Like a bird sweeping across the sky
In spite of broken wings,
The sun still brighter
Despite the night,
The sweet smell of lily of the valley
Under a thick blanket of concrete pavement,
Taken out of my chest. . .
On Friday July 1 the Greek government announced that it was prohibiting the departure from Greek ports of any ships, Greek or foreign, for Gaza. The Canadian Boat to Gaza, the Tahrir Greek port authorities boarded the Tahrir Friday and seized its licence. Canadian officials have not commented on the incident, although dozens of Canadians are aboard the Tahrir. Freedom Flotilla II’s aim is to peacefully challenge Israel’s blockade of Gaza, which violates international law and inflicts grave hardship on Palestinians. Over the last 18 months, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has dramatically strengthened ties with Greece. Netanyahu recently implored European leaders to provide financial aid to Greece. Greece is currently rocked by a financial crisis and popular protests against Papandreou’s proposed austerity measures to deal with it. Greece’s decision to prevent ships from leaving Greek ports for Gaza may be an indication that the Greek PM is reciprocating Netanyahu’s gesture. The organizers of the Canadian Boat to Gaza stated late Friday that their vessel was now blockaded in Greece. “We have been unjustly and duplicitously treated.” said Irene MacInnes of the Boat’s organizing committee, in an online statement. “Israel has in effect extended the illegal blockade of Gaza to Greek ports, using the Greece’s economic difficulties to influence the government’s position,” added David Heap, another member of the boat’s organizing committee.