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Torpedoing the Law: How the Palmer Report Justified Israel’s Naval Blockade of Gaza

On May 31st, 2010, Israeli commandos killed nine passengers aboard a humanitarian flotilla destined for Gaza. Eight of the nine were Turkish citizens, while one was a dual U.S.-Turkish citizen. On August 2nd, 2010, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed a Panel of Inquiry (POI) to “examine and identify the facts, circumstances and context of the incident,” and to “consider and recommend ways of avoiding similar incidents in the future.” In September 2011, the POI’s final report was unofficially released. In a finding that shocked the international community, the report concluded that Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza was legal. Moreover, the report vilified the passengers aboard the humanitarian flotilla because they sought to publicize the illegality and inhumanity of Israel’s blockade. A careful analysis of the POI report shows that it is probably the most mendacious and debased document ever issued under the aegis of the United Nations.

Torpedoing the Law How the Palmer Report Justified Israel s
Respected human rights and humanitarian relief organizations overwhelmingly deplored the blockade as a form of collective punishment that constituted a flagrant violation of international law.
 

On May 31st, 2010, Israeli commandos killed nine passengers aboard a humanitarian flotilla destined for Gaza. (Eight of the nine were Turkish citizens, one was a dual U.S.-Turkish citizen.) On August 2nd, 2010, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed a Panel of Inquiry (POI) to “examine and identify the facts, circumstances and context of the incident,” and to “consider and recommend ways of avoiding similar incidents in the future.” After the Secretary-General selected singularly corrupt and criminal Colombian ex-president Alvaro Uribe as Vice-Chair, it was predictable—and predicted at the time—that the panel would produce a whitewash.1 In this respect the POI’s final report did not disappoint.2

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