It’s time now for the UN Human Rights Council to apologize for its laughably one-sided investigation into Israel’s May 2010 flotilla clash.
Recall that in September 2010, commission chair Desmond de Silva castigated UN Watch for daring to challenge his report’s failure to consider key facts, and famously declared: “Even if Bin Laden himself were on the Mavi Maramara, Israel’s blockade would still be illegal.”
Completely wrong, says a separate UN commission appointed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Read full report here. Headed by Sir Geoffrey Palmer, the former prime minister of New Zealand, the new commission of inquiry finds that Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza is lawful.
Following are the key findings of the Palmer commission that completely negate the conclusions reached by the Human Rights Council:
* “Israel faces a real threat to its security from militant groups in Gaza. The naval blockade was imposed as a legitimate security measure in order to prevent weapons from entering Gaza by sea and its implementation complied with the requirements of international law.”
* “Although people are entitled to express their political views, the flotilla acted recklessly in attempting to breach the naval blockade.”
* “The majority of the flotilla participants had no violent intentions, but there exist serious questions about the conduct, true nature and objectives of the flotilla organizers, particularly IHH. The actions of the flotilla needlessly carried the potential for escalation.”
* “Israeli Defense Forces personnel faced significant, organized and violent resistance from a group of passengers when they boarded the Mavi Marmara requiring them to use force for their own protection.”
* “Three soldiers were captured, mistreated, and placed at risk by those passengers. Several others were wounded.”
* “Where a State becomes aware that its citizens or flag vessels intend to breach a naval blockade, it has a responsibility to take proactive steps compatible with democratic rights and freedoms to warn them of the risks involved and to endeavour to dissuade them from doing so.”