[Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA: With thanks to Code Pink for providing the Greek
Embassy phone number: 202-939-1300 so that people can call to thank them for
standing up to the radicals.]
From: Medea Benjamin firstname.lastname@example.org
Sent: Tuesday, July 12, 2011 11:24 PM
Subject: SOS: Help Free US Boat to Gaza from Greek Military Dock!
July 12, 2011
I’m writing to you from the deck of The Audacity of Hope. But we're not on a
lovely Greek island, sipping ouzo and taking dips in the cool, clear
Mediterranean. We're stuck in a dusty, barren military port outside Athens.
Ten days after we tried to break free from the Greek authorities and sail to
Gaza, our boat continues to be impounded. The eight of us still on board are
living in dismal surroundings, enclosed by gates and razor wire, baking in
95-degree heat. Press are not allowed in; visitors are restricted and must
be pre-approved. Our Embassy has refused to help us. Worse yet, when we try
to protest at our Embassy, the Greek police detain us and take us to jail —
on orders, they tell us, from the U.S. Embassy. Our captain was put in jail
for four days. He was finally released, but still faces bogus charges of
endangering the passengers and disobeying a police order to keep the ship at
The Greek authorities continue to enforce a ban on all travel to Gaza, and
have imposed even more bureaucratic obstacles to prevent us from moving our
boat. They say we must make some adjustments to pass inspection, but have
not yet given the approval for workers to come on board to get the work
done. Our travails, together with the obstacles the other boats are facing,
are clearly a shameful reflection of the Greek government’s decision to do
Israel’s dirty work in stopping the Freedom Flotilla from sailing to Gaza.
While we are suffering under miserable conditions, Greek President Karolos
Papoulias is in Israel, being feted and thanked by President Shimon Peres
for Greece’s role in thwarting the flotilla.
Please call the Greek Embassy and State Department and tell them to FREE OUR
SHIP FROM THE MILITARY DOCK! Hillary Clinton will be visiting Greece later
this week. One word to her Greek counterparts and our boat would be free.
Greek Embassy: 202-939-1300
US Sec. of State Hillary Clinton: 202-647-5291
Despite this debacle, the flotilla has been a huge success, achieving our
goal of raising global awareness of the ongoing siege of Gaza in the
mainstream media. From trying to ban journalists aboard the flotilla from
traveling to Israel to sabotaging the boat propellers, the Israeli
government committed blunder after blunder (which I highlighted in my
article). And after we couldn’t sail to Gaza, another group of
internationals attempted to fly into Israel bound for Palestine in what the
media called the “flytilla" -- another action that successfully exposed the
paranoia and brutality of the Israeli government.
Like the inexorable rhythm of the ocean, the Palestinians will continue to
lap at the shores of injustice, demanding the right to right to live in
dignity. And so will we, the international community, keep coming back with
wave after wave of nonviolent resistance -- by sea, by plane, by land, until
With oceans of hope,
P.S. Many of us are flying home soon and there isn’t much time left to free
the boat. Please call today!