STRONG PROTEST AGAINST PALMER COMMISSION UN REPORT ON ISRAEL’S RAID ON MAVI MARMARA

6 hb September 2011

H.E Mr Ban Ki Moon

Secretariate General

United Nations

 

Through

Mr Kamal Malhotra

The United Nations Resident Coordinator for Malaysia & UNDP Resident Representative for Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei

WISMA UN, Block C, Damansara Offices Complex Jalan Dungun, Damansara Heights, 50490 Kuala Lumpur.

 PROTEST NOTE

MAPIM REGISTERS STRONG PROTEST AGAINST PALMER COMMISSION UN REPORT

ON ISRAEL’S RAID ON MAVI MARMARA

The Malaysian Islamic NGOs Consultation Council (MAPIM ) registers its strong protest against the Palmer Commission report of United Nations on the Israeli raid on the Mavi Marmara  . The UN report concluded that the blockade was “a legitimate security measure in order to prevent weapons entering Gaza by sea”.

MAPIM condemns the report and reject the findings as it is clearly a report that has been subdued to the pressure of Israel and the US.

The report is a clear humiliation to the basic principle of  international justice and protection of  human rights . The report has portrayed the highest level of hypocrisy on the part of the United Nation submitting to the pressure by the US and Israel..

To accept the report based on an illegal blockade by an a foreign force on a sovereign nation is tantamount to accepting and legalizing  any occupation by an external regime onto another nation.

The Palmer Commission UN Report on Mavi Marmara Massacre should have recognized the fact that on May 31, 2010, Israeli commandos willfully and maliciously interdicted Freedom Flotilla vessels in international waters, bringing humanitarian aid to besieged Gazans.

In the process, they slaughtered nine Turkish nationals aboard the mother Mavi Marmara ship, wounding dozens more, and arresting everyone on board.

It was a well planned premeditated attack against unarmed, nonviolent humanitarian activists, trying to break Israel’s illegal blockade to deliver essential aid. Cold-blooded murder resulted.

We question the credibility of the report as what took place was witnessed by the whole world . The drama of violence , shooting and beating the civilians onboard the Mavi Marmara by the Israel troops was recorded at real time and nobody in the right mind could deny the carnage done .

There is no basis for the commissioners to conclude that Israel has the right to defend itself and excusing its action by accepting it as a legitimate security measure.

If this is accepted then this would mean that now UN is endorsing the blockade on Gaza by Israel which it has in fact all this while iterated strong statement on the legality of Israel’s action on Gaza.

The fundamental issues are  too obvious. First and foremost is the illegal blockade on Gaza which is against international law. Secondly Mavi Marmara was clearly within international waters when Israel launched the vicious and barbaric attack . Thirdly the attack was executed on unarmed civilians onboard the Mavi Marmara.

The report which took a almost a year to conclude strip its legitimacy to be accepted as an credible report. Acknowledging that Israel had used excessive violence is a mellowed description of the true brutality and inhuman policy that Israel in inflicting on Gaza and all the chain of humanitarian missions to liberate Gaza.

It should be sufficient enough to get testimonies from the surviving passengers that all negotiations to allow a peaceful passage by an unarmed humanitarian aid mission to Gaza was met with brutal force by the Israel troops with orders  shoot to kill.

A Malaysian survivor even can testify with recordings how eight  Turkish were shot and a young American, shot at close range more than 12 times at the front and back.The recording also witnessed how he was tortured, beaten, kicked and stepped on before they shot him.

Forensic evidence showing that most of the deceased were shot multiple times, including in the back, or at close range has not been adequately accounted for in the material presented by Israel.

MAPIM condemns the report and reject the findings as it is clearly a report that has been subdued to the pressure of Israel and the US.

The report has dismissed the most fundamental issue and that is the illegal blockade by Israel on Gaza.

Under international and US law, blockades are acts of war, variously defined as:

— surrounding a nation or objective with hostile forces;

— measures to isolate an enemy;

— encirclement and besieging;

— preventing the passage in or out of supplies, military forces, or aid in time of or as an act of war; and

— an act of naval warfare to block access to an enemy’s coastline and deny entry to all vessels and aircraft.

Occupied Palestine poses no threat to Israel. In the past, Israel admitted it. As a result, imposing a blockade violates the UN Charter and other international and US laws. It’s also an illegal act of aggression that under the Nuremberg Charter constitutes the “supreme international crime against peace.”

Last September, the UN Human Rights Council (HRC), issued damning findings, “conclud(ing) that a series of violations of international law, including international humanitarian and human rights law, were committed by the Israeli forces during the interception of the flotilla and during the detention of passengers in Israel prior to deportation.”

The report should have enlightened that  under the laws of armed conflict, a blockade is also illegal if:

(a) its sole purpose is starving the civilian population or denying it other essentials for life; or

(b) the damage to civilians is, or may be expected to be, excessive in relation to the concrete or direct military advantage anticipated.

In other words, no blockade is permitted if it disproportionately harms civilians. Israel has done it maliciously for over four years, collectively punishing Gazans illegally, despite admitting no security threat exists.

HRC said Israel’s interdiction was lawless “since there was no legal basis for the Israeli forces to conduct an assault and interception in international waters.”

Moreover, in doing so, Israel was “obligated” to respect international law and its own “international human rights obligations.”

HRC thus concluded that force used “was unnecessary, disproportionate, excessive, inappropriate and resulted in the wholly avoidable killing and maiming of a large number of civilian passengers.”

In addition, Israel made “a deliberate attempt….to suppress or destroy evidence,” besides fabricating its own version of events, including fake videos and other falsified materials.

We regret that despite indisputable crimes against humanity and piracy, you as the UN Secretary-General shamelessly named your  own, largely pro-Israeli commission, mocking justice and your  own credibility in the process.

We take note that  Former New Zealand Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer chaired the investigation team  along with former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe as vice-chairman. His appalling record in office and contempt for human rights should have automatically disqualified him.

Notably, he was tainted by corruption and scandal, with close links to his country’s drug cartels and paramilitary death squads. As a result, he bore direct responsibility for murdering thousands of trade unionists, campesinos, human rights workers, journalists, and others opposing Colombia’s narco-state terrorism and ties to US imperialism.

Nonetheless, he was shamelessly appointed to decide whether or not Israeli commandos committed high crimes because as Colombia’s president, and now, he staunchly supports the worst of US and Israeli crimes.

They were mixed, largely absolving Israel of cold-blooded murder and condemning its illegal siege.

The UN report “found that when Israeli commandos boarded the main (Mavi Marmara) ship they faced ‘organized and violent resistance from a group of passengers’ and were therefore required to use force for their own protection.”

However, it determined that its use was “excessive and unreasonable,” calling deaths and injuries caused as well as Israel’s treatment of passengers abusive.

The report harshly criticizes the flotilla organizers, stating ‘they acted recklessly in attempting to breach the naval blockade,’ ” adding that “there exist serious questions about the conduct, true nature and objectives of the flotilla organizers, particularly IHH (a Turkish charity).Also emphasized was that Turkey could have done more to persuade its nationals not to participate.

Nonetheless as explained in part above:

(1) Gaza’s siege is illegal. Saying otherwise doesn’t wash. Neither Hamas, other Palestinian resistance groups, or the PA threaten Israel, except in self-defense retaliation against premeditated Israeli attacks as international law allows.

(2) All Flotilla participants were unarmed, nonviolent human rights activists. Nonetheless, they were maliciously attacked in international waters. Moreover, Israeli commandos had photos of Turkish nationals marked for assassination. They identified and shot them in cold blood multiple times at point blank range.

(3) The UN Human Rights Commission (HRC) examined the same evidence, holding Israel culpable for high crimes.

We demand that , legal action should be taken against responsible Israeli officials, including Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, then Israeli Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, and Navy Commander Adm. Eliezer Marom.

Absolution is unacceptable. Nonetheless, Israel again got largely off the hook, free to commit more crimes of war and against humanity, besides ongoing daily ones in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

At issue is stopping them, ending Gaza’s siege, Israel’s occupation, and granting Palestine statehood and full UN membership later this month when the UN General Assembly meets .

We demand  Israeli lawlessness must be stopped through the World Court . Any action Israel already committed  against a sovereign state must be able to be sued through the World Court for redress, and be able to get a temporary restraining order to stop it.

Mohd Azmi Abdul Hamid

Secretariate General MAPIM

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