The bias by the UN against the State of Israel is obvious, so why are so many states wanting to take up the last UN decision with the International Court of Justice?
In 1991 Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir commissioned Shai Ben-Tekoa to do a statistical analysis of U.N. voting towards Israel. Here is the total summary and remember, this is only through 1991,
175 Total Resolutions
4 Against the perceived interests of an Arab state or body
97 Against Israel
Cumulative Number of Votes cast with/for Israel: 7,938.
Cumulative Number of Votes cast against Israel: 55,642.
These numbers are staggering, it is so one sided against Israel that even the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan admitted at the opening of the 61st General Assembly on September 20, 2006, that Israel is often unfairly judged at the United Nations. He stated,
"On one side, supporters of Israel feel that it is harshly judged by standards that are not applied to its enemies, and too often this is true, particularly in some UN bodies."
Abba Eban, the Former Ambassador of Israel to the U.S. put it succinctly when he stated,
"If Algeria introduced a UN resolution declaring that the Earth was flat and that Israel had flattened it, it would pass by a vote of 164-13 with 26 abstentions."
This is the same organization that passed Resolution 3379, stating that Zionism is a form of Racism. For those unaware of what Zionism truly is, let’s consult several dictionaries. According to Dictionary.com,
a worldwide Jewish movement that resulted in the establishment and development of the state of Israel.
an international movement originally for the establishment of a Jewish national or religious community in Palestine and later for the support of modern Israel.
a Jewish political movement that, in its broadest sense, has supported the self-determination of the Jewish people in a sovereign Jewish national homeland.
So, of course we can all see how the support of the State of Israel or the desire of a Jewish State after the atrocities of WWII and the Holocaust is the same as Racism.
However one sided or biased the U.N. maybe when it comes to Israel it seems the long awaited U.N. report of the Gaza Flotilla incident of last May has apparently gotten many peoples Burqas in a bunch.
The Report of the Secretary-General’s Panel of Inquiry on the 31 May 2010 Flotilla Incident, otherwise known as the UN's Palmer Report was first published by the New York Times last Thursday evening.
The New York Times summed it all up in the first paragraph of its article,
A long-awaited United Nations review of Israel’s 2010 raid on a Turkish-based flotilla in which nine passengers were killed has found that Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza is both legal and appropriate. But it said that the way Israeli forces boarded the vessels trying to break that blockade 15 months ago was excessive and unreasonable.
The 105 page report covers six different areas,
· Summary of the Interim and Final Reports of Turkey’s National Investigation
· Summary of the Report of Israel’s National Investigation
· Facts, Circumstances and Context of the Incident
· How to Avoid Similar Incidents in the Future
But as explained and outlined by the New York Times, the two main areas that all concerned parties were waiting to read were legality of the blockade and Israel’s use of force.
Looking at the report, whether you agree or not, it appears that Israel was given a pass on one hand and slapped on the other. The report finds fault with both Turkey and Israel on the incident,
On page four the report clearly states,
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.
Also on page four of the report it specifically states that the so called peaceful “protesters” were organized and violent and therefore the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) had to use force,
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.
It also questioned the organizers of the flotilla,
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.
According to the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center website,
IHH is a Turkish humanitarian relief fund with a radical Islamic anti-Western orientation. Besides its legitimate philanthropic activities, it supports radical Islamic networks, including Hamas, and at least in the past, even global jihad elements.
On pages four and five the report slams Israel for its treatment of the passengers,
The loss of life and injuries resulting from the use of force by Israeli forces during the take-over of the Mavi Marmara was unacceptable. Nine passengers were killed and many others seriously wounded by Israeli forces.
There was significant mistreatment of passengers by Israeli authorities after the take-over of the vessels had been completed through until their deportation. This included physical mistreatment, harassment and intimidation, unjustified confiscation of belongings and the denial of timely consular assistance.
But the fact that the report states that Israel used "excessive and unreasonable" force still isn't good enough for those concerned. Turkey is demanding an official apology and is preparing on taking the incident to the International Court of Justice in Hague. Turkey has already expelled Israel's ambassador and severed all military ties in anger over Israel’s refusal to apologize.
As Ynet News reported,
While Israel's representative in the Palmer Committee adopted the UN report on the 2010 flotilla raid, Turkey's envoy chose to reject many parts of the document that are not to Ankara's (Turkey’s capital) liking.
"The wording in the report is not satisfactory in describing the actual extent of the atrocities that the victims have been subjected to," the Turkish representative wrote in an appendix. "This includes the scope of the maltreatment suffered by the passengers in the hands of Israeli soldiers and officials."
After expanding on Ankara's various objections, Sanberk wrote: "I reject and dissociate myself from the relevant parts and paragraphs of the report," proceeding to cite a long list of the document's clauses and findings.
Interesting since Joseph Ciechanover, the Israeli member of the panel on the palmer Report had this to say,
“Israel appreciates the important work of the Panel,” the Israeli envoy wrote, adding that while Jerusalem has some reservations, it nonetheless appreciates “that the report concurs with Israel’s view” on a long lists of issues.
However, he noted that “Israel does not concur with the Panel’s characterization of Israel’s decision to board the vessels in the manner it did as ‘excessive and unreasonable.’
Ciechanover chose to end his response to the report's findings by lauding the shared history of Jews and Turks.
"Israel cherishes the shared history and centuries old ties of strong friendship and cooperation between the Jewish and Turkish peoples and hopes that the Panel's work over the past few months will assist Israel and Turkey in finding a path back to cooperation," he wrote.
So even with the Israeli disagreement on the “excessive and unreasonable” characterization, it first praised the Palmer panel and its important work and ended speaking of the friendship between Turks and Jews.
Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar said that the report was the “result of American and Israeli pressure” on the UN. The Jerusalem post reported,
“This report is clearly biased against the Palestinians and the Turkish people,” he said, referring to the UN Commission report into the flotilla incident headed by Geoffrey Palmer, former prime minister of New Zealand.
“A country that allows its citizens to be killed like the Turks who were killed on the flotilla, and maintains its relations with the killers, risks losing its credibility among the people,” Zahar said. “It’s only logical that Turkey expel the Israeli ambassador and cut off its relations with the Zionist entity.”
Forgive me for the interjection here, but what about those that have been killed in Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Libya, Iran, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Bahrain, Algeria, Mauritania, Iraq, Oman, Jordan and the Western Sahara that total in the thousands all in the name of the “Arab Spring”?
I guess their lives just aren’t as important as the nine Turks that were killed last year while Israel was upholding a lawful blockade and protecting themselves.
The Palestine Chronicle’s report made me wonder if they were even talking about the same report,
The Palmer Panel, and the United Nations, would do better to prevail upon Israel to observe international law, as embodied in some 80 UN Security Council Resolutions and numerous international conventions, than do irrelevant book reviews that do nothing but give Israel more ammunition to legitimise its genocide.
It needs to be re-stated – rockets fired into Israel from Gaza, and efforts by international civil society to alleviate the suffering caused by the illegal siege of Gaza, are EFFECTS directly flowing from the ROOT CAUSE, Israel’s persistent and ongoing refusal to observe international law, or even internationally-determined borders.
Did I read that correctly? “Rockets fired into Israel from Gaza to alleviate the suffering caused by the illegal siege of Gaza.” Oh, that explains it.
It’s okay for them to shoot rockets in to Israel directly targeting civilians because Israel, who left Gaza in a full disengagement ahead of schedule in 2005 is somehow maintaining an “illegal siege” of Gaza by having a naval blockade of the area to keep weapons out so that they don’t shoot rockets in to Israel. Makes sense to me.
It is actually a shame, although given the current situation in the Middle East not a surprise, that the ties between Turkey and Israel have become so strained. Turkey was the second Muslim nation to recognize Israel, Iran was the first and relations were cut off during the 1979 uprising. Turkey formally recognized Israel on March 28, 1949 just one year after Israel became a state.
Until quite recently Israel had been a major supplier of arms to Turkey. Turkey and Israel not only had full diplomatic cooperation but shared military and strategic information. This was a high priority to both countries, which shared common concerns to the regional instabilities in the area.
So let us understand who Turkey is siding with in this matter. Those that have spoken out against the U.N. Palmer report are;
Hamas, the Islamic Jihad, IHH, the Popular Resistance Committees in the Gaza Strip, Ansar al- Mujahedeen, and the PLO just to name a few. Great company.
Even Kuwait who had threatened a lawsuit with The Hague has dropped the idea,
Kuwait has recently withdrew a plan to file a lawsuit against Israel with the International Court of Justice over the arrest of Kuwaiti parliament members on board the Mavi Marmara last year.
According to Kuwaiti press reports, a legal opinion warned the justice ministry that Israel stands to win such a suit as the Mavi Marmara broke international law by entering Israel's territorial waters without authorization.
The bottom line, any apology will not repair the damage that has been done between Israel and Turkey and it certainly will not bring back those that died.
It seems that almost every day another Arab country is following in the sandals of Egypt and if they had any relations with Israel they are now referring to them as the Zionist enemy. This is what the Arab Spring has brought us.
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