Israeli cargo ship blocked in Oakland port heads to LA

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — An Israeli-owned cargo ship prevented by pro-Palestinian demonstrators from unloading in the Oakland Port will try to unload in Los Angeles.

The Zim Shanghai was unable to unload its cargo Saturday after some 200 activists gathered at the Oakland port and prevented workers from getting near the ship, which is owned by Zim Integrated Shipping Services, Israel’s largest shipping company.

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Approximately 50 police officers were on hand but did not intervene.

The ship was close to Los Angeles early on Tuesday morning, according to tracking by the website It is still carrying its original cargo.

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union released a statement saying: “The ILWU is not among the groups organizing the protests, and the leadership and membership of the ILWU have taken no position on the Israel/Gaza conflict.”

The union was unable to unload the ship because “longshoremen and clerks trying to report to work were threatened physically at some points of ingress and their personal vehicles were physically blocked. As such, all personnel stood-by outside of the demonstration perimeters for health and safety purposes.”

A spokeswoman for Block the Boat, which has organized previous protests of Zim ships at the Oakland port, told Reuters the organization was not responsible for the weekend demonstration in Oakland; rather, it was carried out by individuals.

In August, demonstrators prevented the Zim Piraeus from unloading at the Oakland Port for five days in order to draw attention to Israel’s operation in Gaza.  The Piraeus feigned a return to sea before doubling back secretly to port.