Greece Colludes Against Gaza Flotilla on Behalf of Israel, U.S.
The U.S. and Israel are afraid of Hope.
Greece is in a dire economic position, teetering on the verge of bankruptcy and threatening to bring down the entire EU currency in the process. As a result, the government is particularly vulnerable to diplomatic blackmail of the sort Israel and the U.S. are employing to prevent the sailing of several ships of the Gaza Flotilla, in particular the U.S. Audacity of Hope:
Passengers on the U.S. Boat to Gaza, The Audacity of Hope, are asking Greek government officials to clarify whether the[ir] boat…is being blocked from leaving Greece because of…a political decision has been made by the Greek government in response to U.S. and Israeli government pressure. They specifically want to know if the U.S. is using its leverage at the International Monetary Fund over the implementation of an ongoing bailout of European banks with massive Greek debts to compel the Greek government to block the U.S. Boat to Gaza from leaving Greece.
On the morning of June 23, the American passengers learned that a “private complaint” had been filed against the U.S. Boat to Gaza, which is part of an international flotilla scheduled to sail to Gaza in the next few days. This complaint, its origin still unknown to the Americans, claimed that the boat is “not seaworthy” and therefore requires a detailed inspection. On June 25 a police order declared that until the complaint is resolved the boat will not be permitted to leave.
[Is] Israel, which has extensive economic trade and investments in Greece…using its clout to pressure the Greek government…[Or is] the Obama Administration…using U.S. leverage at the IMF to compel the Greek authorities to stop the U.S. boat from leaving Greece. Greece’s economic and political crisis is a result of extreme austerity measures imposed by the European Union and the largely U.S.-controlled International Monetary Fund…
As I’ve written here, Israel is known for using economic clout and blandishments to induce other states to do its bidding. An Israeli source confirmed to me that Ukraine had agreed to the extraordinary rendition of Dirar Abusisi in return for various trade pacts and lobbying help and access in Washington DC. Some are speculating that Israel might’ve agreed to lobby various European countries on behalf of Turkey’s candidacy for the EU in return for that country pulling the plug on its own contingent in the Gaza Flotilla.
Greece of course is stuck in a particular bind because it is hanging by a hair economically. It doesn’t need the distraction of Israeli threats to its further damage its economy should it allow the U.S. boat to depart for Gaza. It seems that at least in this particular matter, Israel and the U.S. have Greece by the short hairs and the Gaza Flotilla suffers the consequences of such bad timing.
Israel is attempting to play hardball by threatening international journalists covering the Flotilla with a ten year ban from entering the country and confiscation (that is, “theft”) of their equipment. I’m wondering what they plan to do with the journalists like Amira Hass, Joseph Dana and Mya Guarnieri, who are Israeli citizens covering the trip. Maybe they will ban them from their own country a la apartheid era South Africa or Soviet Russia?
Lest Israel crow about its victory, it should be remembered that generally Israel’s timing is pretty bad on similar matters and that the next time it gets into a similar scrape there may be others qvelling from the pain Israel inflicts on itself.
There is a saying I think I remember Bobby Kennedy using in his speeches about racial injustice: “Justice delayed in justice denied.” In the case of the flotilla, even if the Israelis and Obama administration succeed by subterfuge to frustrate the aims of the Flotilla, they have not excused the fundamental injustice of the Gaza siege and Israel’s overall policy toward Palestine. The nasty boil remains on the body politic. Refusing the aggressive treatment offered by the Flotilla doesn’t conceal the fact that the Occupation and siege are part of a terrible illness that afflicts Israel. The illness won’t go away. It remains for all to see. The Israelis will happily point to their success in cancelling the sailing of Hope. But what sort of victory have they won? At best, it’s Pyrrhic.
Show your support for the brave Flotilla activists and your opposition to the empty threats and lies of the U.S. and Israeli governments. Make a donation to support the cause. A friend of this blog, Mary Hughes Thompson sails on the Canadian boat, Tahrir. You may support it here.
22 thoughts on “Greece Colludes Against Gaza Flotilla on Behalf of Israel, U.S. – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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A more accurate unbiased description of the “disastrous” state of Gaza.
Bronner unbiased? According to you, who is of course unbiased as well. And Bronner knows what’s going on in Gaza how precisely? Can he visit the place? Would he even if he could? Doubtful.
Nah, Ethan Bronner is too well in Qatamon, squatting Ghada Karmi’s family house, to risk going to Gaza. But maybe his son who joined the IDF last year did pass on some ‘unbiased’ informations.
Maybe the word I was looking for was closer to balanced. After all, we’re all biased in this situation, one way or the other.
Here we go again with Bronner, the chief reporter/propagandist of the sainted New York Times on Israel and closely related subjects, he with an obvious conflict of interest in having a son presently serving in the IDF. He should be reporting on flower shows or matters relating to the Arctic and such places. Instead here he is on the Front page of the Sunday Times with his latest on Gaza, and subtle he is. Before you finish the first few paragraphs, you are ready to pack your bags and head permanently for Gaza, a land of milk and honey and an unemployment of only 25% , as Bronner happily points out. Ah, but hold on, things really aren’t so perfect after all, as Bronner, honest broker that he is, eventually begins to report. See? See how fair and balanced he is, this major reporter for the sainted Times? He doesn’t say all is perfect – far from it. But then, with that blazing opening in which Gaza is fast transmogrifying into Eden here on earth, he undercuts the need for that certain flotilla sailing toward Gaza. Just look at Job’s reaction above: “A more accurate unbiased description of the ‘disastrous’ state of Gaza.” Either Mr. Job is a sucker or was quite predisposed – see “disastrous” within those derogatory quote marks – to accept Mr. Bronner’s truly subtle propaganda designed to diminish the need and motivation of the flotilla participants. I mean, after all, if things in Gaza are moving so wonderfully in the right direction, why then should we support these rabble-rousing flotilla participants? Richard, I am very glad, indeed, that you have long had Bronner’s number. In a way he reminds me of Scalia and Thomas on our Supreme Court, who seem incapable of recusing themselves in matters where they should.
Gaza is no “land of milk and honey”, far from it. But it’s not the humanitarian disaster some people, including some of the flotilla activists, are portraying. The truth is somewhere in the middle. Obviously this won’t discourage the above-mentioned activists, and I don’t expect it to (I believe neither does Bronner, unless he’s extremely naive). They are part of a diverse coalition of organizations with far too many goals and agendas (not all are kosher in my book, but that’s beside the point). As for Bronner’s son, no one is completely unbiased. Bronner is just unbiased as commenters of this blog who are of Palestinian origin, or even Richard who has his established political views and agendas and chooses to interpret facts accordingly.
Well, one could start here for some real facts on Gaza, as opposed to the NYT. The determining action is the willful destruction of an economy through the prohibition of exports as well as limiting imports. It is collective punishment, no way around that.
Job, unlike your ancient namesake, you seem to suffer little, or are you, as La Rochefoucauld once put it, “…well able to bear the misfortunes of others.”? Your playing games with the term “disaster” could almost make one anti-semantic. Some 1,400 men women and children killed during Operation Cast Lead isn’t a disaster? Imprisoning, ghettoizing 1,500,000 people isn’t some sort of disaster, and meting out collective punishment from time to time to those of the imprisoned chosen for such isn’t disaster? I do suspect that whoever invented that minor evil of mushy obviousness, “The truth is somewhere in the middle”, was no doubt a charlatan guilty of something and actually cursed with at least a degree of conscience. As a secular but Micah sort of Jew, I really believe the flotilla participants, whatever their respective motives, come one hell of a lot closer to that prophet’s injunction about God’s requirements of doing justice and loving mercy than those who glibly proclaim that truth is a simply a case of 2nd grade arithmetic – one for you and one for me.
That’s GOOD, VERY good!
Well said, Weindeb …
So just where is that middle? How do you split the middle of a 45% unemployment rate as noted by the recent UN rpt I blogged about here? How do you split the middle of the 300,000 Gazans who rely on UN humantarian aid for virtually all their sustenance?? That would work out to nearly 2 million Israelis living off foreign hand-outs if you extrapolate the numbers. Would you argue then that Israel wasn’t facing a “humanitarian disaster” with such numbers?
On the other hand the IRC has this to say about this “humanitarian disaster”:
Things aren’t black and white, though you insist on portraying it that way…
So here goes Job again, and this time sending us to a Likud mouthpiece, The Jerusalem Post, for some really objective defense of his “truth in the middle” mantra and his apparent inability to define and recognize disaster. He might also have directed us to this response (to The Jerusalem Post’s credit) to the article he linked us to: “Israel controls all Gaza points of entry and egress, including air and sea. Its treaty with Egypt allows Egypt to open its border crossing only with Israeli approval. Israel allows 150 trucks of supplies per day into Gaza. According to the UN World Food Program, Gaza’s population of 1.5 million requires 400 trucks daily of just food to meet basic int’l nutritional requirements. 52% of Gazan children are anemic because of malnutrition. 450,000 Gazans don’t have access to clean water. Israel prohibits entry of such items as sage, cardamom, cumin, chocolate, potato chips, fresh meats and toys.”
give us the definition of genocide as you understand it.
“As I’ve written here, Israel is known for using economic clout and blandishments to induce other states to do its bidding.”
First. seems to me like the US foreign aid program is much bigger then Israel’s one. Isn’t the US foreign aid program is a way to induce other states to do its bidding ? Isn’t the IMF (which is funded mostly by the US) part of that same US plan to gain influence ?
as for your claim that Greece will do what Israel wants in exchange to financial help, I guess that if you are right, Israel should not be concerned about the UN vote in September. If the Israelli Petro Dollars can buy Greece influence i assume we can buy everyone else off just as easy.
I’m not talking about foreign aid. I’m talking about diplomatic hondeling, dealmaking. Israel says we’ll give you trade privileges & get you access to top members of Congress in return for Abusisi. Or Israel says it will harm Greece’s economic interests if it refuses to stop the Flotilla; or contrarily, it says it will give Greece a sweetheart deal if it accedes to Israel’s wishes. That’s nothing to do w. foreign aid. It’s plain old fashioned wheeling & dealing and crooked as hell.
Could you please provide a link to where Israel announced it will harm Greece economical interest ?
are you claiming to Israel has the ability to influence the decisions made by the EU and IMF on the matter ?
perhaps using Jewish key Banker figures ? Using the tribal influence over Timothy Geithner (he has a Jewish name though was raised Episcopalian is now a member of the United Church of Christ.)
You claims sound a bit, out of touch.
I find this imputation of anti-Semitism nauseating. I think you mistakenly think this is actually wit of some sort. You have now been formally warned for a serious comment violation. Your next one will result in the loss of yr privileges to comment here.
Itai, a bit off topic, but it’s funny how any German name would sound Jewish to you. Perhaps Merkel, Schroeder or Kaiser Wilheml Hohenzollern also have Jewish names according to you? I think it’s time to get over our Jewish narcissism and stop looking for a Jewish link with every celebrity.
The Israelis will happily point to their success in cancelling the sailing of Hope. But what sort of victory have they won? At best, it’s Pyrrhic.
The game has not started yet. The Israelis may be overplaying their hand.
If the point of the flotilla is to bring the plight of the people of Gaza and the crimes of the Israeli blockade to the attention of the world, I think we may see some brilliant successes in the next week.
My one concern is that no one is seriously injured.
It does not seem too long ago that you and I seemed to be among the few people on the Net that were following the first boat to Gaza.
I think that this flotilla still has a great chance of being an historic victory.
For those willing to take a momentary look away from Gaza (and are blessed with some knowledge of Hebrew), here’s a well researched (and patiently written) article about the plight of those away from the soothing Mediterranean breeze:
If you sleep well after reading, you better start seeing a therapist.
Thanks for the tip on the article. I recommend it highly.