Gisha: Israeli flotilla inquiry cannot authorize the collective punishment of a civilian population

Israel/Palestine
on 44 Comments

In response to today’s publication of the interim report of the Turkel Commission to Examine the Maritime Incident of 31 May, 2010, and its conclusion that the naval closure of the Gaza Strip, as well as the actions Israel took to enforce it, are consistent with the provisions of international law, Gisha notes:

No commission of inquiry can authorize the collective punishment of a civilian population by restricting its movement and access, as Israel did in its closure of Gaza, of which the maritime closure was an integral part. Gisha notes that a primary goal of the restrictions, as declared by Israel, was to paralyze the economy in Gaza and prevent its residents from leading normal lives. International law forbids using civilians to advance “strategic” goals, under circumstances in which Israel controls their ability to transfer goods. Although some of the restrictions were removed following the flotilla incident, Israel continues to restrict the movement of persons, the entrance of building materials and the transfer of goods for sale outside Gaza – with no valid security justification.

International law permits restricting movement for purposes of security, so long as Israel protects the rights of residents in Gaza to engage in normal life. However, imposing a closure for purposes of punishment is forbidden, as the International Committee of the Red Cross stated in reference to the maritime incident. According to official documents obtained by Gisha under the Freedom of Information Act, Israel prevented the passage of civilian goods such as spices, raw materials and consumer items and even set limitations for the amount of food it would permit residents of Gaza to purchase. We disagree with the Commission’s conclusion that the restrictions were justified for military or “strategic” reasons. It is unclear how preventing the transfer into Gaza of industrial margarine, paper, and coriander contributed to a legitimate military goal.

So long as Israel controls central elements of life in Gaza, including movement via the crossings, it must take responsibility for the effects of its control on the 1.5 million human beings living in the Gaza Strip. Gisha expresses hope that Israel will cancel the many remaining restrictions that are not related to concrete security risks and will allow the free movement of people and goods into and out of Gaza, subject only to individual security checks.

For a position paper on the maritime closure and the Turkel Commission, click here.

For a position paper on the continuing restrictions on access into and out of Gaza, click here.

About Gisha

Gisha is an Israeli not-for-profit organization, founded in 2005, whose goal is to protect the freedom of movement of Palestinians, especially Gaza residents. Gisha promotes rights guaranteed by international and Israeli law.

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44 Responses

  1. Potsherd2
    January 23, 2011, 11:19 am

    According to Israeli talkbackers, the entire purpose of the blockade is self-defense, keeping rockets out of the hands of terrorists. Information doesn’t filter down to these people. Here in the US, we tend to perceive hasbara as meant for the ignorant, but it seems that this includes the Israeli public.

    • Psychopathic god
      January 23, 2011, 11:56 am

      am I correct in remembering that Goebbels was the judge at the Nuremberg trials?

      • Citizen
        January 23, 2011, 5:17 pm

        Wasn’t it Bernays?

    • Formerly T-Bear
      January 24, 2011, 8:15 am

      As diversionary as the official Israeli propaganda machinations are, there seems to be a missing narrative. Just why would the hermetic sealing of Gaza be necessary, particularly importantly that of sea access that Israel would risk the blow-back from their actions knowing these will be reported to the world. What would Israel be hiding that is going on in those seas that would be exposed by transit?

      Narrowly known is Gaza’s territorial waters contain 4 or 5 Billion dollars worth of petroleum products in the form of gas. Are those deposits being mined? Are underwater pipelines being lain? Are other petroleum resources being drilled unbeknownst to supply Israel vital energy resources? The crimes being committed show that something generally unknown and being kept secret is behind the telltale curtain of keeping “arms” from Gaza. Why is it so important that all traffic be kept from these areas? Transparency will never be forthcoming from pathological liars, the light of day must prevail.

  2. MRW
    January 23, 2011, 11:48 am

    Press TV reported this about the Turkel Commission:

    An Israeli investigation panel has declared Tel Aviv’s military attack on the Gaza-bound Freedom Flotilla aid convoy as ‘legal’ under international law.

    Headed by former judge Yaakov Turkel, the six-member committee concluded that “the actions taken were found to be legal pursuant to the rules of international law,” AFP reported.

    Israeli commandos attacked the convoy in international waters on May 31, killing nine Turkish activists and injuring about 50 others.

    The fleet was carrying around 10,000 tons of humanitarian supplies for Gaza, which came under the tight land, naval and aerial blockade in mid-June 2007. The restrictions have been depriving 1.5-million Palestinians in the sliver of food, fuel, medicine and other necessities.

    The activists, who survived the attack, were subsequently expelled and the cargos transferred to the Israeli port of Ashdod in the south of Tel Aviv.

    Much of the international community united in expressing outrage over the incident and a United Nations inquiry found — by complete contrast — that the forces had shown “an unacceptable level of brutality.”

    The Tel Aviv-appointed investigative committee, however, alleged that “the naval blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip… was legal pursuant to the rules of international law.”

    My next post will provide links to the man who helped write the International maritime law that Turkel claims to know….which Turkel does not.

    • MRW
      January 23, 2011, 11:51 am

      Craig Murray helped write the law that Judge Turkel claims to interpret. Here is his explanation of the Flotilla incident at the time:

      A word on the legal position, which is very plain. To attack a foreign flagged vessel in international waters is illegal. It is not piracy, as the Israeli vessels carried a military commission. It is rather an act of illegal warfare.

      Because the incident took place on the high seas does not mean however that international law is the only applicable law. The Law of the Sea is quite plain that, when an incident takes place on a ship on the high seas (outside anybody’s territorial waters) the applicable law is that of the flag state of the ship on which the incident occurred. In legal terms, the Turkish ship was Turkish territory.

      There are therefore two clear legal possibilities.

      Possibility one is that the Israeli commandos were acting on behalf of the government of Israel in killing the activists on the ships. In that case Israel is in a position of war with Turkey, and the act falls under international jurisdiction as a war crime.

      Possibility two is that, if the killings were not authorised Israeli military action, they were acts of murder under Turkish jurisdiction. If Israel does not consider itself in a position of war with Turkey, then it must hand over the commandos involved for trial in Turkey under Turkish law.

      In brief, if Israel and Turkey are not at war, then it is Turkish law which is applicable to what happened on the ship. It is for Turkey, not Israel, to carry out any inquiry or investigation into events and to initiate any prosecutions. Israel is obliged to hand over indicted personnel for prosecution.

      Craig Murray is a former British Ambassador. He is also a former Head of the Maritime Section of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. He negotiated the UK’s current maritime boundaries with Ireland, Denmark (Faeroes), Belgium and France, and boundaries of the Channel Islands, Turks and Caicos and British Virgin Islands. He was alternate Head of the UK Delegation to the UN Preparatory Commission on the Law of the Sea. He was Head of the FCO Section of the Embargo Surveillance Centre, enforcing sanctions on Iraq, and directly responsible for clearance of Royal Navy boarding operations in the Persian Gulf.

      • Hostage
        January 24, 2011, 11:10 am

        The devil is always in the details. The Turkish ship Gazze 1 was Turkish territory, but the Mavi Marmara was flagged in Comoros. That makes a world of difference because Turkey has no criminal jurisdiction.

        In the S.S. Lotus case the Court ruled that “the first and foremost restriction imposed by international law upon a State is that – failing the existence of a permissive rule to the contrary – it may not exercise its power in any form in the territory of another State.” The Court ruled that in the case of the collision between Turkish and French flagged ships, both countries had concurrent criminal jurisdiction.

        The Law of the Seas reversed that precedent. Now only the flag State or the State of which the alleged offender was a national has jurisdiction over sailors regarding incidents occurring in high seas – in this case Israel and Comoros. Article 12 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court is worded similarly. That means Turkey has no criminal jurisdiction and cannot refer the murder cases to the ICC. Here is the list of flag countries and vessels from the UN report: The vessels in the flotilla whilst in international waters were also subject to the jurisdiction of the flag states, namely Cambodia (Rachel Corrie), Comoros (Mavi Marmara), Greece (Eleftheri Mesogios), Kiribati (Defne Y), Togo (Sfendoni), Turkey (Gazze 1) and the United States of America (Challenger 1).

    • MRW
      January 23, 2011, 11:58 am

      A few days after the above Craig Murray post, he wrote this, which I repeat just to forestall the same kinds of responses or arguments here (Witty, Yonira, and 3E, take note):

      Why San Remo Does Not Apply

      Every comments thread on every internet site on the world which has discussed the Israeli naval murders, has been inundated by organised Zionist commenters stating that the Israeli action was legal under the San Remo Manual of International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea.
      .
      They ignore those parts of San Remo that specifically state that it is illegal to enforce a general blockade on an entire population. But even apart from that, San Remo simply does not apply.
      .
      The manual relates specifically to legal practice in time of war. With whom is Israel at war?
      .
      There is no war.
      .
      Israeli apologists have gone on to say they are in a state of armed conflict with Gaza.
      .
      Really? In that case, why do we continually hear Israeli complaints about rockets fired from Gaza into Israel? If it is the formal Israeli position that it is in a state of armed conflict with Gaza, then Gaza has every right to attack Israel with rockets. [Emphasis mine.]
      .
      But in fact, plainly to the whole world, the nature and frequency of Israeli complaints about rocket attacks gives evidence that Israel does not in fact believe that a situation of armed conflict exists.
      .
      Secondly, if Israel wishes to claim it is in a state of armed conflict with Gaza, then it must treat all of its Gazan prisoners as prisoners of war entitled to the protections of the Geneva Convention. If you are in a formal state of armed conflict, you cannot categorise your opponents as terrorists.
      .
      But again, it is plain for the world to see from its treatment and description of Gazan prisoners that it does not consider itself to be in a formal position of armed conflict.
      .
      Israel is seeking to pick and choose which bits of law applicable to armed conflict it applies, by accepting or not accepting it is in armed conflcit depending on the expediency of the moment.
      .
      I have consistently denounced Hamas rocket attacks into Israel. I have categorised them as terrorism. If Israel wishes now to declare it is in armed conflcit with Gaza, I withdraw my opposition and indeed would urge Hamas to step up such attacks to the maximum.
      .
      Does Israel really wish to justify its latest action by declaring it is at war with Gaza? That is what the invocation of San Remo amounts to.

      • eee
        January 23, 2011, 12:33 pm

        The situation is quite simple for anyone with just a little common sense.
        Israel is at war with Hamas. Hamas has every right to shoot rockets because of this? Very well, let them shoot rockets, but also let them not complain about the results (I would have thought they had a right to shoot rockets at military targets but never mind). Hamas are a bunch of terrorists because they attack civilians predominantly and intentionally. I can’t say that? Here is the proof I can: Hamas are terrorists.
        Anyone that wants to urge Hamas to fire more rockets at Israel is free to do so.

        The bottom line: Israel is at war with Hamas.

      • piotr
        January 23, 2011, 1:05 pm

        Ah, reading comprehension.

        Israeli keeps thousands of prisoners on the account of this “war”, and their conditions are far worse than the conditions of POWs, and they are interrogated. If Israel views the conflict as a war, these people should be treated as POW.

        It it is not a war, then there is no justification of the blockade.

        Israeli conduct cannot be fitted into a legal envelope.

        As far as “attacking civilians predominantly and intentionally”, this is what IDF does.

        There is also a question how Hamas can police other groups if the police in Gaza is destroyed (and this destruction was a bloody premedited attack on civilians).

      • Les
        January 23, 2011, 1:20 pm

        Your explanation explains why Germany was justified in its “war” against the armed Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto. Thanks for clearing up the historical bias which has heretofore been largely antagonistic to Nazi Germay’s attack on those particular Jews.

      • pjdude
        January 23, 2011, 4:27 pm

        actually despite how Israel and the US define it terrorism is not about killing point. Hamas can bomb Israeli civilians( who are illegally transfered to occupued land to prevent its reclemation in violation of the 4th geneva convention) and not by terrorists. terrorism is about fear. if the intention was to create fear to coerce than they would be but that’s not the reason for it.

      • eljay
        January 23, 2011, 5:15 pm

        >> The situation is quite simple for anyone with just a little common sense.

        If you had any sort of common sense at all, you wouldn’t reduce the entire I-P conflict to “Israel is at war with Hamas”. But you don’t have common sense – you’ve proven that numerous times.

        Stick with what you Zio-supremacists know best – namely, that the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians was “necessary” to create “a good in the world”.

      • Shingo
        January 23, 2011, 6:15 pm

        Hamas are a bunch of terrorists because they attack civilians predominantly and intentionally.

        So does Israel.

        Well done eee. You’ve just admitted that Israel is a terrorist state. That’s a good first step.

        Hey I can say it. Israel is a terrorist state! make that a fascist, apartheid terrorist state.

      • Cliff
        January 23, 2011, 6:30 pm

        israel is at war with the Palestinian people and their aspirations for independence and nationhood.

        we have already discussed one of the ways this has manifested (out of countless others) – the economic dependency and exploitation

        but eee, dismissed it as ‘yada yada yada’ then talked about how great israel is for palestinians to work in – ignoring the point i made about WHY palestinians are working in israel in the first place

      • Hostage
        January 24, 2011, 12:42 pm

        The point that Craig Murray is making was that Israel is seeking to pick and choose which bits of law applicable to armed conflict it applies, by accepting or not accepting that it is in armed conflict depending on the expediency of the moment. That is demonstrably true whether or not there is an actual state of war.

        In a case involving Israel’s targeted killings policy, the Israeli Supreme Court decision under the heading “The General Normative Framework, A. International Armed Conflict” held “that between Israel and the various terrorist organizations active in Judea, Samaria, and the Gaza Strip (hereinafter “the area”) a continuous situation of armed conflict has existed since the first intifada.” link to elyon1.court.gov.il

        As soon as the IDF Commandos found themselves on board a foreign-flagged vessel they were in the territory of another state. When they had wounded or surrendering civilian citizens of another State on their hands; and as soon as they detained them as prisoners, the applicability of the Geneva Conventions between those two States was automatically triggered. Under those circumstances, it doesn’t matter if the party that was attacked resisted. See for example the ICRC Opinion Paper: “How is the Term “Armed Conflict” Defined in International Humanitarian Law? link to icrc.org

        The use of stand-off weapons by both sides means that international low-intensity armed conflicts don’t inherently entail occupation of another state’s territory. For example, Special Rapporteur John Dugard said Palestinian and IDF personnel responsible for committing war crimes by the firing of shells and rockets into civilian areas should be apprehended and prosecuted. See
        *A/HRC/4/17 link to unispal.un.org and;
        *IDF has fired more than 5,100 shells at Gaza in six weeks link to haaretz.com

        The San Remo Manual merely provides some very limited exceptions to the prohibition against one state exercising its power on the territory of another state at sea. Those execptions do not apply a fortiori to blockades that are otherwise illegal under international law.

        The San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea provides that: 102. The declaration or establishment of a blockade is prohibited if: (a) it has the sole purpose of starving the civilian population or denying it other objects essential for its survival; or (b) the damage to the civilian population is, or may be expected to be, excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated from the blockade.

        However Article 54 (1) and (2) of Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions prohibit the starvation of a civilian community regardless of the motive involved and despite any military advantage. The “Explanation” that accompanies the text of the San Remo Manual clarifies that some parties argued that, as starvation of a civilian population is already prohibited under existing law the word ‘sole’ should be deleted from the manual. The word ‘sole’ was retained because if a blockade has both the unlawful purpose of starvation together with a lawful military purpose, the provision in (b) would still render the blockade unlawful if the effect on the civilian population is excessive in relation to the lawful military purpose. Subparagraph (b) therefore reflects the impact of the rules of proportionality and precautions.

        In the event of a conflict between a conventional law, like the Geneva Protocols, and the general guidance contained in the San Remo manual, the law prevails.

        The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, had already declared the blockade of Gaza illegal on the basis of reports of widespread malnutrition and poverty submitted by officials on mission from the UN. Pillay is a former Justice who served in the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court. She said “International humanitarian law prohibits starvation of civilians as a method of warfare and … it is also prohibited to impose collective punishment on civilians.”

        The Human Rights Commission investigation into the flotilla massare was headed-up by Judge Karl T. Hudson-Phillips, Q.C., retired Judge of the International Criminal Court. He reached the same conclusion about the illegality of the blockade. link to www2.ohchr.org

        In 1987, Prof L.C. Green wrote a journal article which explained that Jordan had recently recognized the PLFP and that Palestine had declared its statehood. He said that Israel might be required to recognize the combatant status of the militias if Palestine signed the Geneva Conventions. “Sovereignty” is irrelevant , since Green noted that “recognition of statehood is a matter of discretion, it is open to any existing state to accept as a state any entity it wishes, regardless of the existence of territory or an established government.” See Israel Yearbook on Human Rights, 1989, Yoram Dinstein, Mala Tabory eds., Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1990, ISBN 0-7923-0450-0, page 135-136 link to books.google.com

        Israel itself has resorted to treating Gaza as a state. The Restatement (Third) of The Foreign Relations Law of the United States §201.(h) says “Determination of Statehood: Whether or not an entity satisfies the requirement for statehood is determined by other states when they decide whether to treat that entity as a state.”

        Wikileaks recently revealed that Israel’s Military Intellegence Director, Amos Yadlin, said that Israel would be “happy” if Hamas took over Gaza because the IDF could then deal with Gaza as a hostile state. link to wikileaks.ch

        According to the Washington Post and many other sources the government of Israel spokesman Mark Regev cited the San Remo Manual and maintained that it was clearly within its rights to stop the aid flotilla, saying “any state has the right to blockade ANOTHER STATE in the midst of an armed conflict.”[emphasis added] link to washingtonpost.com

        In the WAPO article Professor Anthony D’Amato commented that Israel was quoting the provisions of the laws of war that are only in force in situations “between states”. Other legal scholars have made the same observation. In “Why is Israel’s blockade of Gaza Legal?”, Kevin Jon Heller noted that Israel’s defense of its blockade creates a serious legal dilemma for it. He cited another analysis written by Prof Green which explains that the laws on blockades only apply to situations between belligerent states. See link to opiniojuris.org

        So there are more than a few sources complaining about Israel picking and choosing which portions of the law it is willing to observe.

  3. Potsherd2
    January 23, 2011, 12:08 pm

    So far, the press reports on this whitewash are pretty universally derisive.

  4. Richard Witty
    January 23, 2011, 12:18 pm

    The management of what crosses the Israel/Gaza border is its sovereign right. There is not requirement by international law that it maintain its border as open.

    Similarly for the border of Egypt and Gaza.

    The only relevant question that could be described as illegal is relative to the sea and prospect of port, the blockade.

    Israel declares that Hamas is in a state of war with Israel, and that as it is not associated with a sovereign government that subscribes to international law regarding the law of the sea and conventions as to ports, that there is no basis yet of Gaza having the rights under international law that a state would have.

    As such, the most that western states will criticize is that maintaining a siege status is immoral and inadvisable.

    • Woody Tanaka
      January 23, 2011, 12:54 pm

      Richard Witty,
      Don’t be an idiot. By imposing the blockade, Israel is an occupying power which, under international law, provides limitations on Israel’s actions against the civilian population; limitations which Israel is breaching. Hamas’ status as a sovereign power is irrelevant.

      • Richard Witty
        January 23, 2011, 2:45 pm

        Woody,
        Its not irrelevant to Israel, and its not irrelevant relative to international law.

        Hamas/Gaza status as not sovereign, but significant in scale is a quandry.

        Currently, Israel only controls its borders and the sea blockade. Egypt controls its borders.

        What do you propose that simultaneously honors Israel’s sovereignty and right to defend itself, and Gazans need and aspirations for some sovereign association (I’m assuming).

        Meshal proposed a solution that I’ve advocated for for years here, that an international entity (accepted by both Israel and Gaza) supervise a prospective port. I expect that Israel would accept only the US and/or Great Britain to fulfill that role there, but that would put US troups on the ground in another Arab nation.

        That solution is really only possible in the confident momentum towards a peace treaty, which Hamas has historically rejected, and actively opposes, and by actively I mean violently.

        Neither the US nor Israel desire to further institutionalize the two-Palestinian state current reality. (West Bank as one state, Gaza as a second). (The “three-state solution”)

        So, don’t be an idiot yourself.

      • Donald
        January 23, 2011, 3:09 pm

        In other words, Witty supports the blockade until there is a peace agreement he approves of.

        By that reasoning, an equally harsh blockade should be imposed on Israel, as they inflict far more harm on Palestinians and Palestinians need to be defended and to feel secure. When Israel shows any indication that they are willing to treat Palestinians as human beings, the blockade could be lifted.

      • Richard Witty
        January 23, 2011, 8:14 pm

        I understand the reasoning for the blockade.

        I think I probably support it, hoping that Hamas will undertake a change in foreign policy (relative to both Israel and the PA) that will allow it to become sovereign, and establish a port.

        You did see my recommendation for international port management?

    • MRW
      January 23, 2011, 2:49 pm

      Woolly poppycock, Witty. Every sentence incomprehensible and illogical, as stupid as saying, hypothetically, that Canada declares the US is in a state of war with Canada, and then acts on its own pronouncement. If what you were saying were even remotely true, then Israeli Jews have completely lost their lauded IQs.

      • Shingo
        January 23, 2011, 6:21 pm

        Every sentence incomprehensible and illogical, as stupid as saying, hypothetically, that Canada declares the US is in a state of war with Canada, and then acts on its own pronouncement

        Hitler declared that everything Germany did in WWII was legal also. I always thought Witty would have looked good doing the goose step.

    • Shingo
      January 23, 2011, 6:19 pm

      The management of what crosses the Israel/Gaza border is its sovereign right. There is not requirement by international law that it maintain its border as open.

      The waters off the Gaza coast are not Israel’s borers, so Israel has no sovereign right.

      Israel declares that Hamas is in a state of war with Israel, and that as it is not associated with a sovereign government that subscribes to international law regarding the law of the sea and conventions as to ports, that there is no basis yet of Gaza having the rights under international law that a state would have.

      Yes, Israel and the US have vetoe’d UN Resolutions granting the Palestinians sovereignty and self determination and so along comes Witty and uses the fact that Gaza has no sovereignty to claim they have no rights.

      Don’t you just love the sadism?

  5. seafoid
    January 23, 2011, 12:33 pm

    “International legal experts, such as Robin Churchill, a professor of international law at the University of Dundee in Scotland, have said that the blockade’s legality turns on two issues: Whether Israel’s conflict with Hamas is a full-fledged war and whether the military benefit is proportionate to the suffering it imposes on the civilian population.”
    link to irishtimes.com

    Israel is running an occupation in Gaza, not a war. And Israel is attempting to rewrite international law , one death after another. Zionism goes further and further into absurdity.

    The Israeli military industrial occupation complex is out of control and this report proves it.

    On a brighter note, the Financial Times reports that the Economist Intelligence unit has named Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Turkey and Egypt as the next markets to outperform. Israel is old world slow growth and self handicapped by an increasingly expensive occupation in terms of cash and political capital. The world in which the occupation was born has disappeared.

    link to ft.com,

    So some difficult choices ahead for Israel s 16 oligarchs. Follow the money and invest in Turkey and Egypt or follow Lieberman into the West Bank forever. Until everything falls apart.

    • Psychopathic god
      January 23, 2011, 1:11 pm

      Whither Intel — Turkey or Egypt, or maybe Iran, rich with highly-trained engineers who have good manners — once Israel’s implosion passes the tipping point?

      • yonira
        January 23, 2011, 1:21 pm

        You two are so funny, you realize intel just invested 2.7 billion on there chip plant in Israel, no?

        link to reuters.com

      • Potsherd2
        January 23, 2011, 2:53 pm

        Now, why might that be, yonira?

        Try a clue: link to haaretz.com

        “When I completed the analysis, I understood that it was a presentation that I could never show them, because the conclusions they would draw would not lead them to build plants in Israel, but quite the contrary: Israel is so non-competitive that no sane firm would do outsourcing here.

        “If the considerations are only economic, then not one single large company would build plants here. And this raises the question: How were plants built here? After all, Motorola, Intel and HP all have plants here. The answer is that in each of these cases, there was some Jewish person involved. In the case of Indigo, it was me. In the case of Motorola, Elisha Yanai; in the case of Intel, Dov Frohman;

      • annie
        January 23, 2011, 3:57 pm

        try engaging maturely instead of arguing your strawmen.

        “Eight years ago, when I sold Indigo to Hewlett-Packard, I made the sale conditional on HP’s promising to invest in Israel and increase production here – and it kept its word,” says high-tech entrepreneur Benny Landa, a man with ambivalent feelings toward Israel – lots of love, on the one hand, deep concern, on the other.

        The story of the sale of Indigo is a case in point. “I thought to myself at the time that HP purchases $30 million worth of services every year through outsourcing,” he recalls. “It builds plants outside the United States and uses subcontractors in India, China, Mexico, Singapore and Ireland. But not a single dollar had ever reached Israel. I understood that this was my opportunity to get HP to change things. I spent a year analyzing the Israeli economy in order to present a picture of the country to HP executives. I investigated Israel’s social and socioeconomic characteristics.

        instead of tossing out bait address the point being made, unless you actually think the haaretz article about making the sale of a corporation contingent on investment in israel is a big bad jewish conspiracy.

        or do you just object to us discussing these contingency investments.

      • alexno
        January 23, 2011, 4:16 pm

        I don’t think I’d realised that these major investments in plant in Israel, were being done against economic logic, and only for sentimental reasons. But Potsherd’s link is very clear. It’s a fix, that sooner or later will fail.

        Sounds like Saddam and his investment in his home town of Tikrit. Long history of such failures, right back to crazy Roman emperors.

      • seafoid
        January 23, 2011, 5:07 pm

        2.7 bn is peanuts compared to the sort of money that is being invested in Turkey. Israel is old school low growth. and that occupation is really expensive.

      • Shingo
        January 23, 2011, 6:22 pm

        You two are so funny, you realize intel just invested 2.7 billion on there chip plant in Israel, no?

        Yes, Intel did do that. That’s what companies like Intel do Yonira. Meanwhile Israel is still suffering a brain drain.

  6. Jim Haygood
    January 23, 2011, 1:26 pm

    I’m curious about the two anglophone quislings who helped sanitize the report:

    Former Northern Ireland first minister David Trimble and Brigadier-General Ken Watkin of Canada said in a letter accompanying the report that the commission was independent and rigorous.

    What qualifications do they have (if any), and how were they recruited?

    • eee
      January 23, 2011, 2:14 pm

      Why would Trimble or Watkins lie?
      link to en.wikipedia.org

      Hey, Trimble may even be a friend of seafoid.

      • Jim Haygood
        January 23, 2011, 4:05 pm

        From eee’s link:

        In May 2010 when the former prime minister of Spain Jose Maria Aznar initiated and launched the “Friends of Israel Initiative,” a non-Jewish international project supporting Israel’s right to exist, Trimble joined him along with Peru’s former president Alejandro Toledo, Italian philosopher Marcelo Pear, former United States Ambassador to the United Nations John R. Bolton, and British historian Andrew Roberts.

        Wikipedia’s source is a Jerusalem Post article dated 31 May 2010 [link no longer active]. Trimble’s appointment to the Turkel commission was announced two weeks later, on June 14th — looking very much like a quid pro quo.

        According to another Wikipedia article about the Friends of Israel Initiative,

        ————

        The Friends of Israel Initiative is an international effort to “seek to counter the attempts to delegitimize the State of Israel and its right to live in peace within safe and defensible borders,” initiated and led by former Prime Minister of Spain and People’s Party leader José María Aznar in 2010. [Aznar was the first neocon leader in Bush’s Iraq war coalition to get booted out in a subsequent election.]

        It was co-founded by nine other international figures [including] … former United States Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton … and Nobel Peace Prize winner David Trimble.

        The Friends of Israel are based on the following principles:

        1. Israel is a modern, flourishing Western country with a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, with a right to be treated as such.
        2. Israel´s right to exist should not be questioned.
        3. Israel, as a sovereign country, has the right to self-defense.
        4. Israel is an ally of the west against terrorism and defender of the Judeo-Christian cultural and moral heritage, and thus “Israel’s fight is our fight.”
        5. The key to ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is for the Palestinians to recognize Israel as the legitimate national homeland of the Jewish people, and then good faith negotiations have a chance of achieving success.
        6. The spread of Islamic fundamentalism and jihadism and the prospect of a nuclear Iran are existential threats for the state of Israel as [well as] for the rest of the western world.

        link to en.wikipedia.org

        ————

        So let’s review — David Trimble founds an advocacy group along with uber-neocon John Bolton, whose founding principles assert Israel’s ‘right to exist,’ ‘right to defend itself,’ its ‘liberal democratic political system operating under the rule law,’ and — most tendentiously — that ‘Israel’s fight is our fight.’

        Thus, Trimble is no independent international observer. He’s a ringer planted by a pro-Israel, neocon advocacy organization. Having ‘Mr. Milk Mustache’ himself, John Bolton, serve on the Turkel commission would be too damned obvious. So a couple of less prominent stooges from the junior ranks of the Anglosphere had to be recruited.

        Effectively, Trimble had already stated his conclusions in the FII’s founding principles, before being invited to join the Turkel inquiry two weeks later. ‘Israel’s fight is our fight.’ ‘Islamic fundamentalism is an existential threat to the state of Israel.’ etc. This is no impartial observer.

        Man, I can’t believe how many Peace Prize Laureates are turning out to be warmonger whores. Wonder how much it costs to rent one of these simpering gigolos as a disposable moral hand-cleansing towelette?

      • Jim Haygood
        January 23, 2011, 5:47 pm

        Note the remarkable coincidence of the Jerusalem Post article about the founding of Trimble’s ‘Friends of Israel Initiative’ being published on 31 May 2010, the exact date of the Israeli attack on the Mavi Marmara.

        While it’s not plausible that an ad hoc international group of nine members could have been coordinated on the same day as the attack, the sailing of the aid ship had been publicized in a Turkish news article 18 days prior to the Israeli attack on May 13th, giving plenty of lead time.

        Thus, the unusual timing might lead one to infer that the ‘Friends of Israel Initiative’ was created — perhaps with Israeli input — for the explicit purpose of deflecting the predictable unfavorable publicity for Israel resulting from the Mavi Marmara’s voyage, whether it landed in Gaza or not.

        I’d love to be proven wrong. But if my suspicion is correct, Trimble isn’t merely lacking in objectivity. He’s a recruited Israeli hasbara agent, and perhaps even an advance co-conspirator in the attack.

        Hell of a note for a Peace Laureate, hey? But look how many civvies his fellow honoree Peace Laureate O’Bomber has vaporized in Waziristan. War is peace, comrades.

    • MRW
      January 23, 2011, 2:52 pm

      Need to see the actual wording of the letter first. This is from the same report that says the flotilla action was sanctioned by international law. For all you know, it could have said, ‘even though the perception is that this commission was independent and rigorous, we object to….’

    • Tuyzentfloot
      January 23, 2011, 2:54 pm

      Trimble is one of the founders of the “Friends of Israel Initiative”.

    • Potsherd2
      January 23, 2011, 2:55 pm

      What I’d like to know is what evidence they were shown. The confiscated video? The testimony from the survivors on the ship? Or only the redacted and selected Israeli lies?

    • seafoid
      January 23, 2011, 5:09 pm

      Trimble is an Ulster protestant . The Ulster protestants have a similar messianic cult aspect to that of the Zionists. The chosen people. Trimble made his name at Drumcree back in the late 90s. He would have been a Likudnik if he was Jewish.

  7. bijou
    January 23, 2011, 3:01 pm

    MK Haneen Zuabi: “I was not called to testify by the Turkel Commission”

    Now there is a comprehensive, unbiased, and objective inquiry for ya!

  8. seafoid
    January 23, 2011, 5:13 pm

    Where is Mondo ?
    The biggest insight into the failed peace process that is all process and no peace.

    Lets see the hasbaradim spin this one. This is going to alienate so many European goys, the ones who buy 70 percent of everything Israel exports.

    Israel marches inexorably to the exit. YESHA wins everything.

    link to guardian.co.uk

    The documents – many of which will be published by the Guardian over the coming days – also reveal:

    • The scale of confidential concessions offered by Palestinian negotiators, including on the highly sensitive issue of the right of return of Palestinian refugees.

    • How Israeli leaders privately asked for some Arab citizens to be transferred to a new Palestinian state.

    • The intimate level of covert co-operation between Israeli security forces and the Palestinian Authority.

    • The central role of British intelligence in drawing up a secret plan to crush Hamas in the Palestinian territories.

    • How Palestinian Authority (PA) leaders were privately tipped off about Israel’s 2008-9 war in Gaza.

    As well as the annexation of all East Jerusalem settlements except Har Homa, the Palestine papers show PLO leaders privately suggested swapping part of the flashpoint East Jerusalem Arab neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah for land elsewhere.

    Most controversially, they also proposed a joint committee to take over the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount holy sites in Jerusalem’s Old City – the neuralgic issue that helped sink the Camp David talks in 2000 after Yasser Arafat refused to concede sovereignty around the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa mosques

    • Shingo
      January 23, 2011, 6:31 pm

      Thanks seafoid,

      It’s c;ear that the Israelis never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

      And we can finally put the lie about self defense in the 2008 war to bed.

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