel, as well as large banners with messages urging President Biden and Speaker Pelosi to reconsider their support for such aid and push for a cease-fire in the region.
Peaceful Protest Sparks Debate on US Aid to Israel
Despite concerns over the ship’s destination and its potential link to US aid to Israel, the protest remained peaceful highlighting the ongoing debate around U.S. military assistance to Israel. The incident coincided with a recent House vote that approved substantial financial assistance for Israel as part of US aid to Israel raising questions and concerns about the U.S.’s role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Federal officials confirmed that investigations are underway into the actions of several individuals involved in the demonstration. The MV Cape Orlando, a roll-on/roll-off vessel typically resides in the U.S. Ready Reserve Fleet’s extensive collection of ships.