[This is for those who do not know: the leaders of Israel and Greece, two of the most actively reactionary and repressive states, are actually thankful for, and inspired by, each other’s repressive moves. On the other hand, the people, we are sure, will not forgive and will never forget. — Frontlines ed.]
July 12, 2011
Israeli President Shimon Peres on Monday thanked his Greek counterpart, Karolos Papoulias, for his country’s role in blocking the international aid flotilla to the Gaza Strip.
Following a meeting with Papoulias at the official presidential residence in Jerusalem, Peres thanked Papoulias for his personal involvement in thwarting the plans of pro-Palestinian activists to breach Israel’s maritime blockade on the coastal enclave. Continue reading →
BEIRUT: A dozen pro-Palestinian activists held a demonstration Monday in front of the European Union building, after a flotilla heading to Gaza was prevented from leaving Greece and other activists were banned from entering Israel over the weekend.
“We’re protesting EU governments’ complicity in perpetuating the siege of Gaza and indirectly supporting the illegal blockage,” said a protest organizer, Rana Boukarim.
The aid flotilla, trying to break the blockade on Gaza, was prevented from departing Greece by local authorities on July 8, while many activists who had planned to fly to Israel for peaceful protests in the Occupied Territories, part of the “Welcome to Palestine” campaign – dubbed a flytilla – were banned from traveling or detained at Tel-Aviv’s airport. Continue reading →
Statement from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
Several boats that are part of Freedom Flotilla Two – Stay Human have been detained and prohibited to sail by the Greek Coast Guard, including the U.S., Canadian and Spanish Boats to Gaza, and the Greek government has prohibited any boats from sailing to Gaza from Greek ports. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine calls upon the Greek government to immediately end this active complicity with the Israeli siege on Gaza and release the boats to join the Flotilla to Gaza, and calls on all popular forces and movements in Greece and internationally to demand that the Greek government end its participation in the illegal Israeli blockade and allow the Freedom Flotilla to sail!
The Greek people have demonstrated, time and again, their firm solidarity with the Palestinian people, taking to the streets en masse to stand with the people of Palestine against Israeli massacres, invasions and wars. The people of Greece have also taken to their streets in the millions in the past months, and Greek workers risen in escalating general strikes over the past weeks, to stand against an EU/IMF economic austerity plan for their country which will mean misery, subservience, and suffering for Greece’s people. Continue reading →
Communist Party of Greece (m-l) Press Release: About the “Free Gaza” Mission
Tuesday June 28, 2011–The Communist Party of Greece (marxist-leninist) condemns the criminal and provocative stance of the government of Israel in its attempt to discourage the international humanitarian mission against the genocidal blockade of the Palestinian people in Gaza. The fascist, Zionist state threatens to repeat last year’s murderous attack, threatens the reporters of the international media and puts pressure on governments and humanitarian organizations. Behind these threats and open state terrorism are as always the US imperialists, European governments and the UN leadership.
The CPG (m-l) condemns the stance of the Greek government which, in its attempt to dissuade the participation of Greek citizens, gives permission for piratical and criminal practices in international and Palestinian waters by the state of Israel. The CPG (m-l) notes that the Papandreou government has in recent years strengthened its relationship with Israel against the wishes of the majority of the Greek people and the neighbor Arab peoples.
The CPG (m-l) has on every opportunity stated that the support and the solidarity for the just, national liberation, and anti-occupation struggle of the Palestinian people is the affair of a mass, independent, and anti-imperialist struggle of the peoples. This struggle is against the selfish aims of bourgeois and imperialist forces which have proven many times that they can easily change sides and policies. We have noted that the solidarity movement must choose actions and initiatives that conform to their own dynamic and power and must rely on their own strength. Anyway we call upon the democratic Greek people to support the Palestinian right for life, freedom and dignity.
“The circumstances of the killing of at least six of the passengers were consistent with an extra-legal, arbitrary and summary execution,” a UN-sponsored fact-finding mission on the Israeli attack on an aid flotilla to Gaza last May has concluded.
Contrary to Israeli claims that the nine passengers on the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara were killed by Israeli soldiers acting in self-defense, the Mission’s report, based on forensic and other material evidence and 112 interviews with ship passengers, is a detailed account of reckless gunfire and cold-blooded murders.
Some passengers on the top deck of the Mavi Marma had thwarted the Israeli commando attempt to climb up ladders to board the ship by throwing down “chairs, sticks, a box of plates and other objects that were readily to hand.” When a helicopter lowered a rope for soldiers to climb down, passengers grabbed it and tied it to part of the deck so it couldn’t be used. The helicopter began shooting at the top deck.
When, after that, soldiers descended from helicopters on a second rope, “a number of passengers fought with the soldiers using their fists, sticks, metal rods and knives.” They used slingshots to fire objects at the copters, but “the Mission has found no evidence to suggest that any of the passengers used firearms or that any firearms were taken aboard the ship.” Continue reading →
Holocaust survivor, Human rights activist, Diplomat
Israel’s illegal and immoral attack on the Freedom Flotilla humanitarian aid convoy, which left at least nine dead and dozens injured, has rightfully stunned the world. The all-civilian convoy of 6 ships carried over 10,000 tons of critically-needed humanitarian aid and nearly 700 citizens from 40 countries. The Flotilla was an ambitious attempt to break the siege imposed by Israel on the 1.5 million Palestinians of the occupied Gaza strip, since 2007. Carrying distinguished parliamentarians, religious leaders, authors, journalists, a Nobel Peace Laureate, and a Holocaust survivor, the relief convoy aimed not only to provide relief supplies to Gaza; it sought to direct the international spotlight towards the humanitarian crisis imposed on Gaza’s residents and the imperative to end it. There is no denying that the latter objective has succeeded, albeit with tragic consequences.
The Israeli attack on the unarmed aid convoy in international waters was “[a clear] violation of international humanitarian law, international law of the seas, and [by most interpretations] international criminal law,” to use the words of Richard Falk, Professor of International Law and UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. It is a sad reality that world governments have for too long become either complicit or apathetic to Israel’s crimes and fostered its culture of impunity, under a shield of unquestionable backing by the US. Its initial condemnation notwithstanding, the US government has pressured the UN Security Council members, again, to adopt ambiguous language which relieves Israel of responsibility and creates parity between aggressor and victim. Continue reading →
By EVELYN NIEVES Associated Press Writer, 6/02/2010
SAN FRANCISCO—When Israeli commandos seized a supply flotilla bound for Gaza, Paul Larudee decided he would not go gently.
Larudee, a 64-year-old former linguistics professor and Fulbright scholar, put on a life vest and jumped in the Mediterranean Sea, said Joe Meadors, one of five Americans in Larudee’s group known as the Free Palestine Movement.
On his swim toward Gaza, the Northern California man eluded an Israeli patrol craft for 30 minutes before he was cornered, Meadors said.
Larudee was taken to a prison, bruised and cut, where he refused medical treatment, said Akiva Tor, the Israeli consul general in San Francisco. Continue reading →