When the Israeli navy attacked Free Gaza’a boats on May 31, 2010 in international waters, assassinating ten of our passengers, the PR machine was turned on, ready to spin the Israeli terrorist attack on the high seas before the boats had even been hauled into Ashdod. Four women and one man in our Cyprus office, Hedy Epstein, Mary Hughes Thompson, Audrey Bomse, Fathi Jaoudi, and me, Greta Berlin, fielded the media questions in five languages.
Israel spent millions on PR; we spent time and passion and presented the facts. Several of those facts have been documented in Audrey’s (she is the Free Gaza attorney) comprehensive article, essentially stating that the Palmer report has no authority.
One of the most important aspects of this article is that the Palmer report was put into place AFTER the UN report. Audrey’s opening sentence is quite clear.
“Almost all the factual findings, as well as the legal analysis and conclusions of the recently leaked UN Secretary General’s Panel of Inquiry into the “Flotilla Incident” on May 31, 2010 (Palmer/Uribe Panel) directly contradict those of an earlier UN report of the Human Rights Council Fact-Finding Mission (FFM, whose conclusion that Israel’s blockade of Gaza, including the naval blockade is illegal, was just reaffirmed on September 13, 2011 by five independent UN rights Special Rapporteurs. In line with all statements Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon has made about Gaza, the Goldstone report, and statements by other international agencies, including the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), these UN international law experts rejected the Palmer/Uribe conclusions and demanded that “[t]he Israeli blockade of Gaza must end immediately and the people of Gaza must be afforded protection in line with international law.”