Greek Authorities Act to Block Gaza Peace Flotilla 52


The US ship in the Gaza peace convoy has been blocked from sailing by the Greek authorities on the grounds that they have received a “Private complaint” that the vessel is unseaworthy.

This is ludicrous. What if I were to choose a large commercial vessel in a Greek port from Lloyd’s Register, and make a “privare complaint” that it is unseaworthy. Would it be blocked from sailing? Of course not – I should be asked to produce grounds for my complaint. Vessels cannot simply be detained on the basis of vexatious complaint. International trade would grind to a halt.

We do not yet know who actually made this complaint, nor why the port authorities have chosen to act on it. They have told the vessel it will now be subject to inspections which may take some weeks. The legal way forward must be to seek in a Greek court to stop the Greek authorities from this obviously political action in detaining the ship and disrupting the peace convoy. Secondly it is difficult to believe that the Greek people, who are not fond of their government, will approve of it acting as a pure US and Israeli puppet in this way. Political pressure needs to be brought to bear as well.

I should not be surprised any more by the cynicism of western governments, yet I still am, continually. I wonder if I will die still expecting the world to get better.


52 thoughts on “Greek Authorities Act to Block Gaza Peace Flotilla

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  • Dena Shunra

    The organization that filed the bogus complaints with Greece came out publicly as having done so.

    Here’s a link to their report (which is in Hebrew) and a rush translation:
    http://www.glz.co.il/newsArticle.aspx?newsid=85540

    Rush translation:
    Shurat Hadin organization: “We are behind the communication with Greek authorities”

    Persons in the Shurat Hadin organization – an Israeli judiciary organization – say that they are behind the communication with Greek authorities, and claim that in their communication they indicated that the boats are not in good order and are misleading, and that the action in question will provide assistance to terror. Persons in the organization add that several ships in Greece are being detained by the local Coast Guard, which prevents them from embarking. The organization also says that they had written a letter to 36 Americans who plan to take part in the flotilla and indicated to them that participation in the flotilla is a criminal offense under American Law.

  • Stacy

    This is a disgrace.

    And the Israelis have just come out and said they will stop the Flotilla in international waters and they claim the San Remo Manual as being applicable in this situation, but as Mr. Murray pointed out after the slaughter on the previous Flotilla last year, it is most definitely not applicable.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Dena Shunra, that’s very interesting and good work you’ve done, thanks for sharing that with us all. What they’re doing is so blatant, it is emblematic of the arrogance of the Israeli state. Yet in one essential facet, they seem behind the curve; in the internet age, such underhand tactics tend to be revealed immediately – in the past, no-one would’ve known until much later.

  • Dena Shunra

    Of interest: the organization Shurat Hadin has a donation page, which offers Americans the chance to make tax-deductible donation via a 501(3)c tax-exempt organization (P.E.F. Endowment for Israel).

    I looked up their tax filings: they gave around $60 million to Israeli organizations in 2009, by far most of which to organizations it does not name. Purpose-of-grant fields are filled as “general support.”

  • Duncan McFarlane

    I doubt the Greek government could withstand any pressure with the IMF and the US’ European allies as it’s creditors at the moment – unless it defaults on it’s debts and leaves the Euro, which it might well be forced to unless the terms of loans and grants become a lot less harsh.

    Merkel went to the banks that are among Greece’s creditors and asked them to contribute to a bail-out by forgiving some of the debts owed to them. They refused.

  • Guest

    “I wonder if I will die still expecting the world to get better.”
    .
    Craig, you already know the answer to that!, there again, there`s always Pandora`s Box.

  • Clark

    Craig, the world IS getting better. Not everywhere at all times, but over all. It’s just that it’s a damn slow process compared with our lifetimes. So take heart, because you contribute to that slow improvement.

  • Watcher465

    Shurat Hadin must be working on the assumption or even knowledge that the IDF are going to attack the flotilla. The ships will definitely not be in good order then.

  • don peddie

    If Shurat Hadin can donate $ 60 million to dubious causes in Israel then I am sure that a little could be siphoned off to grease a palm or two in Greece.
    It makes me sick to see a good cause turned into what the US and Israel have done so far.A fleet full of good intentions and they’ve criminalised the Americans on board , threatened journalists and we know that they will use violence against the people on board.
    What on earth does the US get out of this small country that is so full of hate.It isn’t peace in the Middle East.
    Our Government isn’t any better !! I grew up thinking we supported the underdog and now we just run with the pack.
    Probably not in our lifetime craig !!!!!

  • Sailor

    If the vessel(s) are being detained purely for contraventions of technical safety, pollution or manning regulations (not political reasons), then the procedures for inspection, detention and release are laid down within the Paris Memorandum of Understanding for Port State Control (Paris MOU)- of which Greece is a signatory. The vessel(s) cannot be detained purely on the basis of a third party allegation – an inspection must be carried out to see whether in fact the vessel(s) are deficient.

  • deepgreenpuddock

    Sailor-you state a rather obvious and logical piece of common sense, But for so many people, who have grown up with the vague notion that rules and laws are set up to be followed, we are having to deal with the breathtaking reality that no such sense of even-handedness now exists.

    Everything is now spun, rhetorised, polarised, altered to suit, lobbied over, or influenced relentlessly by anyone with a string, or thread to pull.
    Justice as ordinary people understand it is slipping more and more into a corrupt political swamp with unseen and inexplicable forces.

    Greeks are susceptible to ‘influence’ at the moment. They have a huge shipping industry and a huge debt problem.Seems like they are probably susceptible.
    One might ask why the flotilla went to Greece? Was there no where else they might have assembled. Did the port the ship was last in not apply similar seaworthiness rules? Does the Country of registration not apply basic safety and seaworthiness conditions?

  • Courtenay Barnett

    The US and Israeli government will put pressure on the Greek government – but -the Greek people may be politically sympathetic to the cause and take a supportive stance.

    All so sad, where Hilary Clinton takes a stance that the Gaza territorial area would lead to a violation by way of encroachment of this flotilla into Israeli territorial waters. She as a lawyer should have a better grasp of the legal concepts; but, I guess it all says that in the eyes of the US, at the highest governmental levels, the Palestinian people have no rights and no territory.

  • mary

    Ray McGovern speaks on this Real News video. Also the very slimy ex Israel Ambassador to the UK, Ron Prosor, who now operates out of the UN on behalf of the ‘state’ which knows no law and which has no borders.
    .
    http://irishshiptogaza.org/?p=681

  • Dena Shunra

    Don, just a tiny clarification: it’s not Shurat Hadin that gave $60M but rather, it’s the PEF Israel Endowment Funds that gave that amount. One of the recipients was Shurat Hadin, which used PEF as a funnel (Shurat Hadin say that the way for U.S. citizens to give them tax-deductible donations is by an earmarked donation to PEF).

  • John K

    Courtenay, Craig

    I expect this is so in practice.

    But surely, if the Palestininans have no territory, Gaza is in theory still Eqyptian territory? Or has Eqypt formally renounced sovereigty over Gaza?

    If not, and the ship approaches from the west it is either in international waters or Eqyptian ones? In any case it can’t possibly be in Israeli territorial waters / jurisdiction.

    Of course, that’s no consolation if the Israelis are shooting at you…

    Makes the case for the UN to call the bluff of the USA / Israel and formally recognise Palestine on the 1967 borders even stronger.

  • craig Post author

    John K,

    Bluntly I don’t know. First Gaza was Egyptian, then Israel became the occupying power. But since Israeli withdrawal, Egypt has certainly de facto not attempted to exercise any control – the authority recognised in practice was the Palestinain administration, first of Fatah then Hamas. I don’t know if a UNSCR has tackled the question directly.

  • mike

    Interesting to note that the BBC are completely silent on the Gaza flotilla. It’s clear that the “civilised” world is, belatedly, waking up to what Israel is doing and is actually taking a stand to try to alleviate human suffering. This, I suspect, is exactly why the Beeb is ignoring it – they’re part of the narrative, after all, they’re complicit in the whole illusion that has dealt in “road maps” and “peace talks” for decades. There are no such things, so far as Israel is concerned. There are only “demographic realities”, as Bibi recently told Obama.
    No wonder people are losing their faith in the mainstream media.
    Soft power, indeed.

  • mary

    Well said Mike. Perhaps they are waiting for some slaughter with Ms Corbin waiting in the wings.
    .
    My comment to them just now.
    .
    This comment has appeared on Craig Murray’s blog.
    http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2011/06/greek-authorities-act-to-block-gaza-peace-flotilla/
    Interesting to note that the BBC are completely silent on the Gaza flotilla. It’s clear that the “civilised” world is, belatedly, waking up to what Israel is doing and is actually taking a stand to try to alleviate human suffering. This, I suspect, is exactly why the Beeb is ignoring it – they’re part of the narrative, after all, they’re complicit in the whole illusion that has dealt in “road maps” and “peace talks” for decades. There are no such things, so far as Israel is concerned. There are only “demographic realities”, as Bibi recently told Obama.
    No wonder people are losing their faith in the mainstream media.
    Soft power, indeed.
    ~~~~~~
    Have you any comment and if not, why the omission on the Middle East page of your website?

  • mary

    The BBC are able to devote 1200 words to Michele Bachmann, the new wonderwoman Republican candidate to be nominated for the Presidency and replacement for the scary Palin. There was also a long profile of her on Woman’s Hour today.
    .
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-13932701
    .
    Presumably orders are out to promote her. In spite of having had five of her own children and fostered 23 teenage girls, she has no compunction in advocating the incineration of Iranian children and presumably condones the deaths of the 352 children in Gaza during the last shoah, Cast Lead.
    /
    Foreign policy
    Bachmann says in dealing with Iran, diplomacy “is our option”, but that other options, including a nuclear strike, shouldn’t be taken off the table.[133]
    She has also said that she is “a long time supporter of Israel”.[13]
    Wikipedia

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Bachmann is a complete and utter nutter. Why is that foregrounded Right-wing US politicians seem to get madder by the decade? This has contributed to the mainstream shift to the Right over the past three decades. After all, if you stick an irrational, winking loonie at one end and a rational instrument of Big-everything at the other and then say to the people to “Look – you’ve got democracy – now choose!”, the ‘majority’ (of those who vote) may choose the latter. On the other hand, they may well choose the latter. The Republican Party also largely has been taken over by successive waves of atavistic lunacy. And we know what the Democrats stand for. It’s a rigged game, of course. Oligarchy.

  • Andrew

    Can someone wake me when all that Flotilla, and non-violent flash dancing, and Ghandi on a stick stuff….People, you are dealing with a hybrid monster of Nazi/Cossack stock that has no problem killing anything or anybody. And this time in history they own everything, and everyone that matters. So good luck.

  • YugoStiglitz

    Andrew, you are predictable Jew-hating scum. Do you also think the Jews did 911?

    Or maybe you’re one of Suhayl’s secret Jewish agents.

  • Andrew

    @yugoShitlitz….How easy really! No, actually cold blooded murder of civillians for 60 years has an effect on people. Just burn more fields, uproot more trees, poison more water wells, kill more children, evict more people….I don’t give a shit what a Fascist’s religion is. I hate Fascists whether they are Germans, Serbs, Russians, Israelis, or one legged lesbians.

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