News Release

* Israeli Official Does Not Deny Sabotage Allegations Against Gaza Flotilla * Reports of U.S. Green Light for Violence

The Jerusalem Post reports: “The Greek Coast Guard has now stopped the U.S. boat [The Audacity of Hope is attempting to go to Gaza in spite of an Israeli siege] and is demanding that they return to the Port of Athens.” Passengers on the boat are tweeting regular updates: “Captain explaining to Coast Guard it’s not safe for U.S. boat in Greek ports, as others were sabotaged & Netanyhau thanked Greek PM #flotilla2” @usboattogaza

This morning on Democracy Now Ido Aharoni, consul general of Israel in New York, refused to deny Israel’s role in sabotage against the boats in the flotilla, which includes the U.S. boat.

ADAM SHAPIRO, adamsop at gmail.com
HUWAIDA ARRAF, huwaida.arraf at gmail.com
An organizer with the Free Gaza Movement, Shapiro said today: “The blockade against Gaza now apparently extends to Greece.” Arraf is chair of the Free Gaza Movement and member of the Freedom Flotilla Steering Committee.

The following are among those currently on The Audacity of Hope as it attempts to go from Greece to Gaza:

RAY McGOVERN, rrmcgovern at gmail.com, via Robert Naiman, naiman.uiuc at gmail.com or via Kate Gould, kate at justforeignpolicy.org
YONATAN SHAPIRA, KATHY KELLY, ALICE WALKER, HEDY EPSTEIN, GRETA BERLIN, ANN WRIGHT, microann at yahoo.com,http://ustogaza.org
Contact via Felice Gelman, rosahill at gmail.com, In New York: Donna Nevel, denevel at gmail.com
McGovern, a former CIA analyst, is part of the U.S. contingent hoping to break the Israeli blockade and reach Gaza. He recently wrote the article “Gaza: Cradle of Killing” in which he sates: “I also have been cautioned by a source with access to very senior staffers at the National Security Council that not only does the White House plan to do absolutely nothing to protect our boat from Israeli attack or illegal boarding, but that White House officials ‘would be happy if something happened to us.’ They are, I am reliably told, ‘perfectly willing to have the cold corpses of activists shown on American TV.'”

Naiman, policy director of Just Foreign Policy, recently wrote the piece “Kucinich: Ensure Safety of U.S. Citizens on The Audacity of Hope.”

Shapira is a former Israel Air Force pilot and refusnik. See video in which he calls on Israeli military personel to disobey orders to stop the boats.

Walker is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “The Color Purple;” Kelly is co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence; Epstein is a survivor of the Nazi Holocaust; Berlin co-founded the Free Gaza Movement; Wright is a former U.S. Army colonel and U.S. diplomat who resigned her State Department post in 2003 over the invasion of Iraq.

AMJAD SHAWA, pngo at palnet.com
Coordinator of PNGO, the Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations Network, Shawa is awaiting the arrival of the flotilla.

Background regarding McGovern statement: Craig Murray, a former British ambassador and former head of the British Foreign Office’s Maritime Section, recently wrote: “While I know Ray [McGovern] to be an extremely honest man, motivated by a genuine activist christianity, I thought it was possible that his source was exaggerating. I therefore set my own diplomatic sources to work in Washington, without giving them any indication of Ray’s information. They came back with an independent report from a different source — close to Clinton rather than the White House — with exactly the same result of which Ray was warned. I was told that Obama will welcome an Israeli attack on the U.S. ship, as giving him a chance to confirm his pro-Israeli credentials and improve his standing with AIPAC ahead of the Presidential election race. Fatalities would be ‘not a problem.’ There was no information that the Obama regime has quietly given Netanyahu a green light to attack the ship. But I strongly expect they will; by deniable means, of course.”

Fact Checking Israel’s Misinformation on Gaza Flotilla II