Former MP Jim Manly landed in Toronto this morning (Wednesday) after being released from Israeli custody and deported.
Manly, a former two-term Member of Parliament and retired United Church minister, was aboard the marine vessel Estelle when it was boarded by Israeli officials in international waters near Egypt on Oct. 20 on its way to Gaza carrying aid and solidarity.
The 79-year-old was deported Tuesday and was placed on a flight to Toronto. He arrived in Toronto Wednesday morning and was expected travel to Vancouver and then Nanaimo on Thursday, according to an e-mail from his son, Paul.
Manly, who used to live in Ladysmith and now lives with his wife Eva in Nanaimo, left from Vancouver Oct. 3 to join the Estelle in Italy Oct. 4. The basic goal of the mission was to not only deliver much-needed supplies to the people of Gaza, but also wake up the people of Israel to what is wrong about their government’s policy, Manly told the Chronicle before joining the Estelle.
“We also want to tell the people of Gaza that they’re not alone, that this is a message of solidarity with them,” he said. “It’s a message to the Canadian people that we should be speaking out on this issue, our government should be speaking out.”
Manly served as an NDP Member of Parliament from 1980-88, representing Cowichan-Malahat-The Islands. As MP, he was NDP critic for Indian Affairs and later critic for Fisheries and also International Development.