Registration of Freedom Flotilla to Gaza Fleet.

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  • #96492 Reply
    Captain Colin Smith, M.Sc.

    Hi Craig, l too have been raising the alarm about the way the Flotilla is going about registering their ships. It seems that Israel’s President has been wining and dining the President of Guinea-Bissau since at least the first week in March, when they got an undertaking from the President that they would connive to stop the flotilla from sailing. Of course the Flotilla steering committee has been hopelessly naive and out-manoeuvred by the Israelis, again. Your post pointed out the folly of registering their ships with unreliable registers. I wonder why they didn’t apply to somewhere like South Africa, Nicaragua, or the Comoros, who are publicly opposed to the racist, apartheid regime of Israel. That would satisfy your concern to fly a flag whose country wofor sabotage. The Israelis are highly intelligent, lluuld want to protest and investigate the subsequent treatment of the ship and its crew if they are attacked. I am even more fearful than that. I understand the flotilla puts a diver down to inspect h9

    #96493 Reply
    Captain Colin Smith, M.Sc.

    (Continued) inspect the hull every day, which is wise. I believe strict security should be imposed on the entire ship, and especially the engine room. I’m sure Israel has more tricks up its sleeve and cannot be counted out.
    Further, l dissent from the view that a ship has to have a flag, I.e. a port of registry, before it sails. It isn’t necessary for the ship to move. Its primary purpose, apart from the formal need for a governing regime, is just to clear customs outward. I offer the example of the British Master of the 231 000 dwt tanker “Halcyon the Grest”, who sailed his ship out of Come-by-Chance in 1974 without a pilot or tugs, without customs or immigration clearance, ahead of an arrest warrant to seize the ship for unpaid bills. Being a true seaman, he just took his time, sprung the bow out and left. I advocate something similar. You may think me reckless, but my overweening, over-riding and all-consuming concern is to the get that 5,500 of food to the starving people of Gaza. If you have to ruffle a few feathers, so what? I have offered to go down and take them out myself. Both ships are pointed out to sea. The ferry is highly manoeuvrable. Of course it will have to run the gauntlet down to the Dardanelles and onward. It is not optimal, and l’m betting that Erdogan will not want to arouse the ire of his pro-Palestinian population by trying to board it, Israeli-commando-style. Otherwise the food will stay in the port and rot.
    Imagine if it were only tried. Such a flamboyant, courageous gesture would attract a great deal of media attention, and show that the Flotilla really is serious about delivering the cargo. If it is going to be done, it must be done quickly and furtively. Israel will put pressure on Turkey to block the port if they smell a rat. I know how to do it. I wish it was just me in command of either ship.
    In Sol
    Colin Smith

    #97077 Reply
    Greta Berlin

    James Watson IHH is the charity that flagged the ships, not Turkey. One reason the Mavi Marmara flag was changed to the Cormoros Island is because Cormoros signed and ratified the Rome Statute. Turkey did not. We knew Israel was Sabre rattling, and frankly, that was a brilliant move on the part of IHH. Cormoros took Israel to the ICC in 2013. Are you aware of that? It never would have been possible with a Turkish flag.

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