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Monday, November 29, 2010

'Human rughts Council' investigator speaks to anti-Israel gathering

An investigator who is one of the members of the panel investigating the Mavi Marmara incident on behalf of the United Nations 'Human Rights Council' spoke at an anti-Israel event in Bangkok on Thursday. The occasion was an observance of the UN's day of solidarity with the 'Palestinian people' which falls on November 29 - today (Hat Tip: Elder of Ziyon).
Ms Dairiam's presentation was directly relevant to Thailand. She was one of a three-member panel appointed by Thai Ambassador Singhasak Phuangketkeow after he assumed chairmanship of the UN Human Rights Council in June to investigate the May 21 attack by Israeli commandos on the Mavi Marmara, the Turkish aid ship seeking to break the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Ms Dairiam said that launching the investigation, as mandated by an earlier resolution of the council, had been one of Mr Singhasak's first actions, and praised his efforts to establish the facts.


Ms Dairiam said the panel had concluded that it had been the Israeli in tention all along to cause as much physical injury as possible. She said the Israelis were apparently embarrassed by the many maritime efforts to break the blockade and the adverse publicity it was generating. ''They were going to stop it once and for all. They were intending to kill,'' she said.

This violence was totally unnecessary, she said. The captain of the ship told the investigators that if the Israelis had simply intended to stop the ship from sailing onwards, all they had to do was blast the propeller, which would have rendered the vessel inoperable.

She said the panel interviewed 112 passengers comprising 20 nationalities. The resulting conclusions painted a grim picture of how heavily-armed Israelis boarded the ship in international waters several nautical miles outside the blockade zone and opened fire on activists defending themselves with broomsticks, mop handles, kitchen knives and broken-off pieces of the ship's railings.

Those trying to film or photograph the attack were primary targets, apparently because the Israelis wanted to ensure there was no evidence. One activist was shot in cold blood between the eyes. Another's brain was blown away by a weapon known as a beanbag which sprays pellets and is usually used for crowd control. A third suffered permanent injuries to the colon.

The entire attack took only 45 minutes, after which the ship was towed to the Israeli Port of Ashdod. During those eight hours, she said, there was ''more wanton violence, torture, breaking of bones, stamping on people, twisting the arm until the fingers were dislocated''. In Ashdod itself, there were ''more indignities, stripping, and body-cavity searches''.

She said several Americans and Europeans were on the ship, including Germans, Swiss, Belgians and Britons. None of them were harmed. Even when they reached Israel, they were provided with consular service. All other nationals, including Arabs and Turks, were brutalised with ''willful killing, torture, and inhuman treatment, serious injury to body and health, and violations of human rights'', said Ms Dairiam.

''There is clear evidence to support the prosecution of individuals in the [Israeli] army of crimes under the Geneva Convention,'' she said.

Ms Dairiam also discussed how the Western diplomatic community swung into action to shield the Israelis. She said a number of American diplomats met with the investigative panel and sought to delay issuance of the report on the grounds that it may prejudice the ''peace process''. The Europeans issued verbal condemnations of the attack, but when the time came to vote on the report, all of them abstained.

The diplomatic divide was obvious, she said; the Arab, African, Asian, non-aligned movement and Latin American countries on one side, and the Europeans and Americans on the other.

Even UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon first issued a condemnation of the attack and then set up a parallel commission headed by former New Zealand Prime Minister Duncan Palmer with a different mandate.
We've all seen the movies. Ms. Dairiam, the witnesses or both are obviously lying.

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