Former Rep. McKinney Returns From Israeli Prison

Posted July 7, 2009 at 10:54am

Former Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.) arrives in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday after being detained in an Israeli prison for the past week with others protesting the Israeli occupation of Gaza.McKinney, who arrives at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport around noon, will meet with reporters to discuss how the Israeli navy detained her and 20 other human rights advocates aboard a boat attempting to deliver supplies and toys to Gaza.Their action violates the Israel-Gaza embargo, but human rights advocates say the Israeli navy broke the law since the activists’ boat was in international waters when they were seized. During her detention, McKinney refused to sign a statement saying she violated Israeli law, which extended her time in jail.“State Department and White House officials have not effected our release or taken a strong public stance to condemn the illegal actions of the Israeli Navy of enforcing a blockade of humanitarian assistance to the Palestinians of Gaza, a blockade that has been condemned by President Obama,— McKinney said last week in a statement.In the coming days, McKinney will take part in a daily vigil for others in her group — “Free Gaza 21— — still being detained by Israeli authorities, and for “Palestinians suffering the effects of the Israeli occupation and the invasion of Gaza,— according to a press release issued by the Green Party. The vigil will take place every evening at the Van Ness-UDC Metro Station, which is near the Israeli embassy.McKinney served in the House from 1993 to 2003 and from 2005 to 2007. She was also the 2008 Green Party presidential nominee.