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Greece 'sold its soul' on Gaza: Henning Mankell

Swedish bestselling crime author Henning Mankell slams Greece for blocking the aid flotilla to Gaza as some of Sweden's pro-Palestinian activists returned home

AFP , Thursday 7 Jul 2011
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Swedish bestselling crime author Henning Mankell slammed Greece for blocking the aid flotilla to Gaza as some of Sweden's pro-Palestinian activists returned home on Thursday.

"That we were not able to leave (for Gaza) has to do with the fact that the Greek government has sold its soul for a silver coin," the 63-year-old writer, who was taking part in the flotilla, told reporters at the airport in Sweden's second-largest city Gothenburg.

Greece, he was quoted by the TT news agency as saying, "has given in to Israeli threats, to American threats and didn't let us leave, which is of course a scandal."
"But we will come back. We won't give up," he added.

The author of the popular Kurt Wallander detective series had already returned from Greece, but was at the airport to welcome his fellow activists from Ship to Gaza's Swedish branch.

"No blockade in the history of mankind has survived forever.... No people can accept oppression. Sooner or later, Israel will experience the same thing that happened to the South African apartheid system," he said.

Mankell, whose books have sold more than 25 million copies worldwide and have been adapted to film and television, was on board a vessel seized by the Israeli army last year.

This year, Greece thwarted the hopes of a 10-boat flotilla aiming to reach Gaza by imposing a ban on any ships setting sail from Greece in an attempt to run the Israeli blockade on the Palestinian territory.

Officials in Athens say they imposed the ban for the "safety" of the activists on board in the wake of last year's bloody showdown when Israeli commandos raided a six-ship flotilla in a confrontation that left nine Turkish activists dead.

More than 300 activists from 22 countries had signed up to participate in this year's flotilla, among them dozens of middle-aged and elderly Americans and Europeans.

Israel has made no secret of its determination to prevent the Freedom Flotilla II from reaching Gaza, which has been under a blockade since 2006 after militants there snatched an Israeli soldier who is still being held at a secret location.

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Nahum
16-07-2011 04:14pm
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Some facts
It is unfortunate that plain facts are distorted or ignored, evidently with the purpose of making Israel look as bad as possible. As of several months ago, the borders between Egypt and Gaza are open for all civilian merchandise and commerce. The naval blockade by Israel is intended to prevent uncontrolled flow of weapons in ships to arrive from Iran (and its allies) to Gaza. Such weapon would be used against Israeli civilians, according to Hamas stated policies and action over the past decade. Any sane nation would choose to defend itself under such circumstances. Hamas policy is not a result of the Israeli blockade. Hamas stated policy, as written in its convention and reiterated many times, is to annihilate the state of Israel. This is at the base of the issue here. Israeli soldiers did not "murder in cold blood… unarmed civilians". They defended themselves when viciously attacked while trying to take over the ship. True, that was a failed operation with catastrophic resul
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richard
10-07-2011 12:14pm
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Activists
The flotilla failed. The flytilla failed. The activists better get back to their day jobs. If they ever have one.
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Levo
09-07-2011 02:13pm
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Israel the "Undeclared Terrorist State and the Banana Republic of the EU: Greeece" Match made in heaven?
Neither Syria nor Iran ever attacked a Civilian Humanitarian Supply Ship in International Waters and murdered in cold blood with high powered weapons a gang of unarmed Civilians the true Terrorist State with the Chosen-Complex the Zionists did! However this time the economic powerhouse with the World's leading economic growth Turkey shall not alllow the Israelis "get away" with murder as they are so used to doing.
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Mike
08-07-2011 09:46am
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Gaza Blockade
Why don't the Captains of the boats in the flotilla say that they are returning to their own countries, then when they get out to sea, change course for Gaza. I hope Israel gets what's coming to it soon. The Israelis are bullies and no better than terrorists
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Tassos
07-07-2011 11:06pm
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sold our souls
this comes as a surprise to you that our government would do this? Please look into Greek politics, because there is a history of chasing the silver coin. In fact its no surprise that we caved to Israel as we are in a bad economic state and they have all the money
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