29 June 2011 | US Boat to Gaza
Contact: Athens: Donna Nevel, +30-694-266-3852; New York: Leslie Cagan, 347-581-1782
Audacity Invites Media to Inspect Boat and Passengers "We're Sulfur-Free and Ready to Sail"
Passengers on the U.S. Boat to Gaza, The Audacity of Hope, invite Greek and international media to inspect The Audacity of Hope at 3 pm Athens time on Thursday, June 30, in the town of Perama (next to Piraeus), 42 Democratis.
The entire boat will be open for view, photography, and video. The captain, crew, and passengers on the boat will be available for interviews and inspection. The cargo of the ship - 3,000 letters from Americans to the people of Gaza - will also be available for view, photographs, and video. Everything that will be on the boat when it sets sail, including food and passengers' personal medications for use during their voyage, will be available for inspection.
The Audacity of Hope was inspected by Greek officials on Monday, June 27 after a complaint was lodged by an Israeli group that the vessel was not seaworthy. We have not yet received notification of their findings nor a copy of their report, but we are certain that our boat is up to code. Meanwhile, Israeli officials have made outrageous allegations that passengers on the flotilla will be bringing "sacks of sulfur" to pour on Israeli soldiers. Even Members of Israel's own security cabinet have dismissed these charges as "media spin" and "public relations hysteria."* We invite the media onto our boat to conduct a thorough inspection. We are confident that such an inspection will show that our boat is "sulfur-free" and ready to sail.
"On behalf of the 36 passengers and 4 crew on The Audacity of Hope, I invite the media to ask us anything, inspect anything, taste our food, look inside our bags" said Gale Courey Toensing, a passenger on the American boat. "Our voyage is totally transparent and we have nothing to hide. All we want to do is sail to Gaza with our cargo of letters from Americans to the people of Gaza."