Saturday, July 2, 2011

And then...

We have been in the news, I am told... even yours truly, in person.  I walked up the steps to the top deck, right after dispatching my last posting, to find my fellow passengers standing at the front of the boat, facing a Greek Coast Guard (Hellenic Coast Guard, to be precise), whose captain has now been joined by eight commando fighters, in full Darth Vader gear, holding, and pointing at us, submachine guns.  Beside me, and in full view of numerous cameras of the media on board, passengers were making a plea, one by one, to the captain to let us go, to the commandos not to hurt us.  "We are your mothers and your sisters," Kathy said.  "If you will let us go you will be a hero to the people of Greece," Medea said.  "I fought in Vietnam," Ken said, "and I know that if you will hurt us today you will live with it for the rest of your lives". 

"Yes,"  laughed the Greek captain (who had excellent English).  "do the moral thing.  But not this time", as he started maneuvering to align the boarding ramp with our boat, to allow the comandos to board.  Which is when our own captain had decided to accept the invitation to be escorted to another port.  The other port turned out to be a military zone.  Our ship is now impounded and our captain, who left this morning for an arraignment, with a hearing scheduled for Monday, has now been incarcerated.  The Greek Navy has literally blockaded the French, the Spanish and the Canadian boats, placing one ship in their way and another to their side, so that they cannot move at all.  Athens, the birthplace of democracy, taking order from Netanyahu, clearly now the master of the Aegean!  Here's a link to a video taken by one of our passengers:

We are sad, needless to say, but nonetheless not discouraged.  The people of Gaza have waited long, and this is not the last flotilla.  0.5 million people, worldwide, submitted applications to be on this one.  The next one will be bigger, and bigger.  From the People of Gaza, we already heard profound gratitude and deep appreciation.

"Cheap stunt which doesn't further anything," is what the interviewer on Israel Channel 10 TV called it when she interviewed me.  Really?  The stunt was certainly not cheap, by a long stretch, and its effectivity, even as far as we have gotten, is unquestionable.  We have been in all the mainstream Amercian media, including the New York Times (read the article, page A4, today!), we have been on CNN and will be on CBS, Greek consulates throughout the US and worldwide have been receiving thousands and thousands of calls in protest.  No, I disagree.  If nothing else, the coercion that Israel has applied to Greece, and to Turkey, that it has tried to apply to every Mediteranean country, tells us that we have been successful.

Here's one to breaking the blockade on Gaza!  Not today, but soon, very soon!

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