Update on U.S. boat to Gaza
My compatriots aboard “The Audacity of Hope,” the U.S. boat in the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, had some concern about their safety expressed from an unexpected source: the Israel Law Center, Shurat Hadin. They filed a private legal complaint alleging that the ship was not seaworthy and therefore was unfit to sail. Isn't that touching?
The harbormaster in Athens, Greece, where the boat was docked, told the crew that he could not allow them to leave until the complaint was resolved.
While the complaint is totally without merit, it is a breathtaking exercise in legal harassment and succeeded in delaying the launch of the international 10-vessel flotilla which represents 22 countries.
A few days ago, a Swedish ship, the Juliano, due to join an upcoming Gaza-bound aid flotilla, was sabotaged in the Greek port of Piraeus by hostile divers who destroyed the propeller house and cut the propeller shaft of the vessel.
You can be sure it was not the work of a roving band of juveniles out “illin.' ” This type of sabotage takes the kind of sophistication that one learns in the military or what can euphemistically called “spy school.”
The crew is in the process of getting repairs done and they are now guarding their ship 24/7.
Boats from Greece, France, Italy and Spain are also among those joining Freedom Flotilla II. Two cargo vessels will carry medicines, a fully equipped ambulance car, and cement. The American boat is bringing letters of peace and compassion to the people of Gaza (the Obama administration is none too pleased about this).
In the meantime, the Israeli government has been busy spreading lies about the flotilla, saying that "radical elements" among the flotilla activists had stated an intention to "spill the blood of Israeli soldiers" and were planning to pour chemicals, such as sulfur, on Israeli soldiers.
Anyone who knows anything about the people who make up the flotilla, especially the U.S. boat, know that this is an outright lie. But I suppose that if you're hellbent on using force to stop this act of mercy, you've got to lay the groundwork to be able to justify the actions you've already decided to take.