Israel PM Netanyahu, President Peres Meet, Thank Greek President Karolos Papoulias

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

Jerusalem, Israel --- July 12, 2011 .... Part of the below was communicated by the Israel Prime Minister's Media Adviser to the Israel News Agency.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today met with Greek President Karolos Papoulias and thanked him for Greece's assistance during the Carmel forest fire and in stopping the Islamic flotilla PR stunt. Netanyahu noted the deep friendship between Greece and Israel and added that bilateral economic and tourism cooperation will be strengthened and enhanced.

With regards to the so-called humanitarian flotilla to Gaza, Prime Minister Netanyahu pointed out that growth in the Gaza Strip stood at 25 percent and that all food and medical aid were entering the Strip.

"Whoever wants to free Gaza must work to free it from the Hamas regime, which acts cruelly and harshly toward minorities – and those who seek peace – in the Gaza Strip," Netanyahu said.

Regarding the negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu said that he was ready to sit down with the Palestinians tomorrow morning and begin direct negotiations and expressed his regrets that they were refusing.

Despite Greece’s dire fiscal status, it has emerged to play a critical role in the latest anti - Israel PR stunt. Greece intervened to interrupt the second Gaza flotilla aimed, as was the first, at creating an international incident and exacerbating international hostility toward Israel.

The so called peace activists who are demanding freedom in Gaza, somehow forget that Hamas which rules Gaza does not allow democracy, freedom of the press and equal human rights to women. The Hamas Gaza flotilla which was to challenge an Israel blockade on Gaza has been confined to Greek ports, as Hamas accuses Athens of being deaf to appeals to let their ships go.

The purpose of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla is obviously not, as the activists claim, humanitarian. Reuters reports: “In an effort to calm the activists, Greece offered to ferry the aid to Gaza in cooperation with the United Nations. The activists turned the offer down saying this was ‘insufficient’ as their mission was also about the rights of the Palestinian people and not just about aid.”

Translation: There is no humanitarian “crisis”. This is about exploiting the Hamas ruled Palestinians to create more anti Israel international sentiment.

The Israel blockade of Gaza is legal under international law. Israel has the right to defend itself. Since June of 2010, there have been over 470 rocket and mortar shells launched at Israeli communities. These attacks are aided by illegal arms smuggled into Gaza as evidenced by the recent seizure, by Israeli and Egyptian authorities, of advanced military systems, weapons and ammunition headed for terrorist groups in Gaza. In order to provide security to its citizens, Israel must be allowed to screen cargo bound for Gaza for illegal arms and dual-use materials.

As Jennifer Rubin recently stated in the Washington Post: "It is a sad state of affairs when Greece has become a more effective and stabilizing force in the Middle East than the Obama White House.

Israel President Shimon Peres praised Greece for helping to calm the atmosphere in the region, and noted the Papoulias’s personal involvement in helping to stabilize the region.

Peres noted that both countries have long intellectual, spiritual and philosophical legacies from which to build a better future for the region.


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