New York, NY, July 3, 2011 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today praised the government of Greece for preventing the ships involved in a "provocative" anti-Israel flotilla bound for Gaza from "using Greek ports as a launching point."
On July 1, Greece issued a government order denying the ships' departure. Greece has since offered to ship the humanitarian aid aboard the ships to the Palestinian territory by way of a U.N. convoy – an offer the flotilla's organizers have flatly refused.
The following is the text of a letter sent to George A. Papandreou, Prime Minister of Greece, from Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director:
Dear Mr. Prime Minister:
We are writing to express our sincere appreciation for the action taken by Greece to prevent the ships involved in the Gaza flotilla from leaving Greek ports. Your willingness to act in such a responsible manner serves as an example for the entire international community.
As you well know, the Gaza flotilla was not intended to provide humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza. It is a provocative effort by anti-Israel activists to bring their skewed view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to international attention by publicly challenging Israeli forces who are defending Israeli territorial waters.
Greece's actions to stop these ships from using Greek ports as a launching point will help prevent the public confrontation with Israeli naval authorities these activists are seeking.
We know a great deal of thought and consideration went into your decision and we thank you for this important effort.
The Gaza flotilla was originally planned for late June, but technical issues delayed the ships' departure. The flotilla organizers have pledged they will set sail in the coming weeks.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.