Press TV's Interview with Dr. Paul Larudee, Co-Founder of Free Palestine Movement in Greece
Press TV: What's the latest from the flotilla itself?
Larudee: Well, the news changes every day in terms of what is possible and how we have to adjust to our plans here. The situation is that Greece is strongly blocking, until now, our efforts to leave port.
They have told several of the boats that they have no permission to leave, and that, in some cases, refueling of the ships has been denied, and this sort of thing.
Press TV: Israel has threatened to take military action against the humanitarian aid flotilla, what is Tel Aviv afraid of in your opinion?
Larudee: To put it in simple terms, they are afraid of the truth, because that is what a non-violent effort is about. Non-violent efforts tend to expose hypocrisy and human rights abuses and all this sort of things.
Obviously, Israel is well prepared to deal with military threats. They are not so well prepared to deal with non-violent situations where we are defying these rules and regulations, their abuses of human rights, and therefore the only spin they can really put on it is to say that these people are really not violent. They use every trick in the book but in fact if there are no weapons on board, and there is no one who is dangerous on board, and we are not even going through Israeli waters or Israeli territory, it's very hard to make that case.
Press TV: Have Israeli threats had any impact on the activists?
Larudee: Well, of course there are at least two of the boats that have been directly sabotaged, the propeller drive shafts of the boats have been cut and made extremely dangerous, they didn't actually break because they were discovered, but it's very costly and time consuming to repair them.
One of those boats, the Irish boat, is definitely out of commission; it is not going to be in the flotilla. The other one is under repair and we believe it is ready to go soon.
Press TV: So you are going to continue with the journey despite all this sabotage?
Larudee: We are going to do everything possible to do this, and we think that we can bring some pressure on the Greek government to release us. So, we are just going to keep trying until we have no other choice.
Press TV: Why do you think the West has kept silent on this, and if they have spoken, they have warned the activists, haven't they?
Larudee: They have warned the activists against entering Israeli waters which we never intended to do in the first place. They have warned the activists against doing anything which would put Israel in the position where it would have to defend itself. And we are no threat to Israeli security in anyway; this is all a smoke screen. It is an attempt to provide justification for an attack on us, and of course Israel's preference is to stop us before we get out to sea, but if we do get out to sea, they want justification for taking the most extreme actions against us.