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Monday, June 27, 2011

Flotilla losing steam, organizers nervous

From YNet:
Six ships which were slated to take part in the Gaza-bound flotilla are being detained by the Greek port authorities, Ynet learned Sunday night.

Senior officials in Jerusalem have confirmed the report, which followed a Sunday decision by Greece to stop the US vessel "Audacity of Hope" from participating in the sea-bound convoy.

While the organizers of the maritime convoy claim that more than 1,500 activists are set to take part in the initiative, it now appears that no more than seven ships, carrying 200-500 passengers, will participate in the flotilla.

Jerusalem believes that the dwindling extent of the sail can be largely attributed to the Foreign Ministry's intensive "anti-flotilla" campaign vis-à-vis its European counterparts.

"The Foreign Ministry is leading diplomatic efforts to delegitimize the flotilla in the eyes of the international community," Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon said.

"The world is aware that such sails are unnecessary, that they are just provocations which violate international law."

Ayalon added that Israel is still gearing to meet whichever vessels do end up participating in the flotilla.

The Shurat HaDin Israel Law Center, which focuses on legal action against terror groups, has also been working vis-à-vis the legal authorities in Athens in an attempt to stop the ships.

"The flotilla is linked to radical Islamist groups, making it an act against Israel, which is a nation friendly to Greece," Attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, who heads Shurat HaDin, said.

Shurat HaDin claims that it was their information that led Athens to detain some of the ships in orders to make sure they were not in violation of international law.

The organization further issued legal warnings to 36 Americans who planned to participate in the sail, saying that their action were in violation of the US Neutrality Act.
The Free Gaza website is going crazy over the Greek actions:
The passengers are wondering if Israel, which has extensive economic trade and investments in Greece, is using its clout to pressure the Greek government. "Israel has said openly that it is pressuring governments to try to stop the flotilla, and clearly Greece is a key government since several of the boats plan to leave from Greece," says passenger Medea Benajmin. "It is unconscionable that Israel would take advantage of the economic hardship the Greek people are experiencing to try to stop our boat or the flotilla."
But giving aid and comfort to Gaza terrorists is A-OK!


On the Free Gaza mailing list, leader Greta Berlin is getting hysterical:
Call the state department beginning Monday morning. Demand that they let our people go!! Sing “Go Down Moses’ if you have to. 202-647-4000
Yes, they really are trying to use "Let My People Go" as a slogan.

Clearly the point that these boats are not "humanitarian" has gotten through, and even some of the communications from the groups are freely admitting it - but when they issue press releases they still call themselves a humanitarian organization.

Last time they at least claimed to be bringing books and paper and symbolic amounts of concrete 9and expired medicines.) This time, the only cargo I've seen them mention are letters to Gazans.

They are scrambling, spinning, and increasingly desperate.